Boletín de la Sociedad Chilena de Química
versión impresa ISSN 0366-1644
Bol. Soc. Chil. Quím. v.47 n.1 Concepción mar. 2002
A VERY NEAR HORIZON OF CHEMISTRY
It is very interesting to observe the development of the fundamental scientific knowledge during the last 80 year from a chemistry perspective. During the last century, after the abrupt initiation of the atomic theory during years 20, many steps have been surpassed each time at a higher rate. Three fundamental aspects are advancing at an accelerated rhythm: the development of more efficient methods to isolate and/or to prepare new compounds; the use of sophisticated analytical tools of precision to characterize chemical species; the application of theories, precociously mature and each day more effective, to model the chemical behavior. Likely, the description of innumerable ionic and discrete molecular species, imaginary isolated and with a well defined identity, is promptly obtained, conforming that which, I think, constitutes the classic stage of the contemporary chemistry.
However, the technological advance experimented during the third part of the past century has changed completely the bases of the classic chemical knowledge; the identity concept of the chemical species, strengthened by the strong ionic-covalent interatomic unions, begins to disappear. The authenticity of the chemical phenomena, as well as the concentration and solvent in solution effects, anomalous stoichiometries, or the existence of anisotropic solids lead finally to pay attention in the cleverest interactions. Bridge hydrogen bonds, Van der Waals strength interactions, hydrophobic interactions, among others, begin to have more evident reality and importance. Although this fact faces us to a certain grade of intellectual uncertainty, it also opens perspectives that we have never imagined 30 years ago. Among these is what G.A. Ozin (Royal Chem. Soc. Chem. Commun. 2000, 400) has recently denominated "panascopic chemistry, a chemistry which needs a long way, still to run over, where the chemical ingenuity may construct, since molecular species, ordered entities with dimensions in nanometers, micrometers or still higher scales; a chemistry where organization is achieved by molecular recognition and strengthened by the simultaneity of many interactions, generally, clever.
Needs, such as complexity of the analysis tools, and benefits, such as the projection of chemical knowledge to other knowledge environs, that this new chemistry represents, lead to transdisciplinarity. This chemistry is being known as a requisite to advance in fields such as the science of materials, molecular biology, or physiology. Its value is essentially established in the capacity of this knowledge to design complex chemical species with predetermined properties or to describe and comprehend natural laws that lead to data organization and transmission in complex systems.
The development of chemistry in Chile, from a perspective point of view of the scientific development of the country is good. This is observed, among others, in the interest of the investigators in internationally actual themes. For this I agree with the opinion of B. Rivas, President of the Council of Sciences of FONDECYT, declared during the last Journeys of the Chilean Society of Chemistry, with respect that the Chilean chemists are very well prepared to construct the nucleus of interdisciplinary macroprojects directed to knowledge creation in topics of great actual interest and promissory future. The chemistry of clever interactions and its contribution to disciplines such as the science of new materials or the nanosciences is one of the paradigms that, I think, could prosecute such enterprise.
Dr. Guillermo González M.
Departamento de Química
Facultad de Ciencias Químicas
Universidad de Chile
Las palmeras 3425