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Pure Appl. Chem. Vol. 76, No. 12, p. iv (2004)

Pure and Applied Chemistry

Vol. 76, Issue 12

Special topic articles featuring the 2004 Winners of the IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists

[Back to Contents]

Most national or regional chemical societies, national academies, and other professional bodies give recognition by, for example, the award of medals, endowed lectureships, invitation to present plenary lectures at conferences/symposia, invitation to contribute to scholarly works, and the election to positions of leadership in such professional bodies. In chemistry,the highest accolade is the award of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, or the immortalization of the name of a scientist in the naming of an element.

IUPAC, as an international,nongovernmental scientific organization, takes great interest in the worldwide achievements of young chemists —the future in chemistry belongs to them. Therefore, IUPAC established the prestigious Prize for Young Chemists. In doing so, we endeavor to encourage research in the chemical sciences and the participation of promising young research scientists in an annual competition. The prizes are given for the most outstanding PhD thesis in the general area of the chemical sciences, as described in a 1000 word essay; normally, IUPAC awards four of these prizes per year. An international panel of eminent chemists, chaired by the incumbent Past President of IUPAC, adjudicates these essays, together with recommendations from senior scientists with whom the candidates worked. The prizewinners each receive a cash prize of USD 1000 and a free trip to the IUPAC Congress, at which they are invited to present a poster describing their award-winning research findings.

At IUPAC, we are delighted that, since its inception, the IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists has attracted substantial attention from exceptionally gifted research students and their supervisors. It is heartening to note that we received 44 applications from 23 countries. The essays were of a very high standard, and the adjudication process was a challenging task. Complete information about the winners and their thesis essays can be found on the IUPAC Web site. Recipients of the 2004 IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists were:

  • Yu Huang, Harvard University, USA
  • Zhi-Pan Liu, Queen’s University of Belfast, UK
  • Parag Acharya, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • S.G. Srivatsan, Indian Institute of Technology, Kandar, India

Congratulations to the winners! It is evident from the topics of their theses that chemistry, as a molecular-based science, is of crucial importance at the interfaces of many scientific disciplines, especially in cutting-edge areas such as nanotechnology and molecular biology. The first IUPAC Prizes for Young Chemists were awarded in Brisbane, Australia, 2001. The most recent group of prizewinners (2002 and 2003) was recognized at a special occasion during the opening of the 39th IUPAC Congress in Ottawa, Canada, 2003. The awards to the four winners of the 2004 prize and those of 2005 will be made during the opening ceremony of the 40th IUPAC Congress in Beijing during August 2005.

Since 2002, the winners of the IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists have been invited to submit manuscripts on aspects of their research topics, for consideration as short, critical reviews in Pure and Applied Chemistry. The 2004 prizewinners enthusiastically responded to our invitation and submitted papers, culminating in the publication of three critical reviews that appear on the ensuing pages.

What a grand and honorable way to launch a successful career in the chemical sciences!

Piet Steyn
Past President and
Chairman of the IUPAC Prize Committee

IUPAC Prize Committee: Piet Steyn (Chairman, South Africa), Chunli Bai (China), Srinivasan Chandrasekaran (India), Minoru Isobe (Japan), Werner Klein (Germany), and Gerd Rosenblatt (USA).


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