Molecular asymmetry represents an outstanding challenge both to theoretical and to preparative chemistry since almost two centuries. The main problem in this field of chemistry is the selective preparation of one of the enantiomers of such asymmetric (chiral) compounds, from symmetric (achiral) precursors. Enantiomers are specular images of each other – structurally identical but different only in the spatial distribution of their components. This field of chemistry is reserved only to the most inventive scientists, due to its enormous difficulties. On the other hand, however, if results can be attained, these are of utmost theoretical importance and practical utility, ranging from the understanding of critical processes in living organisms to the preparation of highly demanded products of pharmaceutical industry. In spite of this exceptional significance, really fundamental new discoveries are very rare in this field. One of such discoveries occurred in 1995, when Kenso Soai (Tokyo University of Science) discovered the asymmetric autocatalysis and shortly later (in 1997) its application to the absolute asymmetric synthesis. These landmark results can be regarded as belonging to the most important ones in the whole territory of chemistry in the last decades. Asymmetric autocatalysis is already generally mentioned in chemical literature as the Soai Reacion. A group of interested scientists initiated a series of Symposia on the Soai Reaction, which started in 2008 in Lama Mocogno (MO, Italy) and continued in 2010 in Felsomocsolád (Hungary). These meetings were organized under the scientific patronage of the (Italian) National Academy of Sciences, Literature and Arts, the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia as well as the University of Technology and Economics of Budapest (Hungary). The participants of the Felsomocsolád Symposium decided to publish the most important results of this meeting, together with contributions of some eminent invited scientists under the patronage of our Academy. The result of this effort is the present Volume, which contains 15 chapters from prominent specialists of the field, including Professor Kenso Soai himself and also three other members of our Academy. We are convinced, that this concentrated synthesis of various aspects of asymmetric autocatalysis will help the future research efforts and its quality will destine the book for being a standard publication in this highly exciting field.

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