RSC leads UK in International Year of Chemistry

06 January 2011

The Royal Society of Chemistry is organising the UK's participation in the biggest ever global chemistry experiment taking place during 2011, the United Nations International Year of Chemistry.

School-age children from all backgrounds and all nations can conduct a set of simple experiments in summer 2011. These will provide a unique worldwide data set on the quality of local water supplies, with the results to be analysed and published later in the year.

The International Year of Chemistry (IYC) launches in the UK officially on 24 January at the Houses of Parliament.

Dedicated by UNESCO as a year of global celebration of the value and achievements of chemistry, 2011 marks the centenary anniversary of Marie Curie being awarded her Nobel Prize for Chemistry, with a central theme of the year being to celebrate women's contributions to science.

On 18 January women scientists will share a chemical moment in time at breakfasts hosted around the world by chemical societies, with a 'Mexican wave' of events in each time zone handing over to the next.

Professor David Phillips, President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said that "the International Year of Chemistry is a tremendous opportunity to inspire young people to take an interest in the chemical sciences.

"Tackling the future world challenges of sustainable energy, food and water supplies, and maintaining public health and comfortable lifestyle, will require expertise in chemistry. The chemical science community is delighted to seize this unparalleled opportunity to stir passion in the young people of today to meet the challenges of tomorrow."

Dr Richard Pike, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said the worldwide aspect of the landmark year should also be a reality check for the country.

"In joining the celebrations of chemistry over the next twelve months, the UK should reflect on its links with international chemistry and its industrial and societal applications.

"There is a somewhat narrow perception of the role of the chemical sciences in this country, at a time when the expanding research communities in China, India and Japan are driving both fundamental work and wider innovation into products and services.

"We should embrace this unique opportunity to face the realities of international competition, and further enhance the extraordinary contribution that the UK can make to the world."

Related Link

IYC Logo

International Year of Chemistry

Involvement in the IUPAC International Year of Chemistry 2011 by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Contact and Further Information

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