Life in a Chemical World
by Peter MahaffyMarch 1, 2009
Can you imagine life without the art and science of chemistry? Can you imagine a world without public appreciation and understanding of the chemistry involved in producing food, medicine, sustainable energy, clean water, manufactured products and climate change solutions?
As CIC members, we will soon have the opportunity of a lifetime to catalyze imaginative thinking by chemists, students and the general public about what it’s like to live in a chemical world. The United Nations has just declared 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry and it will be up to each of us in Canadian industry, government laboratories, universities and schools to seize this opportunity to help our colleagues and neighbours understand the many links between chemical reactivity and human activity.
IUPAC and UNESCO are at the helm in promoting the International Year and coordinating global activities. In recent years, IUPAC, best known for its work to foster worldwide communications in the chemical sciences, has taken on the challenge of promoting chemistry education and raising awareness and public understanding of chemistry. UNESCO is the educational and scientific arm of the UN, focusing on sustainable development, intercultural dialogue through education, science, culture and communication, the building of peace and the alleviation of poverty.