Emeritus Fellow – Dick Jones

Professor Richard (Dick) Glyn Jones has been awarded the status of Emeritus Fellow in Division IV. This 2020 appointment reflects his standing as a scientist and continuing service to the division and to the Union.

Dick joined IUPAC in 1997 at the Geneva meeting of what was then known as the Macromolecular Division. He did so as an Observer of the activities of the then Commission on Macromolecular Nomenclature at the invitation of its Chairperson, Professor Bob Stepto. At the end of the meeting, at which he confesses to having been on a very steep learning curve, he emerged as a Titular Member and the Task Group Leader of the dormant project, ‘Definitions of Terms Relating to the Structure and Processing of Sols, Gels, Networks, and Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Materials’. The project, a so-called pool project being undertaken jointly with the Inorganic Division, was eventually published in 2007 and has since been highly cited.

In the interim, the IUPAC reorganization had taken place, the Division had been renamed the Polymer Division and the Commission had morphed into the Subcommittee on Polymer Terminology (SPT), of which Dick had become Secretary in 2004 and Chairman in 2006, a post he held until standing down at the Istanbul General Assembly in 2013. Despite still being in full employment until the end of 2004, by then he had also taken responsibility to lead the revision of the ‘Compendium of Polymer Terminology and Nomenclature’ – the so-called Purple Book – through to completion, a monumental task leading to publication in 2009. However, he had also become Task Group Chair (TGC) or Co-chair of two other projects, and was a Task Group Member (TGM) of seven other projects.

By now Dick has overseen the completion of five projects as a TGC, with a sixth having just completed public review prior to publication. Of the other projects of which he has been a TGM, eight have been published; this and his active membership of eight more projects, two as TGC, demonstrate his continuing dedication to the purposes of the Polymer Division. One of the remaining projects of which he is TGC, ‘Terminology and Nomenclature of Inorganic and Coordination Polymers’, is again a project pursued jointly with the Inorganic Division but its scope and scale surpasses the pool project with which he was launched into IUPAC. It is an update of a document originally published in 1985, and though much of the polymer work is now complete, welding the considerations of the Inorganic Division is as challenging a task as revising the whole Purple Book.

Aside from Dick’s central role in polymer terminology and nomenclature, he was central in helping to establish the Interdivisional Subcommittee on Materials Chemistry, and he also played a part in the Subcommittee on Polymer Education in its early years. Although health issues in recent years have compelled him to be absent from annual meetings of the Division and be less active within these new subcommittees, he nonetheless keeps abreast of their progress.

In 2008, as a member of both the Editorial Board of Polymer International and of IUPAC, and working in collaboration with the Editorial Director of John Wiley and Sons, Dick was instrumental in the establishment of the Polymer International – IUPAC award in recognition of “creativity in applied polymer science or polymer technology.” Dick was also a judge for this award for many years. This profile must also mention his role as Guest Editor of the 2017 special issue of Chemistry International entitled ‘The IUPAC Polymer Division Turns 50’, which included his own contribution ‘IUPAC Polymer Division at 50 Years’. Within it, all our activities were represented along with special articles detailing some of the idiosyncrasies of our division and its international experiences. Tying this disparate material into a coherent and cohesive style was quite an achievement!

It should be apparent by his many contributions that Dick has given a great deal of time and energy to IUPAC over the years. Less apparent, but perhaps more important, is the fact that he has always striven to raise the quality of IUPAC output while respecting its traditions. He has supported many colleagues throughout the years and has always lent a sensitive ear and voice to those new to IUPAC, building projects and documents tirelessly with them. He has done much to raise the standard of SPT meetings and the expectations and level of participation of its members. It should be remembered that SPT is one of the most productive IUPAC subcommittees and much of this stems from Dick’s tireless work. His participation is ongoing and he is always there to help and support members of IUPAC. As an example, in Paris in 2019 he gave an SPT Invited Lecture to more than 40 attendees, keeping them rapt with interest as he talked through IUPAC’s and SPT’s history and work. This was an unforgettable moment that summed up much about what he has done and is continuing to do for IUPAC: work closely and respectfully with its members, above all with an undying urge to see that the very best work is done, and in a fully inclusive way.

In recognition of his enormous contribution to projects, and his leadership and his dedication more widely to the purposes of the Polymer Division and IUPAC.

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