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IUPAC conferences in marvellous places


Two decades of work with IUPAC
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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Okay, so that is IUPAC’s [International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry] contribution in atomic weights. It does many other things. It arranges conferences, for example, and gives its cachet to conferences, and this was very important, particularly in post-war era in the ‘40s,’50s,’60s – the so-called Cold War era – because you could not get sponsorship from IUPAC unless every country allowed it’s delegates to come. And at a time when certain countries forbade travel, if they wanted to hold a conference they were obliged to accept anyone who was from a member country of IUPAC, otherwise they wouldn’t get sponsorship. So that is another important thing they were doing. And nomenclature again, the naming of compounds, is important work. So for many years, about two decades I suppose, I was intimately involved both with atomic weights and then, as President of the Inorganic Division of Atomic… of IUPAC and on Bureau and so forth.

Norman Greenwood (1925-2012) was born in Australia and graduated from Melbourne University before going to Cambridge. His wide-ranging research in inorganic and structural chemistry made major advances in the chemistry of boron hydrides and other main-group element compounds. He also pioneered the application of Mössbauer spectroscopy to problems in chemistry. He was a prolific writer and inspirational lecturer on chemical and educational themes, and held numerous visiting professorships throughout the world.

Listeners: Brian Johnson

Professor Brian FG Johnson FRS, FRSE, FRS Chem, FAcad Eu, FAS. Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Edinburgh 1991-1995, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Cambridge 1995-2005, Master Fitzwilliam College Cambridge 1999-2005. Research interests include studies of transition metal carbonyls, organometallic chemistry, nano- particles and homogeneous catalysis. Professor Johnson is the author of over 1000 research articles and papers.

Tags: IUPAC, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, Cold War

Duration: 1 minute, 25 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011