On 1 January, the American Chemical Society (ACS) began a global, year-long observance of the International Year of Chemistry 2011 (IYC 2011) by launching an online calendar that serves as a virtual time machine, transporting the public back to some of the events and great intellects that shaped modern society through chemistry.
Called 365: Chemistry for Life, the calendar links almost 250 days of the year to events triumphal and trivial in chemistry, health, medicine, energy, the environment and related fields.
“This calendar is a wonderful way to spotlight chemistry’s contributions to everyday life,” said Nancy B. Jackson, Ph.D., who serves as ACS President during the IYC. Jackson is with the Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico. “Chemistry plays a role in almost every other scientific discipline across the globe, quite literally from astronomy to zoology. All-too-often, those contributions and the ways chemistry improves everyday life are not readily apparent to the public. The IYC calendar brings chemistry’s contributions, products and personalities to the fore. It will make a perfect home page, especially for students and teachers seeking to gain more knowledge about this key science.”
In the spirit of engaging its audience, the Society will hold a contest during the first quarter of 2011 in which visitors to the site can suggest topics for grayed-out dates—or better topics for active dates. The contents of filled-in dates are mere suggestions and not necessarily the final word. Individuals whose topics are accepted for inclusion in the calendar will be eligible for a drawing with prizes that include an iPad, an iPod Touch and an iPod nano. The 365: Chemistry for Life website will have details of the competition.
The 63rd General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry, envisioning a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind. Also being celebrated in 2011 is the centennial of the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Marie Curie for her work on radioactivity, and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies.