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BISO Home > USNC/IUPAC Homepage > IUPAC Young Observer Program > IUPAC Scientific Divisions and Standing Committees

IUPAC Scientific Divisions and Standing Committees
IUPAC is organized into eight Divisions and eight Standing Committees. Each of the Divisions and several Standing Committees carry out programs that may be of interest to Young Observers. The other Committees deal mostly with internal IUPAC administration. A few highlights for each body are listed here. Further information on current activities can be found on the IUPAC web site at and
I. Physical and Biophysical Chemistry
Addresses problems across the range of physical chemistry and formulates recommendations on nomenclature, symbols and terminology to facilitate exchange of information. Encourages compilation and documentation of critically evaluated physical chemical data. Investigates new developments and methodologies that may contribute to science and technology.
II. Inorganic Chemistry
Serves as the international authority on isotopic abundances of the elements, which play an increasingly important role in analysis and determination of points of origin of substances of importance in science and commerce. Is exploring the role of IUPAC in Materials Chemistry. 
III. Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry
Is particularly active in encouraging the development of Green Chemistry methods internationally. Deals with terminology and standardization in organic synthesis, photochemistry, structural chemistry and biomolecular chemistry. Sponsors a number of well known international conferences in various aspects of organic chemistry. 
IV. Polymer
Promotes macromolecular and polymer science and technology, including education, at the international level. Defines polymer terminology and standards, with particular emphasis on materials of technological importance. Sponsors international conferences in polymer science. 
V. Analytical Chemistry
Catalyzes interactions between the scientific community and users of analytical methods and data. Interacts closely with international organizations responsible for accreditation and standards. Develops rules and standards for inter-laboratory comparisons of analytical methods.  
VI. Chemistry and the Environment
Provides unbiased and timely reviews on the behavior of chemical compounds in food and the environment. Ongoing activity includes degradation, bio-availability and accumulation of chemicals, remote monitoring, codes of practice and modeling of processes.
VII. Chemistry and Human Health
Deals with a number of aspects of Medicinal Chemistry, including glossaries of terms used in the field, evaluation of analogue-based drug discovery, and computer-assisted drug design. Also provides the IUPAC focus for toxicology and risk assessment, including glossaries of relevant terms and education projects on such subjects as pesticides. 
VIII. Chemical Nomenclature and Structure Representation
Maintains and develops systematic nomenclature in organic, inorganic, polymer and biochemistry. Increasingly, emphasis is on computer-assisted methods for interchange of information on chemical structures by InChI – the IUPAC International Chemical Identifier. 
Standing Committees:
Chemistry Education [CCE]
Coordinates educational interests of IUPAC bodies with activities throughout the world. Is developing major world-wide student projects for the International Year of Chemistry in 2011. Deals with the public appreciation of chemistry. Sponsors the biennial International Conference on Chemistry Education.
Chemistry and Industry [COCI]
Serves as the primary link between IUPAC and the worldwide chemical industry, including the IUPAC Company Associates. Conducts a Safety Training Program that brings trainees from developing countries to major chemical industry plants for in-depth training in chemical safety, security and responsible handling of chemicals. 
Organizes major international conferences on CHEMical Research Applied to World Needs. Recent conferences have dealt with Innovation in the Chemical Industry; Greenhouse Gases; Chemistry for Cleaner Energy; Chemistry for Water; and Ethics, Science and Development.