International Year Of Chemistry | January 3, 2011 Issue - Vol. 89 Issue 1 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 1 | p. 27
Issue Date: January 3, 2011

International Year Of Chemistry

ACS offers resources for getting involved in the global outreach event
Department: ACS News | Collection: IYC 2011
Keywords: International Year of Chemistry, Outreach
Through IYC, children around the world can participate in hands-on chemistry activities.
Credit: Linda Wang/C&EN
Through IYC, children around the world can participate in hands-on chemistry activities.
Credit: Linda Wang/C&EN

As chemists around the world celebrate the International Year of Chemistry (IYC 2011), the American Chemical Society will be doing its part to generate enthusiasm and support among members and the general public for this unprecedented global outreach event.

“This is a very unique opportunity for chemists all over the world to make a difference and change the perception of chemistry by the public and to encourage future chemists,” says Lynn Hogue, chair of the ACS Committee on Community Activities. “This is really our year to shine.”

IYC is intended to increase public appreciation of chemistry in meeting world needs, increase young people’s interest in chemistry, generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry, and celebrate the 100th anniversary of Marie Curie winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies, now IUPAC, the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry.

In addition, “IYC 2011 provides a chance to highlight the benefits of international scientific collaboration,” says Judith L. Benham, chair of the ACS International Activities Committee. “IYC 2011 events will emphasize that chemistry is a creative science essential for sustainability and improvements to our way of life.”

Plans for IYC were initiated on Dec. 30, 2008, after the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a resolution declaring 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry. The celebration is being led by IUPAC and the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization. ACS’s IYC efforts are being led by its International Activities Committee, Committee on Community Activities, Society Committee on Education, Local Section Activities Committee, and Divisional Activities Committee.

IYC’s unifying theme is “Chemistry—our life, our future.” The four quarterly themes are energy, environment, materials, and health. ACS’s annual outreach events, Chemists Celebrate Earth Day in April and National Chemistry Week in October, will incorporate the IYC themes.

The following are ACS resources to help you get involved in IYC 2011:

Download a free virtual tool kit at that includes ideas for activities, certificates for volunteers, and templates for drafting legislative proclamations.

Join the group “2011 International Year of Chemistry—IYC—at the ACS” on the ACS Network at to communicate with other ACS members planning IYC events and activities.

Share information, resources, and best practices for planning IYC programs, events, and initiatives by subscribing to the IYC Bulletin. E-mail with “iyc-bulletin-subscribe” in the subject line.

Watch the ACS webinar titled “International Year of Chemistry 2011—Activities & Resources for Your Celebration” for outreach ideas. The webinar is archived at under Dec. 2, 2010.

Participate in the Chemistry Ambassadors program at ambassadors to help educate the public about the importance of chemistry.

Host a Science Café in celebration of IYC. Learn how at

ACS student chapters and high school chemistry clubs are eligible to apply for grants of up to $750 and $250, respectively, for IYC-related projects and activities. To apply, visit and click on “ACS Student Chapters (undergraduate)” or “ACS High School Chemistry Clubs.” The deadlines are April 8 and April 15, respectively.

The following are other ACS activities to celebrate IYC 2011:

Chemical & Engineering News will publish monthly profiles of ACS members from around the world. C&EN will also publish a special midyear issue featuring essays on global challenges by prominent chemists.

The Publications Division will publish editorials and special issues of journals reflecting IYC and its themes.

The Green Chemistry Institute will highlight an international green chemistry success each month.

The Office of Public Affairs (OPA) is encouraging members to get involved in a global chemistry experiment centered on the theme “Water: A Chemical Solution.” In this experiment, students and teachers around the world will collect data on water from their local lakes, rivers, streams, and drinking supplies and post their findings on an interactive website that will become an educational resource. The experiment is scheduled to launch in March, and a link to the website will be available on

OPA will produce special videos and podcasts of Bytesize Science ( related to the IYC themes.

ACS’s free hands-on activity newspaper Celebrating Chemistry, high school chemistry magazine ChemMatters, and student member magazine inChemistry will be publishing special issues for IYC.

ACS is highlighting a different aspect of chemistry every day through the Web-based initiative “365: Chemistry for Life.”

IYC themes and special events will be incorporated into ACS national meetings, regional meetings, and the ACS Leadership Institute.

For more information on how you can get involved in IYC, visit the official website at

Chemical & Engineering News
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