Ugly Symmetry and Beautiful Diversity: An Investigation in Structure Stability and Molecular Diversity

Shu-Kun Lin,  President of MDPI and  Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Diversity (
MDPI, Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI), Matthaeusstrasse 11, Basel CH-4057 Switzerland.
Tel. +41 79 322 3379, Fax +41 61 302 8918, E-mail:,

Summary: A new and quantitative relation of five parameters (higher symmetry, higher similarity, higher entropy, less information and reduced diversity) has been proved and a novel method of diversity assessment has been established. A new pairwise similarity formula has been defined and used for molecular diversity assessment.  This gives diversity values which decrease as expected with  increase in species similarities. A new understanding of symmetry concepts will be presented (A nontechnical summary for news release is given at the internet web-site: ). We understand why symmetry is beautiful: Symmetry is beautiful only because it is related to higher stability. Because of the same reason, symmetry is in principle ugly as it is related to information loss and diversity loss. Of course this new theory can be applied to structural stability and process spontaneity related to the understanding of the nature of chemical processes. Based on this theoretical idea, a project of Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI) has been launched  in Switzerland since 1996 to collect and preserve chemical samples in a universal molecular data-base and for purposes of bioactivity testing.

Biographic summary for Dr. Shu-Kun Lin is at