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ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY EDITORIAL

March 1966, Vol. 38, No. 3 Editor: H E R B E R T A. L A I T I N E N EDITORIAL HEADQUARTERS Washington, D. C. 20036 1155 Sixteenth St., N.W. Phone: 202-737-3337 Teletype WA 23 Associate Editor: John K. Crum Assistant Editors: Josephine Pechan, Virginia E. Stewart Editorial Assistants: Martha B. Wood Contributing Editor: Production

Mary Ann Wingard, R. H. Müller

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Advisory Board: O. U. Anders, F . C. Anson, C. V. Banks, R. G. Bates, W. J. Blaedel, S. Bruckenstein, H . W. Habgood, G. A. Harlow, D . M. Hercules, F. W. McLafferty, M. W. Mallett, G. H . Morrison, R. E. Thiers, J. C. White, D . H . Wilkins AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY PUBLICATIONS Director of Publications, Richard L. Kenyon Assistant Director of Publications and Director of Research Journals, Richard H. Belknap Director of Business Operations, Joseph H. Kuney Executive Assistant to the Director of Publications, Rodney N . Hader Assistant to the Director William Q. Hull

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The Westheimer Report: Where Is Analytical Chemistry? COMMITTEE for the Survey of Chemistry of the NAS-NRC, under the chairmanship of Professor Frank H. Westheimer, has pub­ lished an important report "Chemistry: Opportunities and Needs." This report, prepared with substantial financial support from the ACS will, it is hoped, pay handsome dividends to the chemical profession through its influence on the allocation of funds for basic research. It is appropriate to examine several features of this report from the viewpoint of the analytical chemist. To the question "Where is Ana­ lytical Chemistry?" in the report, the superficial answer is that, like the other traditional branches, analytical chemistry is purposely ex­ cluded to emphasize the fundamental subdivisions of chemistry. Certainly to present a solid and well-reasoned case for the whole science, it was diplomatic, if not down-right essential, to avoid internal bickering as to the relative importance of the various branches of chemistry. Accordingly, study panels were set up along functional lines, to include Structure, Physical Properties and Characterization; Synthesis; Chemical Dynamics; Chemistry of Condensed States; The­ oretical Chemistry; Nuclear Chemistry, and several others concerned more with the relationship of chemistry to other disciplines than to basic research in chemistry itself. If, now, we examine the panel reports, we find analytical chemistry represented in practically all of them, at least by inference, and under various disguises such as "Characterization of Small Amounts," "Physi­ cal Properties of Molecules," and "Instrumentation for Basic Research in Chemistry." Notable gaps, however, exist with respect to basic research in instrumentation (see Dr. Muller's column, page 129 A) and separation methods. Analytical chemists might well raise the question, "If synthesis is a functional branch of chemistry, why not analysis?" Analytical chem­ istry differs from the other "traditional" branches of chemistry in in­ deed being functional, and in using the tools of mathematics, physics, and chemistry in attacking problems involving organic, inorganic, and biological systems. It suffers, however, from its very ubiquity. Prac­ tically every experimental research problem in chemistry involves some aspect of analysis and practically every research chemist, ipso facto, is an expert in some narrow fragment of analysis. It might, therefore, appear reasonable to suppose that basic research in ana­ lytical chemistry should somehow be covered automatically by a con­ sideration of the various experimental branches of chemistry. The inadequacies noted above might have been avoided by pulling together the various aspects of analysis under a panel with a title such as "Separation, Characterization, and Measurement" which would have served to emphasize its functional coherence while still avoiding the traditional terminology. THE

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