From the Editor

From the Editor

With IYC well under way, it is amazing to observe the global enthusiasm for celebrating CHEMISTRY. Just look at the IYC website and see who is participating. So far, more than 1000 activities in nearly 100 countries have been registered. All this within a network of more than 6000 individuals in more than 160 countries.

But the numbers don’t tell the whole story—the diversity of activities and their origin is what I think makes IYC quite special: cultural events in Sri Lanka; a chemistry competition in Lebanon; science fairs and festivals in Canada, Chile, and Japan; webinars in the USA; a Science Café in UK, Portugal, and throughout Europe; an open-door day in Paraguay; an educator workshop in Ethiopia; chemistry stamp releases in Indonesia and Switzerland; several international competitions for essay writing, cartoons, and videos; and numerous professional workshops and conferences. These activities involve clubs, schools, colleges, universities, associations, organizations, societies, and industries. Participants represent all age groups and range in number from two to thousands.

One IYC event made an especially big splash: the launch of the Global Water Experiment “Water: A Chemical Solution” on World Water Day, 22 March. For the kick-off event, school children from Cape Town took part in the global experiment and, as the videos attest, had fun in the process. Rovani Sigamoney (from UNESCO) reports on the “splash days” on page 17. IUPAC and UNESCO owe much to the entire IYC water team for pulling this off. To help sustain this initiative all year—visit

Turning to celebrations occurring this month, I must put the spotlight on 20 May: World Metrology Day. This recurrent event, organized by the International Organization of Legal Metrology and the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), celebrates the impact of measurement on our daily lives. The day is especially noteworthy this year as the theme is “Chemical Measurements—for our life, our future,” which was chosen to echo the IYC motto and recognize the vital contribution of measurements in chemistry. “The importance of chemical measurements is well established within the International System of Units” as Professor Michael Kühne, director of the BIPM reminds us, and “the impact on our daily lives of chemical measurements is far-reaching and of enormous benefit . . .” To learn more about metrology and the day’s events, check out

To share your own IYC activity with everyone or to leave comments, log on @

Happy IYC!

Fabienne Meyers

Cover: I don’t think you understand the way I feel about the stove by David Clark, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; from CHF exhibit Elemental Matters (see feature). Courtesy of Chemical Heritage Foundation Collections, photograph by Conrad Erb.

Page last modified 16 May 2011.

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Chemistry International is the newsmagazine of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). News about IUPAC, its chemists, its publications, its recommendations, its conferences and the work of its commissions and committees is published bimonthly in CI.