32 No. 2
Column: IYC Update—Here We Go!
by John M. Malin
It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be working with IUPAC and its International Year of Chemistry Management Committee to organize the International Year of Chemistry 2011. In late 2009, our committee held a meeting at the IUPAC Secretariat at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA, to assess progress. We were delighted to learn of the many excellent plans and activities brought forward by national chemical societies around the world and international federations in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Websites of local, national, and regional organizations are coming online to describe the many creative activities and inspirational events being proposed.
I believe we have just scratched the surface of the chemistry community’s creativity.
But our main interest was focused on the plans by IUPAC and its partners for international activities. Full information is now available on our newly released website <www.chemistry2011.org>. You can join the IYC Network, which already includes over 900 contacts in 94 countries, get information about IYC 2011 activities, list your own plans, and share ideas with peers all over the world. The Ideas forum is especially interesting. It suggests projects involving the making of chemistry videos, developing new courses, learning about industrial chemistry, finding new ways to visualize climate change, understanding how chemistry helps sustainable development, employing virtual reality to understand chemistry, developing new visual aids for instruction, and planning activities to interest students and the general public. It’s a list that’s hard to read without stopping for breath, but I believe we have just scratched the surface of the chemistry community’s creativity.
You should know that three major Cornerstone Events are being planned so far. The IYC 2011 opening event is scheduled to be held 27–28 January 2011 at the Paris headquarters of UNESCO, our co-organizer. The overall program will include discussions of chemistry’s historical perspective, the contributions of women in chemistry, and global trends. In August, there will be the 2011 IUPAC Congress in Puerto Rico, which will feature a number of International Year activities with the special participation of some seven Nobel Laureates. The IUPAC General Assembly, held concurrently with the Congress, will include a special World Chemistry Leadership Conference that will focus on chemistry and sustainability. The year’s closing event will take place in December in Brussels, Belgium. Under the primary auspices of SOLVAY SA, the meeting will celebrate chemistry as the “solutions provider” to many of humankind’s major challenges.
Special events are also being planned for the PACIFICHEM 2010 meeting of Pacific Basin societies in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, (December 2010) and the January 2011 congress of the South African Chemical Institute/Federation of African Societies of Chemistry, which will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa.
As chemists, we know that our fundamental understanding of the nature of our world is grounded in chemistry. The molecular transformations we study and manage are basic to the production of foodstuffs, medicines, fuels, and materials—essentially all manufactured and extracted products. We rely on this science to maintain a sustainable, wholesome environment for all the earth. IYC 2011 is a unique opportunity for everyone to celebrate the central contributions of chemistry. Many more events are being planned. I urge you to watch the IYC 2011 website and this magazine for information about these new activities, and to get involved either through IUPAC or your national chemical society or federation.
John Malin <email@example.com> is the chair of the IYC Management Committee; he recently retired from the American Chemical Society after 25 years as administrator of International Activities and Awards and as a grants administrator with the Petroleum Research Fund. In IUPAC, in recent years, Malin has been chair of the CHEMical Research Applied to World Needs (CHEMRAWN) Committee.
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