The first IUPAC MACRO Symposium, Prague 1957
The Symposium (9–14 September , 1957) contributed significantly to the establishment of the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry.
It was a unique world scientific meeting at a time when Czechoslovakia was strongly isolated from world events. The idea of organizing a macromolecular symposium in Prague appeared at the meeting of IUPAC board in Rehovoth (Israel) in 1956 where Professor Wichterle participated.
Thanks to Otto Wichterle´s enthusiasm, relations and a pinch of luck the approval of the Prime Minister was obtained and the preparation of the Symposium could start without delay.
As it usually goes, a small but energetic group of members of the Laboratory of High-Molecular-Weight Compounds of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, together with other academic institutions and universities, managed to organize, within less than a year, a five-day symposium with more than nine hundred active participants from twenty countries. Two main lectures (prof. P. Doty, Harvard a prof. H. Mark, Brooklyn), 18 plenary lectures (H. Benoit, G. M. Burnet, R. Cerf, A. V. Kargin, W. Kern, M. Magat, S. S. Medvedev, H. Morawetz, F. H. Muller, D. C. Pepper, A. Peterlin, G. V. Schultz, R. Simha, G. Smets, E. Thillo, O. Wichterle, K. Ziegler) and 180 communications in 15 thematic groups were translated into 4 languages. Translators were specially trained for a whole year in advance. Discussions were held the following day after each lecture.
Translated from text of Ján Biroš (2007)