Royal Society of Chemistry, American Chemical Society jointly launch sustainability websites

28 July 2010

Two of the world's largest scientific societies today unveiled new websites showcasing information intended to help the general public better understand how chemistry can help solve global challenges.

Mitigating global climate change, maintaining abundant food sources and safe drinking water, renewable energy sources and medical breakthroughs in the 21st Century will be underpinned by chemistry.

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and the American Chemical Society (ACS) both launched web sites that mirror each other's content.  The websites shine a light on efforts to develop sustainable energy, provide abundant food and water, maintain environmental equilibrium and solve other emerging global challenges caused by unprecedented worldwide population growth and shrinking availability of resources needed to sustain life as we know it.

These comprehensive online guides feature links to ACS and RSC resources on creating renewable fuels, fostering safe and sustainable agriculture, combating emerging disease, confronting climate change, ensuring clean air and water, and promoting a "greener" lifestyle.

The websites are the first of several planned joint efforts by RSC and ACS to increase public understanding of the challenges facing Earth as well as the chemistry underlying these issues and their possible solutions.

The societies also hope to inspire a new generation of scientists to explore solutions to these challenges, and promote the international cooperation that both organizations believe is necessary to sustain our environment and resources for future generations.

RSC and ACS agreed late last year to form a collaborative alliance and mutually use their resources to contribute to global efforts that seek out solutions for many of the world's emerging problems.

In addition to the websites, the Alliance partners will host a series of trans-Atlantic seminars for scientists, elected representatives, government officials, the media, students and the general public on sustainability practices.

Planning for the first of these dialogues is underway for November in Washington, D.C.  The two organisations will also seek to train scientists to speak compellingly and convincingly, in non-technical terms, about the world's sustainability challenges.

ACS (161,000 members) is the world's largest scientific society and RSC (46,000 members) is the largest European society for advancing the chemical sciences. Their alliance stems from a realisation that the challenges of sustainability cannot be solved by a single country. Even before the alliance, both had initiated significant efforts to address similar issues, and both had created special website sections dedicated to sustainability-related topics:

  • RSC's Chemistry for Tomorrow's World
    A publication that identifies areas where the chemical sciences can provide technological and sustainable solutions to global challenges. It provides a comprehensive description of priority areas for action, active challenges, and upcoming policy events. Also includes links and downloadable documents.
  • ACS's Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions (GC/CS)
    A series of podcasts describing how cutting-edge research in chemistry advances the quest for solutions. Scientists describe research advances in their own words. Each podcast has a transcript, suggested reading, and learning resources suitable for the classroom. GC/CS is regularly updated with new episodes.

Related Links

ACS/RSC's Sustainability Alliance

The ACS and RSC have launched an alliance to explore and communicate the challenges of sustainability.

Link icon ACS/RSC's Sustainability Alliance - ACS site
A joint RSC/ACS set of web resources on sustainability

Contact and Further Information

Press Office
Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA