Nationwide event to show people why chemistry is vital in their lives

01 November 2005

Know chemistry poster
"Know Chemistry"
The nationwide Chemistry Week 2005, which will underscore dramatically the critical importance of chemical sciences to the health and wealth of the country, starts on 4 November.

The theme this year of 'Know Chemistry'  will spotlight food, sport, fashion, entertainment and cleanliness to drive home the important role of chemical sciences in our daily lives and in answering world challenges of the 21st century, including global warming, sustainable energy sources and Third World diseases.

Royal Society of Chemistry President Dr Simon Campbell said today: "Coincidentally, this year is the 400th anniversary of the first appearance of the word chemistry.   How different our lives are today compared to our ancestors four centuries ago.  It is hard to believe that our mobile phones, our cough medicines and our replica football shirts would never have been invented if someone hadn't taken an interest in chemistry and the scientific study of matter and its properties."

Events are being organised nationwide in the UK and Ireland by the RSC and its members and one its main features will be a Shopping Centres tour to be staged in four major locations, where the excitement and everyday relevance of chemistry will be projected to a potential audience of hundreds of thousands of people of all ages.

"It is hard to believe that our mobile phones, our cough medicines and our replica football shirts would never have been invented if someone hadn't taken an interest in chemistry "

And through a scheme worked out with a leading imaging technology company, the RSC is announcing a photographic competition open to the public and to schools to reflect the importance of chemistry and to highlight what life would be like without the contribution of chemical scientists. 

Science Minister Lord Sainsbury will introduce Chemistry Week on Tuesday 1 November at the Palace of Westminster before the Royal Society of Chemistry President Dr Simon Campbell confers an award upon author Bill Bryson, who has worked during 2005 to promote the chemical sciences.

Key elements of Chemistry Week 2005 are:

  • Events nationwide organised by Royal Society of Chemistry and its members
  • Activities at schools: information packs mailed to schools on request 
  • Shopping Centre Tour around UK visiting: 
    • Sat & Sun 5 & 6 Nov Newcastle - Metro Centre
    • Tues, 8 Nov - Manchester, Arndale Centre
    • Thurs, 10 Nov - Brighton, Churchill Square
    • Sat & Sun, 12 & 13 Nov - Nottingham, Victoria Centre
  • Demonstrations of science of food at the Science Museum in London (6, 7 & 8 Nov)
    • Chemistry Trails round Museum all week
    • Elegant Solutions author book signing by Philip Ball
  • Eight University Challenges run by student chemistry societies around the country
  • National photographic competition sponsored by ICI Imagedata for schools and the public to illustrate what life would be like with no chemistry.  Launched on 1 November. Deadline for entries - 31 December 2005.  First prize for schools is photo printer worth 2k.
  • Books promotions: special discounts on RSC books through website
  • RSC Historic Chemical Landmark (plaque unveiling) - to commemorate 60 years of research into liquid crystals at the University of Hull on Monday, 7 November
  • Special lecture on the Chemistry of Sport at The Royal Institution in London
  • Challenges for girls in The Chemistry of Sport for Girls in Kent
  • Workshops at the University of Nottingham Trent
  • Event focusing on Chemistry of Food at Lancashire
  • Careers fair on working in chemistry in Essex
  • Promotional activity by the Chemicals Northwest organisation in Cheshire        


Chemistry Week 2005

The theme for Chemistry Week 2005 was Know Chemistry. The results of the 2005 Chemistry Week Photo Competition can be found here!

Contact and Further Information

Press Office
Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BA
Tel: +44 (0)1223 432294
Fax: +44 (0)1223 426594

Carrie Boyce
Outreach Executive
Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 0WF
Tel: +44 (0)1223 432528
Fax: +44 (0)1223 426594