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The Cathedral Santiago de Compostela.
The Cathedral Santiago de Compostela.

Abstract:
by Charles L. Perrin

The 19th International Conference on Physical Organic Chemistry (ICPOC2008), which was sponsored by IUPAC, was held 13-18 July 2008 at The Royal University of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. This follows ICPOC18, held in August 2006 in Warsaw, Poland. The 2008 conference attracted 344 registrants, including 53 students. It was truly international, with participants from 43 countries.

Physical Organic Chemistry

Galicia, Spain | Posted on January 6th, 2009

Santiago de Compostela is in the northwest of Spain, a region of green forests, ocean bays, and cooling summer breezes. The imposing cathedral (below) is the destination of an important pilgrimage route, dating from medieval times. The University of Santiago de Compostela, founded in 1495 by Lope Gómez de Marzoa, is one of the oldest universities in the world. It now enrolls 45 000 students across several campuses. It was an excellent venue for a conference, close to the city center, well equipped for lectures and computer access, and with dining facilities and cafes serving abundant and tasty local food.

The scientific program featured 11 plenary speakers, 22 invited speakers, 89 oral communications, and 180 posters. The plenary lecturers showcased the diversity of physical organic chemistry, including instrumental methods, biochemical applications, and studies of the relationship between molecular structure and reactivity. A key topic was nanotechnology and surface science, which included lectures on the following topics:

* nanoscale switches and motors (B.L. Feringa, Univ. of Groningen, Netherlands)
* metal nanoparticles (J.C. Scaiano, Univ. of Ottawa, Canada)
* selective heterogeneous catalysis for green chemistry (Avelino Corma, Univ. of Valencia, Spain)
* reactive species through site isolation on surfaces (Christophe Copéret, Univ. of Lyon, France)
* the remarkable observation of intracage vapor bubbles arising by solvent loss from self-assembled trigonal prisms (Josef Michl, Univ. of Colorado, USA)

Another important topic was catalysis, which included the following lectures:

* NMR spectroscopy and ion pairing (Paul Pregosin, ETH, Switzerland)
* dynamic and thermodynamic contributions to enzymatic transition states (Vern Schramm, A. Einstein College of Medicine, USA)
* late transition-metal complexes as polymerization catalysts (Kyoko Nozaki, U Tokyo, Japan)
* transition-metal-free hydrogenation and hydrogenolysis (Leo Radom, U Sydney, Australia)
* investigations of some unusual structures, including divalent carbon(0) compounds (Gernot Frenking, U Marburg, Germany)
* symmetry of hydrogen bonds (Charles L. Perrin, UC San Diego, USA).

Following is a sampling of the many other oral presentations at the conference:

* aromaticity lag in proton transfer (Claude Bernasconi, UC Santa Cruz, USA)
* photochemistry of tetrazoles (María de Lurdes Cristiano, U Algarve, Portugal)
* methylglyoxal synthase (AnnMarie C. O´Donoghue, UK)
* solvolysis of benzhydryl derivatives (Olga Kronja, Croatia)
* isotope effects in methyl transfers from σ-methyl cobalt(III) phthalocyanine to amines (Wlodzimierz Galezowski, Poland)
* resonance-assisted hydrogen bonds (Manuel Yañez, Spain)
* conformations of N-nitroso-N,O-dimethylhydroxylamine (Howard Maskill, UK)
* photostimulated intramolecular SRN1 reactions (Roberto A. Rossi, Argentina)

Full details of the conference program, including a list of speakers and lecture titles, are available on the conference website .

This biennial conference, the nineteenth in an ongoing series, was sponsored by the IUPAC Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry Division under the auspices of its Subcommittee on Structural and Mechanistic Chemistry. The local organizers, especially José Ramon Leis and Amelia Huzum, of Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, and Arturo Santaballa, of Universidad de A Coruña, are to be commended for the excellence of their planning and implementation of this conference and for obtaining adequate funding from numerous sponsors.

The Subcommittee on Structural and Mechanistic Chemistry has recommended that the 2010 conference be held in Busan, Korea.

Charles L. Perrin < >, professor of chemistry at the University of California, San Diego, is a member of the IUPAC Subcommittee on Structural and Mechanistic Chemistry and was the organizer of the 16th International Conference on Physical Organic Chemistry, held 4-9 August 2002 in La Jolla, California, USA.

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Charles L. Perrin

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