2011 – The International Year of Chemistry

Appearance of real linear polymer chains as re...

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In their editorial for the January Issue (you will need a Nature subscription to access this, altrenatively see the Sceptical Chymyst post here), the good folks at Nature Chemistry have reminded us that 2011 is the International Year of Chemistry:

“The United Nations has proclaimed 2011 to be the International Year of Chemistry. Under this banner, chemists should seize the opportunity to highlight the rich history and successes of our subject to a much broader audience — and explain how it can help to solve the global challenges we face today and in the future.”

The year even has a website. The UN also singles out two important areas of chemistry – neither of which have chemistry in the name – on the frontpage of the site: namely the development of advanced materials and molecular medicine. I am extremely happy to see this – materials and in particular polymers have been a long-standing interest of mine and some of the immunology work I am currently doing has implications for molecular medicine too.

There are several ways to participate in the Year of Chemistry – one of them is through an essay and video competition: “A World Without Polymers”. Students are asked to make short videos or write essays, trying to imagine what the world would be like without polymers. Furthermore there are networking events, conferences and more all across the world. So go and check out the UN’s site, participate and contribute!

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