Women Sharing a Chemical Moment in Time

A chemical handshake in Brisbane (top) placed on Twitter is mirrored in Ascension, Paraguay (bottom), 20 hours later.

March 3, 2011 - Zürich, Switzerland

From Chemical International, March 1, 2011, vol. 33, no. 2

by Mary Garson

On the morning of 18 January 2011, women chemists from 44 countries leapt out of bed with purpose and shared breakfast together. They were taking part in the international networking event “Women Sharing a Chemical Moment in Time,” a “prequel” to the official launch of the International Year of Chemistry (IYC2011) in Paris on 27–28 January.

Worldwide there were close to 100 breakfasts, involving roughly 5000 women chemists, making it one of the largest gatherings of women scientists worldwide. A number of countries held multiple breakfasts; in Australia there were 9, while in both the UK and the Netherlands, there were at least 10 different functions. . . .

A huge dump of snow paralyzed transportation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, but despite this, a few extremely hardy souls actually walked to the breakfast event held there by the Chemical Heritage Foundation—commitment indeed! In Brisbane, Australia, a disastrous riverside flood required that breakfast be moved to a different location at only 24 hours notice before the event; it was quite a challenge to inform all 60 participants of the new venue. Some countries held “breakfast for dinner” events that better suited the timelines of their working chemists, while Japan held a women chemists tea party. . . .

(Link to CI)

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