A Conversation with Greta Heydenrych

with Dalmeet Singh Chawla

Heydenrych aims to lead IUPAC through the rise of digitization and open science.

Cite: ACS Cent. Sci. 2023, https://doi.org/10.1021/acscentsci.3c00116
Publication Date: February 3, 2023
For most chemists, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), is the organization that gives elements their names and decides what terminology researchers should use in scientific papers. But Greta Heydenrych, who was appointed IUPAC’s executive director in October, can attest that a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to ensure that chemists can communicate and thrive. To her, IUPAC is more than just its Compendium of Chemical Terminology, the iconic “Gold Book” of chemical nomenclature. It’s also a group of largely volunteer chemists who want to make it easier to share research and foster the chemistry community through IUPAC’s outreach and education programs.
Dalmeet Singh Chawla spoke with Heydenrych about why chemists should embrace standardization, the direction in which she hopes to lead IUPAC, and the challenges the organization faces. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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