International Year of Chemistry 2011

Chemistry—Our Life, Our Future

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) is pleased to join industry and professional organizations throughout the U.S. and around the world in celebrating the International Year of Chemistry (IYC)—2011.

IYC 2011 is a unique opportunity to embrace chemistry’s important contributions to the quality of our lives: the economy, health and medicine, energy efficiency, a cleaner environment, national security, food safety, clean water and much more. The IYC slogan captures ACC’s views perfectly: “Chemistry: our life, our future.”

ACC Commends U.S. Senate for Resolution Designating 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry

By designating 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry, the U.S. Senate is recognizing the role that chemistry plays in enabling a safer, healthier, more rewarding future for all Americans.

Background and Goals

With the active support of ACC and the U.S. government, in December 2008, the U.N. General Assembly designated the year 2011 as the “International Year of Chemistry.” The effort was led by IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) and UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

The Goals of IYC 2011 Are 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.
  • Celebrate the 100th anniversary of Madame Curie’s Nobel Prize and the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies.

 IYC Hits Prime-time TV on Jeopardy!

The popular game show Jeopardy! featured questions related to chemistry and IYC in an episode that aired Tuesday, June 21, 2011. 

With 9 million daily viewers, Jeopardy! provided the perfect venue for publicizing IYC’s messages and goals—to celebrate chemistry and the contributions that it makes to society, and to increase the interest and public appreciation of chemistry.

In fact, you can even watch the Jeopardy! contestants answer clues related to the International Year of Chemistry, and test your knowledge!

ACC Members: Click here for more information on how your company can get involved in IYC 2011 (login required).

Listen to the U.S. Launch of IYC (From February 1)

The U.S. launch of the International Year of Chemistry 2011 took place February 1, in Philadelphia, where world-renowned experts discussed chemistry solutions to global problems.

This special event, "Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions," is archived online and available for viewing here.

Panel Speakers Included:

  • Andrew Liveris, President, CEO & Chair, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Ellen Kullman, Chair & CEO, DuPont
  • Janet Hering, Director of Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
  • Joshua S. Boger, former Chair & CEO, Vertex Pharmaceuticals
  • Rita Colwell, University of Maryland, College Park, former Director, National Science Foundation
  • Dan Nocera, Henry Dreyfus Professor of Energy and Professor of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

ACC's President and CEO Cal Dooley at the
International Year of Chemistry Launch

The IYC Global Experiment

During the year, a global chemistry experiment is being performed by many thousands of school children around the world, potentially becoming the biggest chemical experiment ever conducted.

Under the theme, “Water: A Chemical Solution,” students focus on modules that examine the properties of their local water and the technological solutions chemistry makes available to humanity in supplying clean drinking water.

Experiment modules can be carried out by children of all ages in schools across all continents because they are adaptable to the skills and interests of students, and use equipment that is widely available at little or no cost. Results will be electronically showcased as an interactive global data map at the end of 2011, demonstrating the value of international cooperation in science.

Descriptions of the Four Experiment Modules:

For more information about the Global Experiment, please contact: Mary Ostrowski, 

For more information about ACC’s IYC activities, please contact: Jenny Heumann,

IYC Key Documents and Links: 

IYC Partner Links:

Additional Resources: