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Pure Appl. Chem., 2003, Vol. 75, No. 10, pp. 1359-1369

Mission and challenges of polymer science and technology

R. Stepto1, K. Horie2, T. Kitayama3 and Akihiro Abe4

1 Polymer Science and Technology Group, Manchester Materials Science Centre, UMIST and University of Manchester, Grosvenor Street, Manchester, M1 7HS, UK
2 Department of Organic and Polymer Materials Chemistry, Faculty of Technology, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, 2-24-16 Nakacho, Koganei-shi, Tokyo 184-8588, Japan
3 Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University, Toyonaka , Osaka 560-8531, Japan
4 Department of Industrial Chemistry, Tokyo Institute of Polytechnics, 1583 Iiyama, Atsugi-shi 243-0297, Japan

Abstract: Following the first IUPAC Polymer Conference on the Mission and Challenges of Polymer Science and Technology (IUPAC PC2002), this article highlights and summarizes the historical development of polymer science and technology and the recent advances that have occurred and are occurring in the subject. It highlights the mission and challenges for the future, particularly as reflected in the papers presented at the conference and in the con- ference’s concluding panel discussion. The important role of IUPAC in defining and leading developments in polymer science and technology is also described. The central role of polymer science and technology and its close interactions with chemical, physical, and biological sciences are defined and discussed. The 21st century is shown to be the Age of Polymers.