International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC): an adventure
The reflections that follow are the fruit of a long engagement with the history of IUPAC, through its publications and archives. Many unanswered questions remain. Is it possible yet to present a oherent portrait of the Union ? What image of the Union do I have as I write these lines ? Do I see IUPAC as essentially an institutional structure that reveals little of the men and women behind it ? And what underlying unity can we identify amid the striking diversity of its activities ? These questions, about an organization of immense and shifting complexity, are ones that no single person can hope to answer. Hence what I offer here is necessarily impressionistic and incomplete.
A brief history of IUPAC through time, wars and the people who made it the organization we all know.