Human Element | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 85 Issue 7 | p. 4 | Letters
Issue Date: February 12, 2007

Human Element

Department: Letters

I read with interest "Dow's Emotional Pitch" about the advertising campaign that was created for Dow by Chicago-based DraftFCB (C&EN, Dec. 18, 2006, page 36). In 1989, the ACS Chicago Section mounted an advertising campaign that had the same theme.

When the Chicago Section sponsored the first National Chemistry Week celebration outside of Washington, D.C., in October 1989, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) was the host location and I was the organizer. The section decided to dedicate a Saturday, called National Chemistry Day, with the focus on educating students about how ubiquitous chemistry had become. Given that DuPont no longer used the slogan "Better Living through Chemistry," I believed we needed a new rallying theme for chemists.

Readers can visit the Chicago Section website ( and find a few of the photos that we took that day for the record. A wide-angle shot of the front of IIT's then-chemistry building, Wishnick Hall, displays the theme, "Chemists are the Human Element" (

I gave the Chicago Section permission to use that theme (as well as the obvious companion symbol, Hu) to print on white T-shirts that the section gave as prizes and souvenirs at its special events. The person who created the shirts also included a copyright symbol with my name.

Peter Lykos

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