The IUPAC International Symposium on Ionic Polymerization (IP'
01) was held 22-26 October 2001 at the Kreta Maris Hotel in Crete,
Greece. The Symposium had the support of IUPAC, the Ministry of
Education of Greece, the European Polymer Federation, the Greek
Polymer Society, the Greek Chemists Association, and the University
of Athens. The sponsors of the Symposium were the Ministry of Education
and Religious Affairs, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company,
USA; ExxonMobil Chemical, European Science and Engineering Programme;
BASF; MALVA Ltd-WATERS; Techline S.A.; Agmartin; INTERCHEM; Analytical
Equipments/K.Vamvakas; HELLAMCO A.E.; and ASTERIADIS S.A.
Dr. Andrew Lovinger of the National Science Foundation, USA, was
the honorary chairman of the Symposium. Professor Nikos Hadjichristidis
of the University of Athens was the chairman of IP' 01. Dr. Hermis
Iatrou chaired the Local Committeeof which Drs. Marinos Pitsikalis
and Stergios Pispas were members that organized this superb
During the Opening Ceremony, Professor R.F.T. Stepto, President
Elect of the IUPAC Macromolecular Division presented the role of
IUPAC and, more particularly, the recent work of the Macromolecular
The International Symposia on Ionic Polymerizations have a long
history. Started in the late 40s /early 50s by Professors David
Pepper of Dublin, Ireland, and Peter Plesch of Keele, Great Britain,
the symposia dominated the field of cationic polymerization at that
time. Then in 1956, after the discovery of the processes of "living
polymerization" by Professor Michael Szwarc, founder and "father"
of modern ionic polymerizations, a series of more or less formal
meetings were organized in the field of anionic polymerization.
Two decades later (in 1975) the first IUPAC Symposium on Ring-Opening
Polymerization was organized by this author in Warsaw, Poland. Finally,
the concerted efforts of a group of scientists working in
anionic, cationic, and ring-opening polymerisationsconverted
these separate meetings into a chain of Symposia, unifying all of
the fields of ionic polymerizations.
The Crete Symposium was the fourth (after Istanbul, Paris, and
Kyoto) of this new series. However, the organizers of the Crete
Symposium went even further, rightly adding several lectures on
topics related to the living radical polymerizations, metathesis,
metal coordination, template and enzymatic polymerizations, polymer
physical chemistry, and the physics of materials made by these processes,
and by doing so, created a scientific program of outstanding quality.
There were over 240 active participants from 30 countries at the
Symposium. In total, 68 invited lectures, 29 oral lectures, and
91 posters were presented. All of the research centers contributing
to the synthesis of macromolecules with well-controlled structures
were represented at this Symposium. The presenters comprehensively
described the methods of preparation of miscellaneous block and
graft copolymers, including the miktoarms star-shaped macromolecules,
originally developed in Professor Hadjichristidis' laboratories.
Several groups of physicists discussed morphologies of these and
related polymers, showing sophisticated structures in which complicated
geometrical structures of or two polymers are imbedded in the matrix
of another polymer. Several of these materials of the future have
unusual anisotropic properties. Papers presented at that conference
are being prepared for publication in a coming volume of Macromolecular
Penczek is a Titular Member of the Macromolecular Division.