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Chemistry International

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Volume 41, Issue 3


The International Research Council and Its Unions: 1919-1931

Robert Fox
Published Online: 2019-06-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ci-2019-0303


IUPAC was a product of a restructuring of world science that took place immediately after the Great War. In a series of three conferences in London, Paris, and Brussels between October 1918 and July 1919, delegations from twelve allied nations established a new body, the International Research Council (IRC), that was to control international relations in science through subsidiary unions for the various scientific disciplines until a review of the statutes planned for 1931. Four of these unions were established at the Brussels conference, among them IUPAC.


  • 1.

    See Jorrit Smit’s paper infra, p. 9Google Scholar

  • 2.

    Union Internationale de Chimie: Comptes Rendus de la Xe Conférence de la Chimie, Liège, 14-20 sept 1930 (Secrétariat Général, J. Gérard, 1931), 35.Google Scholar

Additional Bibliography

  • 1.

    R. Fennell: History of IUPAC, 1919-1987 (Blackwell Science Ltd, Oxford, 1994), chp 2, 11-20.Google Scholar

  • 2.

    F. Greenaway: Science International. A History of the International Council of Scientific Unions (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996), chp 2, 19-32.Google Scholar

  • 3.

    O. Lehto: Mathematics without Borders. A History of the International Mathematical Union (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1998), 47-48. Google Scholar

  • 4.

    R. Fox: Science without Frontiers. Cosmopolitanism and National Interests in the World of Learning, 1870-1940 (Corvallis, Oregon State University Press, 2016), 75-81.Google Scholar

About the article

Robert Fox

Robert Fox < > is Emeritus Professor of the History of Science at the University of Oxford.

Published Online: 2019-06-14

Published in Print: 2019-07-01

Citation Information: Chemistry International, Volume 41, Issue 3, Pages 7–8, ISSN (Online) 1365-2192, ISSN (Print) 0193-6484, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ci-2019-0303.

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©2019 IUPAC & De Gruyter. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. For more information, please visit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.Get Permission

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