1. Editorial

This edition is a lot thinner than the last one and definitely less sophisticated. Many readers use IR to analyse wide ranges of materials often by searching libraries or perhaps more frequently relying on group frequency correlations. Presenting liquids for transmission analysis is pretty nearly impossible to get wrong – a drop of analyte between a couple of KBr windows but solids are more of a problem. In our first ever edition Geoff Dent told us all how to make a decent mull – in this edition we do the same for liquid paraffin mulls. Some of you only use KBr disks and perhaps have never made a mull – this is a mistake. Equally folk like me who never use disks are missing out as well. So I hope you will have a look at our article.My co-author Fabrice Birembaut from Southampton University did all the work – of course!

As many of you will know, F-T Raman is now an accessory offered by instrument companies to fit on their FTIR benches. The method can be really valuable as an analytical tool particularly if the two complimentary spectra – infrared and Raman are recorded and used together. Just as infrared has its sampling problems so to a limited extent does Raman. In FTR there is a tendency to heat the sample with the laser source – a problem which can easily be tamed. In the second article if this edition I have run through the various ruses available to F-T Raman users.

We have as usual some contributed offerings……

– Rapid Quantitative Analysis of Organophosphorous Pesticide Formulations by FT Raman spectroscopy – Constantinos Georgious

– Conformational and vibrational analysis of N-3 Pyridinythmethanesulfonamide – Nicolay Dodoff

Over the last few months several people have talked to me about catalysis and the value of IR and Raman in following reactions. I find that in this very specialised area,  few people are real experts but the vast majority is bewildered by the experimental complexities. So – for the next edition, I promise a micro review based on my experience.

Turning now to more bureaucratic matters – the readership continues to grow, but your literary effort declines! We must have more copy from you. PhD students – all of you will write an introductory chapter as part of your thesis surveying the field in which you are doing your research. Many if not most supervisors ask you to write this chapter first so that you can collect the history, survey the literature and collect your ideas. Why don’t you ask your supervisor if you can offer a shortened version to IJVS? It certainly wouldn’t do your CV any harm especially if you persuade your supervisor to let you do it on your own. You folks are young – your fellow readers are young – get it?

Last year we published an article by Dr Neil Everall [Volume 3, Edition 2]. The editor of ‘Spectroscopy’ was impressed by it and asked our permission to re-publish the paper in his journal. It duly appeared recently in Spectroscopy 15, 38-46 (2000) and he tells me that it has been very well received in the States.

Patrick Hendra

Editorial Soapbox

It has just been announced that children in the UK taking public examinations in science and technology from the summer of 2001 will be allowed to use either standard or American spelling! Needless to say, some outrage has been heard on BBC radio programmes. The explanation from the educational establishment is that ‘the scientists’, but mainly ‘the chemists’ have agreed on standardisation of useage throughout the World and the UK must fall into line. This is quite outrageous. We the ENGLISH will define how OUR language is to be spelled and used. If others cannot spell and use the language badly it reflects badly upon their teachers. Can you imagine what would happen if the use of French typical of Le Provence de Qučbec was imposed by a bunch of scientists upon Metropolitan France – Paris would explode!

The decision by we, the scientific community is rather odd. English is full of illogicalities, but to replace some by others seems to me to be crazy. Thus, SULPHUR becomes SULFUR, but PHOSPHORUS is not to change. Why not FOSFORUS? Because of Fluorine perhaps?

Why do we not drop the use of sodium and use the German useage Natrium? And what about Aluminium? This unique element enjoys the mis-spelling Aluminum in the US whereas all other elements ending in “UM” keep their “I” throughout the whole World!

No – I know it’s totally arrogant, but we the English will define how our language is to be used, just as the French define their beautiful tongue, the Spanish theirs etc, etc,. If the colonists could not spell and spoke lousy English, they should have been corrected years ago. They were not and it is far too late now. Thus there are two related languages – ENGLISH and AMERICAN. Let us leave it at that.

Perhaps Sir Winston Churchill hit the nail on it’s tip, when he commented that Britain and America were two countries separated by the same language!

Gordon F. Kirkbright 
Bursary 2001

In 1985 a fund was established as a memorial to Gordon Kirkbright in recognition of his contributions to analytical spectroscopy and to science in general. The fund is administered by the Committee of the Association of British Spectroscopists (ABS) and by the ABS Trust. The award enables promising young scientists of any nation to attend a recognised scientific meeting or visit a place of learning.

Applications are invited for 2001 Gordon Kirkbright Bursaries. The award is not restricted to spectroscopists. 

The closing date for entries is 31 March, 2001.

Full further information contact:

John Chalmers, 
VS Consulting, 
14 Croft Hills, Tame Bridge, 
Stokesley, TS9 5NW. U.K. 
Fax: +44 (0)1642 714306; 
email: vibspecconsult@aol.com