by John M. Malin, Ph. D.
International Activities Administrator
American Chemical Society
Comments by Prof. Joshua Jortner, President of IUPAC on the strategy
of IUPAC to serve the global chemistry community.
In welcoming all present, Professor Jortner
explained that IUPAC's mission will increasingly involve concentration
on the globalization of the scientific-technological endeavor and
on recent advances in science and technology. He added that IUPAC
will respond to the challenges in the mission-oriented service of
chemistry to meet mankind's needs.
Prof. Jortner outlined IUPAC's five-point
plan for development in the 21st century. IUPAC will work to strengthen
access in developing countries to information and research networks
in chemistry and related fields, to build capacity of developing countries
for chemical research, to enhance human educational resources in developing
countries, to foster the abilities of developing countries to adapt
recent scientific and technological advances to local conditions and
needs, and to augment cooperation with regional scientific academies
in developing countries.
Prof. Jortner noted that solutions to African
problems must be urgently sought, given the impetus of globalization,
scientific and technological advances, new information technology
and burgeoning population growth. He pointed out that scientists in
developing countries will count increasingly on advances in electronic
communication that can dramatically reduce the geographic and political
barriers, isolation and fragmentation that have hampered them in the
past. He noted that the keys to success will be found in obtaining
needed equipment, training, useful contacts, functioning access to
electronic networks, databases and publications, and long-term maintenance
and support of networks and equipment.
Prof. Jortner suggested that IUPAC can contribute
by helping African chemical scientists to formulate and prioritize
their own needs, to emphasize institutional capacity including management
and maintenance, to establish long term inter-institutional relationships
rather than "hit and run" short term studies and assistance,
and to realize the potential for increased regional and sub-regional
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