I  U  P  A  C

 Proposed Changes in Organization and

Management of IUPAC Scientific Activities

The final report by the Strategy Development and Implementation Committee (SDIC) is given in the following links. The IUPAC Executive Committee has accepted the SDIC report and voted unanimously to recommend to the Bureau that the proposals by the SDIC be adopted. The Strategic Plan, 1998-99 has already been approved by the IUPAC Executive Committee. The recommended changes in organization and management that will occur are far-reaching and will alter many aspects of the IUPAC structure and operations. I strongly believe that these proposals should be implemented and will enable the Union to play a major role in the development of chemistry in the 21st century.

Under the SDIC proposals, the seven Division Committees will assume direct responsibility for initiating, developing and managing the Union's scientific work, with each scientific project carried out by a short-term Task Group. Allocation of financial resources is to be tied directly to individual projects, and meaningful dates are to be established for completion of projects. These proposals thus envision a structure that is far more dynamic than the present one with 37 relatively permanent Commissions. In fact, the SDIC recommends that Council be asked in 1999 to terminate all existing Commissions at the end of 2001 and permit a smaller number of new Commissions to be formed as planning and advisory bodies when needed.

The SDIC has considered in considerable detail just how ideas for new projects can be generated and individuals recruited to carry out the projects in the absence of a large cadre of Commission members. We expect to reach out to the worldwide chemistry community and anticipate that National Adhering Organizations will become more actively involved in project generation and in suggesting scientists to serve on Task Groups. During the next three years the current Commissions, in collaboration with their Division Committees, will play a central role in defining areas of science that need study by IUPAC and in proposing specific projects and individuals who might carry out such projects.

The Bureau will be asked to approve in September a major new policy for IUPAC's future development. Prior to that time it is important that we have a wide-ranging discussion within the Union of the details and ramifications of these proposals. The report by the SDIC is comprehensive and provides detailed explanations for the recommendations that are made. Nevertheless, there are undoubtedly some aspects that have not been considered and some consequences of the proposals that have not been fully appreciated. We begin now to solicit views from the National Adhering Organizations that provide the resources for our activities; from the many people who carry out the work within the Union; and from the worldwide community of chemists and the chemical industry, whom we ultimately serve.

I would appreciate receiving your comments and questions. They should be submitted through the secretariat, either by email, or at the address given here.

Joshua Jortner
President, IUPAC

To view the full report, please choose one of the following options:

IUPAC Strategic Plan -- 2000-2001 (posted 28 Apr. 00)

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