N° 442 July-August 2019

International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC): an adventure

Pagination : 31-33
Rubrique : IUPAC 2019 Paris, 7-12 July 2019 - Frontiers in Chemistry: let's create our future!
Sous-rubrique : IUPAC and chemistry: a century of intertwined history, a common heritage for the future (1919-2019)

By courtesy of Chemistry International, May 1989, 11(3), p. 112.

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.