The volume of published work in organophosphorus chemistry has again increased,
and several Reporters have had great difficulty in keeping within their allotted space.
Much, but not all, of the research has been of a routine and predictable nature. The
stimulus provided by the discovery of phosphonomycin is still being felt. It would be
interesting to know just how many research projects and proposals have been linked,
however tenuously, to this phosphorus-containing antibiotic. Six-co-ordinate species
are being identified more frequentIy. Some are remarkably stable and have been
isolated, whereas the intermediacy of others in reactions has been inferred from
kinetic data. Clearly, much more will be heard of these. Finally, on the instrumental
front, Fourier-transform 31P n.m.r. spectroscopy is proving to be a very powerful
tool for the detection and study of unstable intermediates, for example in Arbusov
reactions, and one can look forward to the solution of many long-standing problems
in organophosphorus chemistry using this technique. We hope to report on some of
these in Volume 9.