From “Makromolekel” to POLYMER: A Centennial Celebration of Staudinger's “On Polymerization”
Hermann Staudinger published “On Polymerization” in 1920, insightfully describing the chemical structures of the molecules that were produced by polymerization reactions. This POLYMER Special Issue commemorates the “On Polymerization” Centennial by celebrating contemporary polymer science and engineering with papers that describe the myriad and complex macromolecular architectures and arrangements that have generated the incredible variety of polymeric materials that exist today. Ironically, Staudinger produced his seminal work during the Spanish flu pandemic and this Centennial Special Issue was published during the COVID-19 pandemic. The prominent and indispensable role of polymers in today’s world is exemplified by the ubiquitous masks and gloves that were integral to our achieving a modicum of normalcy during these extremely difficult times.