The United Nations Organisation has declared 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry. Promoted by IUPAC, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, the governing body of chemistry world-wide, 2011 seeks to celebrate the achievements of Chemistry. The specific goals of this celebration, as outlined by Australia’s Prof David StC. Black, the Secretary General of IUPAC, are to:
- Increase the public appreciation of chemistry in meeting world needs
- Increase interest of young people in chemistry
- Generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry
- Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Mme. Curie Nobel Prize and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies.
IUPAC has created a dedicated website at which you can discover the events and activities that will roll out before and during 2011 ( to go to the site click <http://www.chemistry2011.org>or type into your browser) .
In his column in the May-June 2009 edition of Chemistry International, the news magazine of IUPAC, David highlights how Australia might kick of the International Year of Chemistry in spectacular style with the Sydney New Year Fireworks display, which is “nothing if not chemistry in action”. Not only are the fireworks Chemistry, he writes, but people watching the display world-wide on television, are dependent upon chemical technology. Thousands of people will photograph the fireworks making use of the chemistry intrinsic to color photography, be it traditional or digital. Even those who just look at the fireworks to enjoy the wonderful colours will do so because of the chemistry involved in vision itself (photo-isomerisation of retinaldimine in the eye by light energy is responsible for the visual stimulous).
Chemistry at UNE will be participating in the International Year of Chemistry in 2011.