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Journal of the Mexican Chemical Society

versión impresa ISSN 1870-249X

J. Mex. Chem. Soc vol.54 no.1 México ene./mar. 2010




Special Issues of the J. Mex. Chem. Soc. in Honor of Dr. Silvia Bulbulian


Initially scientific research is performed individually due to the nature of human kind, and later developed institutionally. In Mexico it is necessary to engage the academic, governmental, industrial, and other organizations in order to promote and consolidate scientific and technological developments, and in this way understand social priorities. The energy issue is one of these national priorities; there are many possibilities being studied as alternative sources of energy in developed countries, such as hydrogen, wind, solar, and nuclear energies. The latter is the most used, damned and misunderstood as an alternative source of energy in many countries, including Mexico. How has our country prepared itself to respond to the energetic priorities which will be crucial in the near future without petrol? What has been done to provide alternative solutions for our society that could improve the hope of better living conditions?

Nuclear energy, used with responsibility and commitment, is and will be a partial solution to the energetic priorities in Mexico. This has been demonstrated in several countries of the world that have been using this source, which has provided a good deal of the solution to their energetic problem. Nuclear energy began in Mexico thanks to the decision of visionary people and their commitment with the development of our country. The construction of the Nuclear Center in Mexico began in 1964 and the consolidation of these efforts was realized when the activities of the now the National Institute for Nuclear Research (ININ) started.

One of the visionary people of this project in Mexico was Dr. Silvia Bulbulian, a Mexican pioneer in the development of nuclear chemistry. Silvia Bulbulian, who was born in Istanbul, Turkey, came to Mexico in 1930 at age of seven. She received her bachelor's degree in chemistry from Berzelius College, now Universidad Iberoamericana, and both her M.Sc. and Ph. D. in physics from the UNAM. In 1961, she entered the Mexican Nuclear Energy Commission, now the National Institute for Nuclear Research (ININ), where she initiated a long and brilliant career that was marked by important contributions to various fields, including nuclear chemistry, catalysis, and new materials. Her contributions are reflected in the more than one hundred scientific papers she has authored in national and international prestigious journals. Additionally, she has written several books as well as many articles for the general public.

Dr. Bulbulian has directed a number of bachelor, master and doctorate theses and has dedicated her life to the integration of groups dedicated to scientific research that now form part of the Chemistry Department of the ININ and other institutions. She has presented a great number of papers in different scientific conferences and has also organized scientific meetings like the International Symposia in Nuclear Chemistry, Radiochemistry and Radiation Chemistry.

Silvia Bulbulian has received different awards for her scientific work. In 1988 she was honored with the ININ Medal Carlos Graeff Fernández for her diffusion activities of nuclear energy, and in 1989 the ININ Medal Manuel Sandoval Vallarta for her achievements in scientific research. She has been a member of the Academia Mexicana de Ciencias since 1980 and Sistema Nacional de Investigadores since 1984.

Dr. Silvia Bulbulian is among the most admired, respected and talented nuclear chemistry pioneers in Mexico. She has earned a well deserved reputation for her scientific contributions to the field, and for the encouragement and formation of young researchers. After she left the ININ in 2007, there was a huge, empty space which will be very hard to fill. Those of us that have worked with her, have learned from her elegant and powerful insights into scientific problems, and have enjoyed her boundless energy and her great generosity, dedicate this issue to her as a token of our gratitude, publishing in it our recent research.


Dr. Ignacio A. Rivero Espejel
Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Nucleares.

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