“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.”

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) is the oldest of global scientific unions. It decided it was time to celebrate the achievements in chemistry and developed the International Year of Chemistry. In 2008, The United Nations proclaimed 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry. It’s a global effort to highlight achievements in chemistry and encourage participation in on-going activities throughout the year. Students and teachers will also have the opportunity to participate in a worldwide experiment and share their results.

Why should we celebrate chemistry? With their typical humility, chemists will tell you that there is nothing in the world that does not involve chemistry. All known matter – gas, liquid and solid – is composed of the chemical elements or of compounds made from those elements. Humankind’s understanding of the material nature of our world is grounded in our knowledge of chemistry. Indeed, all living processes are controlled by chemical reactions.

– John Michael Malin & Bryan Henry

The theme of the year is “Chemistry – Our Life, Our Future.” During the year, the IYC will offer interactive, entertaining and educational activities for all ages. Goals for the International Year of Chemistry –

  • Increase the public appreciation and understanding of chemistry in meeting world needs
  • Encourage the interest of young people in chemistry
  • Generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry
  • Celebrate the role of women in chemistry or major historical events in chemistry, including the centenaries of Mme. Curie’s Nobel Prize and the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies

Teachers and students from primary to high school can participate in a global experiment focused on one of Earth’s most important and critical resources – water. Results of the experiments will contribute to a Global Experiment and become one giant chemistry experiment. Water: A Chemical Solution activities will focus around water quality, purification and treatment. For more on how to participate, the experiments and how to share your results, read more on Water: A Chemical Solution: A Global Experiment.

Anyone can host an activity to celebrate IYC. You can host an activity, project or share an idea. To be considered an official activity, you must submit your idea for review on the IYC website.

For more on the International Year of Chemistry 2011 and to locate activities near you, visit the official website.

Thank you to our reader Alan Parker for sharing this global event with us.

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