Meeting in celebration of the International Year of Chemistry
5:30 p.m. Social Hour
6:15 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. Patrick Gordon, NESACS Chair, presiding
Speaker: Peter Mahaffy, The King's University College, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Chair, IUPAC Committee on Chemistry Education; Member, IUPAC Bureau.
The International Year of Chemistry: Our Life, Our Future
Abstract: As we move further into the 21st Century, the complex challenges faced by humanity and our fragile planet are drawn into starker focus. The global public wrestles with an understanding of and responsible responses to threatened water resources, global climate change, peak oil, world hunger and malnutrition, and disease. Chemists know, but haven’t always been able to communicate convincingly, that at the heart of each of these challenges are problems that chemistry can play an important role in solving. The International Year of Chemistry provides chemists and educators with the opportunity of a lifetime to inspire citizens around the world to see and understand the importance of chemistry in everyday life, and the many ways in which the tools of chemistry can be used, alongside those of other disciplines, to contribute solutions. I n this presentation I will give an overview of the history and focus of the International Year of Chemistry, its global scope, and examples of activities designed to highlight the central importance of chemistry in our lives and our future. We will also look at the present practice of formal chemistry education with a view to seeing how it might need to change to more adequately equip the learners in our classrooms to take on these global challenges.