100 Years of Macromolecular Science

N. Gabriel Lemcoff, Charles E. Diesendruck, Ehud Keinan

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

1 Scopus citations


The year 2020 is very special for polymer science. One hundred years ago, Staudinger, considered by many the father of polymer chemistry, published his famous manuscript “Über Polymerisation”, describing several polymerization reactions such as the polycondensation of dicrotonic esters, as well as the polymerization of formaldehyde and styrene.1 In 1922, he coined the term “macromolecules”, which we still use to this day to describe covalent polymers.2 However, back in those days, polymers, as described by Berzelius, had a completely different meaning;3 therefore, Staudinger's work was not very well received by the chemical community, to say the least.4 Indeed, Staudinger had to embark on a personal crusade in order to gain support for his concept of covalent macromolecules, as chemists at the time did not accept that molecules above 5 kDa could be made. Staudinger's pioneering work was eventually recognized when he received the 1953 Nobel Prize in chemistry “for his discoveries in the field of macromolecular chemistry”. Therefore, following our previous issues of Rosarium Philosophorum on Physical Organic Chemistry, Structural Chemistry, Organic Synthesis and Chemical Biology, this year, the Israel Journal of Chemistry opens with a new Rosarium Philosophorum on Macromolecular Chemistry, in which leaders in the field describe key historical contributions, their own contributions and personal views, as well as their perspectives on the future of polymer science. The result is a marvelous compilation that can serve as a guide for young (and less young) chemists looking to contribute to this important and impactful aspect of chemistry. It is also a short history lesson for those just curious to learn more about the beautiful chemistry started by Staudinger.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-8
Number of pages3
JournalIsrael Journal of Chemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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