Since the year 2000, IUPAC has been honoring young, outstanding, early career research scientists by making annual awards for the most outstanding PhD theses in the area of the chemical sciences. The awards have been based on 1000-word essays on their research. We are delighted to welcome Solvay into this initiative. Solvay, created in 1863, is firmly committed to sustainable development focused on innovation and operating excellence, and also to the development of science and technology, particularly concerning the new generations of young scientists. The 2014 IUPAC-SOLVAY International Award for Young Chemists is the first with their sponsorship, but follows the IUPAC tradition in this area.
The prize selection committee of eminent chemists was keen to recognize a global representation of the awards, and enjoyed 55 high-quality applications submitted by candidates from 20 countries. After critical consideration of the research results and evaluation of the originality and excellence of the presentations, they decided unanimously to award the 2014 prizes to the following five essays:
- “(1) Ligand-accelerated catalysis in palladium(II)-mediated C–H functionalization; and (2) Hydrogen-bonding effects on the reactivity of fluoride anion”, Keary Mark Engle, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA, joint with University of Oxford, UK.
- “Molecular switches based on donor–acceptor, radical and coulombic interactions: From solution, to solid-state to application”, Albert C. Fahrenbach, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA.
- “Artificial light-harvesting system by supramolecular host–guest assemblies”, Yohei Ishida, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan.
- “Selective metal-mediated C–C bond activation of strain compounds: Application to challenging non-natural product synthesis”, Ahmad Masarwa, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.
- “Anion transport with anion-π interactions and halogen bonds” Rodrigo Andreas Vargas Jentzsch, University of Geneva, Switzerland.
The Winners have been invited to present their award-winning work at the 45th IUPAC World Chemistry Congress, which will be held 9–14 August 2015, in Busan, Korea. In addition, as in previous years, they have been invited to submit a short critical review on aspects of their research topic for publication, following peer review, in Pure and Applied Chemistry. In this issue, we include the papers from Andreas Vargas Jentzsch and Yohei Ishida. The other three publications from the winners of the 2014 IUPAC-SOLVAY International Award for Young Chemists will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal.
IUPAC-SOLVAY International Award for Young Chemists Committee: Kazuki Tatsumi (Chair, Japan); Leiv Sydnes (Norway); Kaoru Yamanouchi (Japan); Michael Buback (Germany); Brynn Hibbert (Australia); Paul Baekelmans (Solvay, Belgium).