Sadao Mori's proposal sounded promising to Du Pont chemist Howard Barth. Mori, a researcher at Mie University in Japan, had contacted Barth, an active member of the American Chemical Society, in early 1987, seeking his assistance in setting up a conference on polymer analysis under the auspices of ACS and its Japanese counterpart. While talking over the idea with Mori, however, Barth was struck by a new notion: Why not enlarge the scope of the meeting and bring scientists studying polymer characterization into the fold as well?

Such a gathering would be a novel one, for despite the natural overlap that existed between the fields of polymer analysis and polymer characterization, scientists working in each area rarely intersected on a professional basis. In Barth's view, arranging a joint conference seemed like the perfect way to break down the wall separating the two camps of polymer scientists.

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