International Year of Chemistry

IYC 2011

The International Year of Chemistry (IYC 2011) is a worldwide celebration of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind. This United Nations–designated initiative aims to engage the public in a year’s worth of interactive, entertaining, and educational activities in order to

  • Increase public appreciation of chemistry in meeting world needs;
  • Encourage interest in chemistry among young people;
  • Generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry; and
  • Celebrate the role of women in chemistry.

Feeding the World

By the year 2050 a projected 9 billion people will inhabit the planet. With no increase in arable land, and with harsher growing conditions expected, some experts predict the world food supply cannot sustain this population.

Will these predictions prove accurate? Can advances in science and technology avert disaster? On November 15, 2011, CHF hosted a conference to address these crucial questions.

Opening and keynote addresses were given by Calestous Juma, Harvard University, and Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, respectively.

U.S. launch

On January 31 CHF hosted an evening of science-infused entertainment to celebrate the beginning of IYC 2011. View event photos.

On February 1 prominent leaders from industry and academia gathered at CHF to participate in the panel discussion Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions, which launched IYC 2011 in the United States. 

Watch the archived webcast of this blockbuster discussion and view a slide show of event photos.

Tom Tritton and IYC 2011 in the News

Thomas R. TrittonCHF president and CEO Thomas R. Tritton recently spoke to Comcast's Jill Horner about CHF and IYC 2011. Watch the Comcast Newsmakers video.

Tritton also published an op-ed on science education and the importance of IYC 2011 in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Elemental Matters

On February 4 nearly 250 guests celebrated the opening of Elemental Matters: Artists Imagine Chemistry, an exhibit the Philadelphia Inquirer calls "brilliant" and "an alluring, mysterious feast for the eyes." Read the review.

Elemental Matters will be on display at CHF through December 16, 2011. View a slide show of works featured in the exhibit. 

See photos from the opening celebration.


It’s Elemental is supported by a grant from the Richard Lounsbery Foundation.

It’s Elemental and other programs aligned with the International Year of Chemistry (IYC 2011) have been supported by many charitable individuals and organizations. CHF acknowledges generous lead sponsorship support by The Dow Chemical Company.

Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions has been supported by the Albemarle Foundation.

Webcasting services for Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions were provided by The Dow Chemical Company with support from the American Chemical Society.

Support CHF

Find out how you can support CHF and its IYC 2011 programming.

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Sensing Change

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