International Year of Chemistry, 2011

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International Year of Chemistry 2011

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Contact Detail

Dr. Julian Tyson Ideas Activities
  • Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Amherst, MA, USA
  • Email
    Tel 413 545 0195
  • Sector:

    Tertiary Education
  • Organizations:

    University of Massachusetts Amherst
    American Chemical Society
  • IYC Interests:

    Increase the public appreciation and understanding of chemistry
    Encourage interest of young people in chemistry
  • Web Site:


I received an award from the ACS Analytical Division for a public lecture-demonstration on Dec 8th entitled "How much arsenic do we eat? Analytical chemists make light work in tracking potentially harmful chemicals.”

Professor Tyson is looking to recruit 35 members of the public to his research group who will be supplied with equipment after the lecture to measure the arsenic content of rice. In the lecture he will explain the role of chemical analysis in answering the question, β€œIs it safe to . . .?” with particular reference to the arsenic compounds in our environment. He will show how this information can be obtained by examining the interaction of light with molecules and atoms and will demonstrate how to measure arsenic with the Gutzeit modification of the Marsh test. He will describe on-going research in his group by undergraduates and teachers who are developing a procedure in which the image of a colored spot, taken with a digital still camera, is processed to get a number that can be related to the arsenic concentration. The newly recruited members of his group will use this method.

If you would like to participate in the arsenic-in-rice study, please email Professor Tyson at with some relevant information.