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Great Challenges in Organic Chemistry
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The current scope of <a href="http://www.hongjiachem.net/organic-chemicals/"
target="_self">organic chemicals </a>typically covers the theory and practice of (i) new
synthetic methods and methodologies, (ii) isolation and synthesis of natural products,
(iii) organic reaction mechanisms based on physical and theoretical chemistry approaches,
(iv) bioorganic and medicinal chemistry, (v) organometallic chemistry, (vi) molecular
recognition and supramolecular chemistry, and (vii) polymers and materials chemistry.
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These categories or branches have been established over years, reflecting the
evolution of this field of chemistry on the basis of organic chemistry principles. The
evolution will naturally continue in organic chemistry, which is based on clear
understanding of the two- and three-dimensional chemical structures, as well as their
relations to stability, reactivity, and other chemical properties. This characteristic
feature of organic chemistry is very unique and unparalleled to any other disciplines in
chemical sciences. Thus, the structure–property, structure–activity, and structure–
function relationships of <a href="http://www.hongjiachem.net/organic-chemicals/new-
organic-materials/" target="_self">new organic materials </a>compounds will keep serving
as core themes in organic chemistry research.
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It is very clear that organic chemistry has been thriving by expanding its territories
through exploration of the interfaces with other science disciplines. Thus, organic
chemistry is undoubtedly serving as the core chemical science for the advancement of
science and technology with clear goals to benefit human life and society.
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Accordingly, one of the grand challenges in organic chemistry is how to explore new
frontiers at the interface of <a href="http://www.hongjiachem.net/inorganic-chemicals/"
target="_self">inorganic chemicals </a>and other science or technology fields. In the
past, the majority of interdisciplinary research was between two disciplines in two
different laboratories. But now it is necessary to take multidisciplinary approaches,
involving multiple disciplines and laboratories, for tackling significant scientific or
technological problems. Under these circumstances, organic chemists must evolve into
open-minded researchers who can effectively communicate and collaborate with other
researchers from different disciplines. In order to achieve this goal, organic chemists
should have good knowledge of other disciplines to understand the whole picture of the
project. Thus, another grand challenge for organic chemists is how to evolve into a key
player in a multidisciplinary research project by cultivating the ability to effectively
communicate and collaborate with other project team members from different disciplines.
Then another closely related grand challenge is how to cultivate the next generation of
organic chemists who can survive and thrive in the broad interfaces of organic chemistry
and other science/technology disciplines. Since traditional organic chemists enjoyed
research only in their own comfortable playgrounds, these will be great challenges in
research and education that organic chemists must face.
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