International Year of Chemistry, 2011

UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Partners for the
International Year of Chemistry 2011

See all Activities

Women Sharing a Chemical Moment in Time

Activity by Mary Garson   |   added on May 08, 2010   |   International Official_iyc_logo


"Women Sharing a Chemical Moment in Time" will bring together women chemists from 37 countries on 18 January 2011 using modern communication tools; each country/region will arrange its own event(s) and individual breakfasts will be linked together by SKYPE/video, and by using Twitter.

MARCH 2 update  --- post-event video available on YouTube; click here.

JANUARY 10 update  --- pre-event video available; click here.

JANUARY 15 - The FINAL list of registered breakfast functions/contact points is available; please see down below to the right and use this to plan linkages. Check out also the two Powerpoint files made available to all to share.

STOP PRESS: follow us on Twitter; The name of the account is IYC_Breakfast and you can see the twitter profile here:

We recommend tweeters add the hashtags #IYC2011 and #chemhandshake to their tweets. This then allows anyone to follow tweets that are using these tags (without being signed up to twitter or following IYC_Breakfast) by accessing the following two webpages:


We have created Women Sharing a Chemical Moment in Time to bring chemistry women together worldwide for a breakfast meeting on a single selected day in 2011 as a pre-launch event for the International Year of Chemistry. In addition to networking, the aim is to celebrate the pivotal role of Marie Curie in chemistry, and to reflect on the current landscape for women chemists.  The day chosen for the international breakfast event is Tuesday January 18th, that is in the week preceding the official launch of IYC2011 in Paris. During the event, dIfferent breakfast events in similar time zones are linked up with each other  by modern communication tools such as Skype so that we may celebrate a special moment of chemical time together, thereby creating a global chemical handshake.

If the information given below gives you some ideas on how the event might work in your community, please get in touch by email ( and tell us what you have in mind.  We would very much like to have this activity running in a number of venues worldwide. We have interest and enthusiasm from colleagues in over 20 countries worldwide to participate in the international component of this networking event, and (as of December 28) 17 different countries have so far registered breakfasts; in some countries there are multiple events taking place in different cities,  It is not yet too late to register your event, but since other breakfast events will need to know of your  activity in order to plan a link with you, we do encourage you to register as soon as possible, and certainly before January 8. So please add your event to the growing list of  breakfasts shown on this website, contact other breakfasts in your region, and suggest a time when you might link up with them. You will need to provide a Skype contact address for your event.

On the day, regional or international connections can be made using Skype or other VOIP/conferencing methods, or simply using SMS text messaging if all else fails. We are also considering whether social networking sites such as Twitter should be used. We are preparing a short Powerpoint file that you may share with your local audience, and a short video will be placed on UTube. These are made available for all, but particularly for breakfast events where the use of Skype is not permitted for security or other reasons.  Photographic images and video footage from some events will be transferred to Paris for use during the official launch of IYC on 27 January 2011. More information on these communication/recording issues will be provided to registered breakfasts  in early January.

How does an event run? What to do next? In my own location of Brisbane (Australia), we have booked a suitable central venue that is not too expensive to hire, and where a reasonably-priced breakfast is served, since of course we would like many chemistry postgraduates to attend. The “communication needs” of the event are essentially a laptop, a data projector and a screen. We have approached local companies and universities to support the event and to sponsor the participation of younger attendees, particularly postgraduates and/or schoolchildren, or who might provide "lucky door" prizes.  We are also considering whether to have a speaker or not. Our aim is that the venue and event be accessible to as many women chemists as possible. We have sent out a date claimer leaflet by email to our local chemistry networks, and we have a draft program of activity for the breakfast that includes a period of time for networking with other breakfasts in our region. A different model which also captures the spirit of the initiative is for a small groups of individuals to get together for a simple breakfast, either in a cafe or even in the home of a participant; again all you really need is a laptop and an internet connection!


Topic: networking, celebrating chemistry Audience: women chemists


Michael Edmonds | Sep 27, 2010 11:51PM

What a brilliant idea! We were thinking of planning a simialr women's event later in the year. January 18 seems very early, as some people/students may still be on holiday.

Will discuss this great idea further with our local chemistry branch

Siobhan Murphy | Oct 26, 2010 03:02PM

Great Idea. We are hoping to run this in different locations in Ireland. University of Limerick have agreed to organise one of the networking breakfast meeting.


Tafadzwa Nkhoma | Nov 07, 2010 10:11PM

that is a good idea does anyone know of any arrangements in Krakow or anywhere in Poland where the Chemical moment will be happening.

Magdalena Bendová | Nov 24, 2010 05:54PM

We are gladly joining this event from Prague. I'd like to know who will be coordinating the connections between the individual events so that we can plan our breakfast for the most suitable time.

Mary Garson | Nov 24, 2010 06:56PM

Thank you all  for the various messages.  You can either look over the list and decide whom you might like to contact "electronically" on the breakfast day - January 18 - or we can help you put some communication links in place. We will provide details on how to do this very soon!


We expect some other breakfast meetings to be registered over the next few days, and this may impact on how the linkages are set up.

We would very much like to obtain photographs of breakfast functions for publicity use during the IYC year, and also to get video footage of different breakfasts interacting with each other. Please let me know by email if you are able to assist with either of these requests.

Regards Mary Garson

Mary Linington | Dec 02, 2010 10:19AM

Exciting idea! I'd like to join but will be on a ship around S America on the day - but that should offer an opportunity to two - there may be other women chemists on baord or we might link to those in S America..

Mary Garson | Dec 02, 2010 11:57AM

Mary - there is a breakfast in Columbia that you may be able to link up to, also one in Florida.  You will need an internet connection on board! We are also looking at Twitter as a possible communication tool.


Mary Garson

Lourdes Echegoyen | Dec 03, 2010 07:47PM

Thanks for the marvelous idea.

I am interested in hosting a breakfast on Jan 18 at UT El Paso, TX.

In addition to female faculty in the chem department (already on board), I plan to invite all (female) chemistry majors, graduate students, local community college students enrolled in chemistry courses and local chemistry teachers and their female students.

My idea is to give presentations about the central role of chemistry in the comforts of modern life and the role that women (starting with Marie Curie) have played in chemistry. If time permits, we also plan to give a tour of a couple of research labs to our guests from outside the university.

David G Evans | Dec 17, 2010 03:35AM

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Beijing Section in conjunction with the British Embassy and supported by the Chemical Industry and Engineering Society of China (CIESC) and Chinese Chemical Society (CCS) are organizing a breakfast meeting on 18 January in the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse which will be attended by female Academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering, other senior women chemists as well as younger researchers and students. Dr. Richard Pike (CEO of the RSC) will address the breakfast and introduce a pre-recorded short video message from a prominent UK female scientist who will talk briefly about her career and will end by asking the Chinese guests: “what message would you give to aspiring young female scientists in the UK?” Then  during breakfast, a number of Chinese guests will have the opportunity to record their message to young female scientists in the UK to a video camera. This recording will then be immediately sent to the UK and edited overnight ready to be played to the audience at the corresponding event in Burlington House, London, which will take place several hours later.

We would like to link our breakfast meeting (held between 0730 and 0930) by video with other breakfasts in the appropriate time zone. Beijing time is GMT+8 so the same as Perth and 2 hours behind Brisbane.

David Evans

Chair RSC Beijing Local Section

Beijing University of Chemical Technology

Magdalena Bendová | Dec 23, 2010 01:32PM

Hi everybody,

regarding the technical means, my institution will allow Skype only reluctantly, due to security concerns. Is there anyone out here who is able and willing to connect with us in Prague over a phone and webcam using a LifeSize system?

Looking forward to your replies


Vanderlan Bolzani | Jan 03, 2011 01:43PM

Congratulations for this excellent idea, in terms of a global day to celebrate the role and importance of women in science. In everywhere, the women journey has been long but, we are being recognized by our great contribution in science. Working with sense and sencibility the woman, as scientist, professor, management, and in other activities, has contributed markedly to the sustainability of the planet.


Vanderlan da silva Bolzani

Full professor – São Paulo State University

Past president of Brazilian Chemical Society (SBQ)

Vanderlan Bolzani | Jan 03, 2011 01:56PM

We have several activities dedicated to IYC-2011 in Brazil, which will be organized in different parts of our country diring this year. January is holidays in Brazil, and we are going to joint to our colleagues in the Networking Breakfast Activities on January 18, in São Paulo city, Brazil. 

Mary Garson | Jan 04, 2011 11:57PM

A list of registered breakfast meetings/contact details/time zones details has been added to the website today. Please take a look and start to use it to plan your communication links to other breakfast functions.

Maria Filomena Camoes | Jan 06, 2011 09:43AM

The chemistry women of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon- Portugal will be joining the  initiative "Women Sharing a Chemical Moment in Time" as a pre-launch activity of IYC networking over breakfast  on 18 January 2011 between 9:00h and 10:30 h (GMT). The event is being publicised and an open invitation is addressed to female chemistry students, technicians, teachers and researchers from  nearby or further away institutions.  Since we commemorate the first centenary of Madame Curie’s Nobel Prize, we find it most appropriate to select as our local role model Branca Edmée Marques (1899-1986) who was a Professor of Chemistry to generations of Portuguese men and women and, between 1925 and 1928, was a post-graduate student of Madame Curie, in Paris, having later, 1936, started the first  research laboratory (Laboratório de Radiquímica) of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. Professor Branca Edmée Marques was a guest of the French Government to the celebrations of the first centenary of Marie Curie’s birth. On this occasion the Portuguese women chemists are also celebrating several other first centenaries, namely those of the University of Lisbon  and  its Faculty of Sciences, and the Portuguese Chemical Society, where they are  currently the face of many relevant activities in chemistry.

Maria Filomena Camões

Petr Fedotov | Jan 09, 2011 11:06PM

Breakfast networking meeting in Moscow, Russia will be held on Jan 18, 2011 at 11:00 local time (GMT + 3) in the Institute for problems of chemical physics (Russian Academy of Sciences) in an auditorium which is equipped with all modern facilities needed for videoconferences.

Video-connections will be established (if it is not possible in some cases loud phone connections will be used) with participants of similar events in Russia and CIS countries:

- Baku (Azerbaijan), organizer: State Committee of Azerbaijan Republic for problems of family, women, and children;

- Minsk (Belarus), organizer: Commission of the Belarus Republic for UNESCO;

 - Ufa (Republic of Bashkortostan), organizers: regional branches of D.I. Mendeleev Russian Chemical Society in Bashkortostan and Division for Chemico-Technological Sciences of the Academy of Sciences of Bashkortostan;

- Kursk, organizers: Kursk branch of D.I. Mendeleev Russian Chemical Society;

- Syktyvkar, organizers: Komi Institute of Chemistry of the Ural Brach of Russian Academy of Sciences;

- Kazan, organizers: State Kazan Technological University.

Lourdes Gisella Duarte Pereira | Jan 14, 2011 12:53AM

In Paraguay we gonna celebrate the "Women Sharing a Chemical Moment in Time" the january 18th at 18:00 at local time (GMT -3) in the Information Center of the United Nations, i hope that someone can contact us by Skype, here is mi user name in skype is lourdes.gisella.

Anyway, I'll be connected from the previous day to contact people from Europe, Africa,Asia to see if we  may send a greeting to Paraguay so we can display it in our meeting because we hardly match any country to make at the same time.



Tina Morgan Ross | Jan 14, 2011 05:21PM

What a great idea! We are having the chemistry students gather for a causal Networking Breakfast January 18th, 10am (EST), Park Science Building Rm 273, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. To celebrate "Women Sharing a Chemical Moment in Time" we will try to link up via Skype, twitter and take pictures.

Myra E. Flores | Jan 17, 2011 01:12AM

Hello Everybody

Is my pleasure to announce that Peru will join this global event "Women sharing a chemical moment in time". It will be hold in Marriot Hotel, Miraflores-Lima on january 18th al 17h (local time, GMT-5). More info

Grettings from Peru

Myra E. Flores

skype myra.evelyn.flores.flores



Rini Muharini | Jan 17, 2011 06:56AM

Hi, Everybody.

Finally, I am so greatful to announce that department of chemistry education, Tanjungpura University, Indonesia, will join the global event "Women Sharing Chemical Moment in Time" . The chemistry women lectures and students will have breakfast meeting in chemistry education campus on January 18, 08.00 am (local time). We will try to use skype and record the activities with video. More info

We would like to have handshake to all of you.

Greeting from Indonesia

Rini Muharini

Rebecca Jane Austin-Datta | Jan 18, 2011 02:42AM

Hello fellow Chemistry enthusiasts! 

I will be sharing a Marie Curie themed lunch in Jacksonville, Florida, USA with my High School chemistry students and collegues on Tuesday 18th January.  Thank you for the powerpoints and film :-)

Breakfast just was not practical for us (it is exam week) but our school lunch time on the US East Coast corresponds with breakfast on the US West Coast, so please forgive me for 'tweaking' the timeframe so that we can share this global handshake with you.

Happy 2011, let's really spread the word this year that the magic that is Chemistry, is our Future.

Best regards from Florida

Rebecca Jane Austin-Datta

Fabienne Meyers | Mar 02, 2011 04:20PM

And now ... here is the video to share!

See it here on YouTube !

Want to submit your own activity or comment?

In order to do so you need to be part of the IYC network. Please or sign up now.

Join the IYC Network

Share |