by Robert G. Gilbert
The 5th Annual UNESCO school and IUPAC Conference on Macromolecules
and Materials Science, held 23-28 March 2002 in Stellenbosch, South
Africa, continues a series that has established an excellent reputation
in Africa and beyond. The 2002 meeting was attended by about 151
delegates from 17 countries located in Africa, Europe, North America,
East Asia, and Oceania.
of the 5t h Annual South African UNESCO School/IUPAC Conference
on Macromolecules and Materials Science.
The school instructed students on the basics of polymer chemistry,
physics, and technology and introduced them to some of the latest
techniques, such as controlled- radical polymerization. Excellent
learning opportunities were provided to young African researchers.
Plenary lectures at the conference provided powerful insights into
new polymer technologies, including advances made at SASOL (the
South African petrochemical giant). Topics of the plenary lectures
included the following: new materials by polymerization of olefins
and styrene by metallocene catalysts (W. Kaminsky, Hamburg); green
technology, preparation of moisture-proof polymer coatings that
leave paper recyclable (R. Sanderson, Stellenbosch); molecular chirality-
influencing material properties in subtle ways (B. Novak, North
Carolina); and solid state NMR characterization of nanocomposites
(L. Matthias, Southern Mississippi).
The conference organizers, professors Ronald Sanderson (Stellenbosch),
Bert Klumperman (Eindhoven), Harold Pasch (Darmstadt), and Albert
van Reenen (Stellenbosch) are to be congratulated for a program
that was outstanding in both breadth and depth.
Professor Robert G. Gilbert is past president of IUPAC Macromolecular
Division and is a member of the IUPAC Bureau. He is a professor
at the University of Sydney, Australia.