34th International Symposium on Free Radicals

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Mission & History


The International Free Radicals Symposium Committee is a non-profit organization authorizing and promoting the holding of scientific and educational meetings on a biannual basis on the subject of free radicals, which are important intermediates in complex chemical reactions.

Free radicals play a vital role as intermediates in many chemical reactions including those involved in combustion and chemical synthesis, as well as ones in the atmosphere and in interstellar space. The International Free Radicals Symposium was established nearly fifty years ago to bring together workers at the frontier of research in a wide variety of areas of free radical chemistry with particular emphasis on the spectroscopic identification, characterization and dynamics of radicals. The composition of the International Committee guarantees the high scientific level of these meetings.

While the theme of present meetings remain the same as for the first Free Radicals Symposium, the experimental and theoretical approaches, as well as the applications, have advanced tremendously. Whereas at that time, the presence or importance of free radicals in a particular process was typically only inferred or hypothesized, today using modern spectroscopic means of detection their presence cannot only be proven but the radicals themselves characterized in great detail. Indeed what once was seen as “through a glass darkly,” has now been illuminated brightly by lasers and other means of detection.

The study of radicals, and their radiative and dynamical properties has shed light on a vast variety of physical and chemical processes. These processes span an environment from inside every living being, through the fires of combustion, to our atmosphere, and beyond to the observable limits of interstellar space. Indeed some free radicals have been observed for the first time in interstellar space before they could be produced in the laboratory. Therefore the Free Radicals Symposia are strongly interdisciplinary with chemists, physicists, astrophysicists and environmental scientists participating, resulting in a conference unique in its creative interaction between diverse disciplines in both their theoretical and experimental aspects.


Year Location Symposium Chair(s)
1956 Quebec City, QC, CANADA P. A. Giguere
1957 Washington DC, USA H. P. Broida, A. M. Bass
1958 Sheffield, UK G. Porter
1959 Washington DC, USA H. P. Broida, A. M. Bass
1961 Uppsala, SWEDEN S. Claesson
1963 Cambridge, UK B. A. Thrush
1965 Padua, ITALY G. Semerano
1967 Novosibirsk, USSR V. N. Kondratiev
1969 Banff, AB, CANADA H. Gunning, D. A. Ramsay
1971 Lyon, FRANCE M. Peyron
1973 Konigsee, GERMANY W. Groth
1976 Laguna Beach, CA, USA E. K. C. Lee, F. S. Rowland
1977 Lyndhurst, Hants, UK A. Carrington
1979 Sanda, Hyogo-ken, JAPAN Y. Morino, I. Tanaka
1981 Ingonish, NS, CANADA W. E. Jones
1983 Lauzelles-Ottignies, BELGIUM R. Colin
1985 Granby, CO, USA K. M. Evenson, R. F. Curl, H. E. Radford
1987 Oxford, UK J. M. Brown
1989 Dalian, CHINA Postponed
1990 Susono, Shizuoka, JAPAN E. Hirota
1991 Williamstown, MA, USA S. D. Colson
1993 Doorworth, NETHERLANDS H. ter Meulen
1995 Victoria, BC, CANADA A. J. Merer
1997 Tallberg, SWEDEN M. Larsson
1999 Flagstaff, AZ, USA T. A. Miller
2001 Assisi, ITALY P. Casavecchia
2004 Taipei, TAIWAN Y. P. Lee
2005 Leysin, SWITZERLAND J. P. Maier, F. Merkt, M. Quack
2007 Big Sky, MT, USA R. E. Continetti
2009 Savonlinna, FINLAND L. Halonen, R. Timonen
2011 Port Douglas, AUSTRALIA E. J. Bieske, S. H. Kable
2013 Potsdam, GERMANY P. Botschwina, F. Temps
2015 Olympic Valley, CA, USA D. Chandler, C. Taatjes, D. Osborn

The International Board maintains the permanent Free Radicals Symposium web site which can be reached via this link.