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Volume 41, Issue 3


A History of CNIC

G. Jeffery Leigh
Published Online: 2019-06-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ci-2019-0313


The systematic nomenclature of inorganic chemistry is much older than IUPAC itself, and so is the history of the Commission for the Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry (CNIC). The nomenclature developed as new chemistry originated and grew at the beginning of the 19th century, when the chemical community came to recognise the need for international agreement on the formalisms to be used, to enable practitioners from different countries to understand communications between them. In that period such communications were only written or printed. Since CNIC produced the first of its IUPAC Red Books on the nomenclature of inorganic chemistry in 1957, the Red Books themselves have been continuously rewritten and expanded as the science of chemistry has grown, and they represent a collaborative production, both in the number of people involved and the time-frame they occupy, which is possibly unique in modern science.


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About the article

G. Jeffery Leigh

G. Jeffery Leigh is Professor Emeritus at The University of Sussex. His major research interest was in the chemistry of nitrogen fixation. He has contributed to IUPAC as a member and President of the Inorganic Chemistry Division (Div II), as a member of CNIC, as editor of the 1990 Red Book, and as originator and editor of Principles of Chemical Nomenclature, the last version dating from 2011.

Published Online: 2019-06-14

Published in Print: 2019-07-01

Citation Information: Chemistry International, Volume 41, Issue 3, Pages 39–43, ISSN (Online) 1365-2192, ISSN (Print) 0193-6484, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ci-2019-0313.

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