In Australia, IYC 2011 was celebrated with a full program of events, tours, exhibitions and functions spearheaded by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute.
The RACI and partners hosted a series of key events and activities to recognise and celebrate chemistry’s role in sustainability and on-going improvements to our way of life, as well as the vital role chemically-related sciences play in modern Australia.
The International Year of Chemistry 2011 aimed to:
• increase public appreciation of chemistry in meeting world needs;
• increase the interest of young people in chemistry;
• generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry and;
• celebrate the 100th anniversary of Madame Marie Curie’s Nobel Prize for Chemistry and the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies.
The International Year of Chemistry Regional Travelling Exhibitions took place all over Australia, bringing information about Chemistry to local libraries for all the public to see and learn. Research and applications undertaken and developed in Australia were showcased as part of these exhibitions.
The exhibitions included Healthy Chemistry, which showed how staying well involves maintaining the balance of chemicals your body transforms, uses and then loses in everyday life, Nature’s Chemical Diversity, which gave an insight into how the natural world is a tapestry of known, new and yet to be discovered families of compounds with useful properties, Eat, Drink and Chemistry, which looked at how chemistry is the critical science behind the development of functional foods that have both health-promoting and disease-preventing properties, as well as being tasty and nutritious, Chemistry and the Nucleus, which looked at the ultimate nuclear family and how their half-lives are part of our lives, and Material Futures, which investigated how rising demand drives research into making more things but with less energy and resources.
National Lecture Tour
The International Year of Chemistry National Lecture Tour featured international and national chemists who visited major locations across Australia, and gave inspiring presentations that provided a link between chemistry and everyday life. The tour series took place from June to December 2011, and featured lectures from Dr Peter Tregloan, Associate Professor and Principal Fellow in Chemistry at The University of Melbourne, Professor Lynn Francesconi from Hunter College, New York, Professor Martyn Poliakoff, Research Professor at the University of Nottingham and the host of The Periodic Table of Videos, Dr Peter Wothers, Director of Studies in Chemistry at St Catharine’s College, Professor Dame Julia Higgins, a world-renowned polymer scientist and Professor Martin Chalfie, Nobel Prize winner and Professor of Biological Sciences at Columbia University.
Periodic Table on Show
In an exciting project that used art to describe the most fundamental and important document used by chemists, Australian artists joined with chemists to produce a unique interpretation of each element of the 2010 IUPAC Periodic Table.
Chemists prepared information on each element including its discovery, history, how it exists in nature and its modern day uses. This information was distributed to Australian artists who prepared individual prints of each element interpreting this information. The printmakers have varied experience; career printmakers, final year School of Art students and professionals in other areas who also have an art practice.
All prints were brought together at the end of the project to form a full Periodic Table, which was launched in Hobart on 5 August 2011. Three complete original Periodic Tables toured Australia until the end of IYC, and one was even featured in a video on the Periodic Table of Videos. The Periodic Table was also turned into an interactive online resource, viewed by people all over the world.
If you enjoyed all the events IYC offered you in 2011, then you should have a look at the events scheduled for RACI’s Chemistry Interaction 2012, featuring lectures, travelling exhibitions and a continuation of the Periodic Table tour!
- 30 April 2014, VIC
- 8 May 2014, VIC
- 8 May 2014, NSW