Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2011 - International Year of Chemistry

For some reason I thought of Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery as I typed the title of this post.  In any case, 2011 has been officially declared the International Year of Chemistry by the UN General Assembly and led by IUPAC, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, and UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.  The main goals are to "increase the public appreciation of chemistry in meeting world needs, to encourage interest in chemistry among young people, and to generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry. According to their web site:
The International Year of Chemistry 2011 (IYC 2011) is a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind. Under the unifying theme “Chemistry—our life, our future,” IYC 2011 will offer a range of interactive, entertaining, and educational activities for all ages. The Year of Chemistry is intended to reach across the globe, with opportunities for public participation at the local, regional, and national level.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC), which represents much of the chemical industry in the United States, issued a press release in support of IYC 2011.  ACC said:
Chemistry—our life, our future,” is the slogan of IYC 2011. During the year, a global chemistry experiment will be performed by many thousands of school children across the world, potentially becoming the biggest chemical experiment ever conducted.  Under the theme, “Water: A Chemical Solution,” students will focus on modules that examine the properties of their local water and the technological solutions chemistry makes available to humanity in supplying clean drinking water.  The global experiment will promote the goals of the IYC, including generating enthusiasm for science among young people around the world.

Experiment modules can be carried out by children of all ages in schools across all continents because they are adaptable to the skills and interests of students, and use equipment that is widely available at little or no cost.  Results will be electronically showcased as an interactive global data map at the end of 2011, demonstrating the value of international cooperation in science.

Besides the goals stated above, IYC 2011 will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Madame Curie’s Nobel Prize and the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies.

More information on events and how you can get involved are on their web site at

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