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Nation’s Birthplace Hosts U.S. Launch of International Year of Chemistry


The United Nations designated 2011 the International Year of Chemistry to recognize the contributions of chemistry to the well-being of humankind. The goals of IYC 2011 are to increase public appreciation of chemistry in meeting world needs, encourage interest in chemistry among young people, and generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry.

Andrew Liveris Ellen J. Kullman Joshua S. Boger Rita Colwell Janet Hering Swiss Federal Institute

The panelists highlighted the role chemistry plays in sustainable development in all aspects of human life. For example, chemistry is crucial to ensuring that water is safe to drink. Worldwide, more than 1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water. When added to drinking water, chlorine destroys disease-causing organisms to eliminate waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery.

A key educational and outreach component of IYC 2011 is the Global Experiment – "Water: A Chemical Solution," intended to educate children around the world about the role that chemistry plays in water quality and purification. Through the Global Experiment, launching in March, teachers and children can conduct experiments that overview a variety of concepts including acidity, salinity, filtration, and solar still water purification.

The panelists also highlighted the role of chemistry in agriculture and ensuring a safe food supply globally, as well as how the products of chemistry can help increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

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Philadelphia February 4 February 5 Franklin Institute

IYC was developed under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).

SOURCE American Chemistry Council

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