International Year Chemistry (IYC) at halfway point

International Year of Chemistry (IYC) at halfway point

4:40 PM, 19th July 2011
International Year of Chemistry (IYC) at halfway point


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, US: Summer is definitely here in the Northern Hemisphere, which for many means it’s time to take a break and relax. For some the summer is also a good time to reset projects, get back on track, make assessments, and make new plans. In that spirit, the  the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) takes a look at where the IYC 2011 initiative stands, crossing the halfway point.

Just looking at the IYC website – the group has observed global enthusiasm for celebrating CHEMISTRY. So far, more than 1200 activities with 600 events in nearly 100 countries have been registered. An additional 300 ideas or so have been posted, triggering connections and exchanges of tips and good practices. All this within a network of more than 7300 individuals in more than 165 countries.

Since January 1, the website has had nearly 350 thousand site visits (250 thousand unique visitors) and one million pageviews. After the stimulus of the kickoff to IYC, including a high of 3800 visits on one day in mid-January, the site now regularly attracts between one and two thousand visits a day. Over the last three months, 70 per cent of visitors have been new to the site.

“The diversity of activities and their origins are what I think makes IYC quite special: cultural events in Sri Lanka; a chemistry competition in Lebanon; science fairs and festivals in Canada, Chile, and Japan; webinars in the USA; a Science Café in UK, Portugal, and throughout Europe; an open-door day in Paraguay; an educator workshop in Ethiopia; chemistry stamp releases in Indonesia and Switzerland; several international competitions for essay writing, cartoons, and videos; and numerous professional workshops and conferences,” informed Fabienne Meyers, Associate Director, IUPAC.

“These activities involve clubs, schools, colleges, universities, associations, organizations, societies, and industries. Participants represent all age groups and range in number from two to thousands,” she added.

One IYC event that is making waves is the Global Water Experiment “Water: A Chemical Solution.” For the kick-off event, on World Water Day, March 22, school children from Cape Town, South Africa, took part in the global experiment.

The website of the Global Experiment – – is a great resource, with several new features added last month, including maps of the experiment’s results and the participating schools. The site provides tools for participants to share their experiences, stories, and pictures. In addition, the site offers several videos in addition to the protocols. So far almost 500 schools - an estimated 10000 students - have already submitted data. The key theme of the discussion will be chemistry and sustainable development.

As the year is only halfway through, it is not too late to start celebrating IYC, felt Meyers.

© WOC News





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