From the Editor

From the Editor

article imageToday, the application of chemistry in the service of Mankind is a matter of need and necessity. However, applied chemistry can and should preserve the environment and respect our relationship with, and dependence upon, Nature.

In this issue of CI, the ideas, concepts, and the relatively young history of so-called Green Chemistry or sustainable chemistry is reviewed by Pietro Tundo and Fabio Arico (see page 4). Enlightened by his own experience, Tundo describes how a combination of economic, regulatory, scientific, and social factors combined to make the 1990s the tipping point for the emergence of Green Chemistry as an important concept. The authors elaborate on the definition of Green Chemistry, which simply is “the invention, design, and application of chemical products and processes to reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances,” and point out its multifaceted and straightforward implications. They also highlight how key events of the last 10 to 15 years have led to the establishment and recognition of the discipline, so that it is no longer a simple buzzword.

We asked an artist—Francesco Tundo—(yes, the son of Pietro) to reflect on these ideas. His view is that an equilibrium needs to be reinstated between human technology and the natural state of the environment to counter humankind’s overuse of nature’s finite resources. The original image that Franscesco created for this cover might be shocking for some, but what could be more appropriate than a heart to represent our connection with nature? He depicted the heart as a symbol of sustainability, pumping fluids through a system, while keeping nourishment separate from waste, and returning the waste back to where it becomes nourishment once again.

I hope that this cover will intrigue you and make you pause long enough to feel your own heart beat and your lungs breath in a few times. Artists have a way of questioning our conscience and arousing fears and hopes, which is important, since today, by necessity, mankind has a lot resting on chemistry.

Fabienne Meyers

Cover: Balance by Francesco Tundo, chief of NuvoleQuadrate (SquareClouds) <>. Tundo is a computer graphics professional, whose works include illustratations, architectural projects, animations, and 3-D prototyping. He produced earlier covers for the Green Chemistry Series of books produced by IUPAC and INCA, and for Pure and Applied Chemistry (July 2000) and CI (July 2003 and March 2004)

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Chemistry International is the newsmagazine of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). News about IUPAC, its chemists, its publications, its recommendations, its conferences and the work of its commissions and committees is published bimonthly in CI.