International Year of Chemistry, 2011

UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization IUPAC - International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry

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International Year of Chemistry 2011


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IYC Legacy

Feb 7, 2012

The International Year of Chemistry brought people together from all over the world to share an appreciation of chemistry and its importance to society. Today, chemical societies around the world are reflecting on IYC and what it means for the future of chemistry. Some are eager to capture for posterity the activities that they and their members organized and took part in throughout the year.

Recently, the UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry released a lively 12-page publication “Celebrating a Year of International Chemistry” that illustrates the huge variety of activities that the RSC and its networks have been involved with to raise awareness of the role of chemistry in society. To download this publication, visit (access more reports below)
spain web
Earlier this year, the Spanish government unveiled a new website with an inventory of its IYC activities:
Please check with your national societies as they also may have released summaries of the past year.

This website,, has served a great community of chemists and chemistry enthusiasts, who came together to share and discuss their activities. Launched just three years ago in February 2009, the website served as a clearinghouse or central point of information. By the end of 2011, 8800 individuals from 170 countries had signed up in the IYC Network, and 1400 activities and 900 events had been recorded. In 2011, the site attracted more than 400 000 visitors for just above 1.75 million pageviews.

Please browse the featured activities, but also all activities under ‘Participate.’ Use the tab ‘BY COUNTRY for a quick review of what has happened in your area. To access an IYC point of contact in a specific country, go under ‘Connect’ and browse the ‘LISTING’ and access from there the several local IYC websites.

While we must say farewell to IYC2011, I shall plea once more that you log in to your activities and update and supplement the information by linking to articles and reports that might have been posted here and there, and by adding pictures and comments.

IYC is [was] a once in a lifetime opportunity” —this is what Bryan Henry, IUPAC past president, said during his presidency in August 2007 when the IUPAC Council endorsed the plan to obtain UN approval for IYC 2011. (see more in the background section) During the year 2011, IUPAC President Nicole Moreau visited many countries including Belgium, Brazil, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Poland, Puerto-Rico, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia, and USA where she rallied behind the local chemistry community to demonstrate that chemists are indeed “solution providers” as she often calls them. In addition, she attended several IYC events in her native France. Her agenda was overbooked, but her gratitude goes to all the chemists around the world for their commitment and untiring devotion to celebrating their discipline.

The IYC celebration would not be complete without recognizing your participation and the large variety of activities you all have contributed. The IYC Management Committee, IUPAC, and UNESCO are grateful for your support and participation. Thank You.

Now 2011 has passed and the task ahead is somewhat different. Whatever your plans are for 2012, keep well and think “CHEMISTRY.”

IYC+1 cheers!

Fabienne Meyers
IUPAC Associate Director
~for the IYC Team

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** National Initiatives Reports