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Committee on Chemistry Education

Number: 2007-011-1-050

Title: International Year of Chemistry - Initial strategy planning

Task Group
: Anthony D Ashmore and Peter G. Mahaffy

Members: Mei-Hung Chiu, Morton Z. Hoffman, John M. Malin, Gerard P. Moss, Natalia P. Tarasova, and Maria van Dam-Mieras

Completion Date: 2008 - project completed

To develop for IUPAC a plan to secure the designation by UNESCO of an International Year of Chemistry.

A number of scientific disciplines have achieved significant benefits through securing designation by UNESCO of an International Year of X. The International Year of Physics was deemed to be a particular success by that community.

IUPAC's Bureau has indicated that it would like IUPAC to secure designation by UNESCO of an International Year of Chemistry and has asked the Committee on Chemistry Education to take the lead. Information has been gathered about other International Years and exploratory talks have been held with UNESCO officials. Securing designation requires support from UNESCO centrally, the permanent representatives to UNESCO and national commissions.

A meeting of the task group with officials and permanent representatives of UNESCO is being planned for May 2007.

August 07: At its recent Assembly on August 11-12 August 2007, IUPAC Council endorsed the plan to obtain United Nations approval of 2011 as an International Year of Chemistry. The Union invited all Adhering Organizations, Associated Organizations, and other Chemical Societies to assist with a designation that would create a strategic opportunity to communicate the central importance of chemistry in every facet of modern life. [more]

May 08:
The Executive Board of UNESCO, in its meeting of April 17, 2008, has endorsed the proposal for proclamation by the United Nations of 2011 as an International Year of Chemistry (IYC).
The wording of the proposal is as follows:
The Executive Board,
1. Recognizing that humankind's understanding of the material nature of our world is grounded in our knowledge of chemistry,
2. Stressing that education in and about chemistry is critical in addressing challenges such as global climate change, in providing sustainable sources of clean water, food and energy, and in maintaining a wholesome environment for the well-being of all people,
3. Considering that the science and application of chemistry produces medicines, fuels, metals, and virtually all other manufactured products,
4. Taking note of the ongoing United Nations initiatives in industrial best practices,
5. Aware that the year 2011 provides the opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women to science on the one hundredth anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Maria Sklodowska-Curie,
6. Being further aware that the year 2011 provides the opportunity to highlight the need for international scientific collaboration on the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies,
7. Having examined document 179 EX/47 and Add. Rev., [containing supporting letters and statements from numerous National Adhering Organizations and delegations]
8. Welcomes the unanimous resolution of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), at its 2007 Council meeting, to declare 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry and to play a lead role in coordinating and promoting chemistry activities at the national and regional levels around the world;
9. Invites the Director-General to support all efforts leading the United Nations General Assembly to declare 2011 the International Year of Chemistry;
10. Recommends that the General Conference adopt, at its 35th session, a resolution on this subject.

The proposal was placed before the UNESCO Executive Board by the Ethiopian representative and supported officially by approximately twenty five other countries.
> read more in SG column, CI July-Aug 2008 (in press)

project completed

Last update: 29 May 2008


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