5.5.  Forty Years of FIA Conferences
Elo H. Hansen
Following the introduction of FIA in the spring of 1975, the number of FIA-papers in the analytical chemical periodicals rapidly gained momentum in the ensuing years. In 1979 the Dutch analytical chemists Willem van der Linden and Gerrit den Boef arranged the very first conference aimed at Flow Analysis (FA) in Amsterdam, Holland, where emphasis was placed on the concept of sample dispersion. It was decided that the contributions from the conference were to be compiled in a special issue of Analytica Chimica Acta (see Table 1). As it turned out, both FIA and segmented and continuous flow analysis (CFA) were subject to discussion at the meeting, the latter concept being advocated by representatives from the American company Technicon, which at that time was dominating the field of CFA via their, primarily, clinical analyzers. Yet, as evidenced in the proceedings from the meeting, FIA came to dictate the agenda (actually, fate had it that Technicon went into oblivion a few years later), and that was the stepping stone for the Flow Analysis (FA) conferences which, as it was agreed at the Amsterdam meeting, were to be arranged every three years. FA II took place in Lund, Sweden, in 1982 with Professor Gillis Johansson in charge. As it coincided with FIFA World Championship in football in Spain that year, the lectures and posters during the day were in the evenings supplemented with the cheers and enthusiasm of the participants when watching the games, not the least from the Brazilian attendees (yet, as some of you might remember, Italy eventually became World Champions, while Brazil had to settle for the FIFA Fair Play Award). From then on it was confirmed that the proceedings from the meetings should be published in Analytica Chimica Acta and that an international board of FIA researchers should select the venues for future meetings at 3-year intervals. This has been adhered to ever since, and as detailed in Table 1 it is apparent that the meetings have travelled all over the continents. Beside the proceedings published in Analytica Chimica Acta, several reports have appeared in various scientific publications. The reader is referred to the paper published by Gary Christian in Analytica Chimica Acta [1], where he has made a thorough historical account of the various meetings and conscientiously compiled a list of the reports having been recorded in the literature.