Tag Archives: Chemical Institute of Canada

Celebrate the 150th anniversary and International Year of the Periodic Table of Elements in 2019

The 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table of Elements has occasioned its own International Year as declared by the United Nations (UN) and, hopefully, a revival of the ‘elements cupcake’ craze which seems to have had its heyday in 2011/12. (I wrote about the cupcakes here in a March 21, 2012 posting ‘Periodic table of cupcakes, a new subculture?‘)

As for IYPT 2019, let’s get started with Mark Lorch’s (professor of Science, Communication, and Chemistry at the University of Hull) January 2, 2019 essay for The Conversation (h/t phys.org), Note: Links have been removed,

The periodic table stares down from the walls of just about every chemistry lab. The credit for its creation generally goes to Dimitri Mendeleev, a Russian chemist who in 1869 wrote out the known elements (of which there were 63 at the time) on cards and then arranged them in columns and rows according to their chemical and physical properties. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of this pivotal moment in science, the UN has proclaimed 2019 to be the International year of the Periodic Table

But the periodic table didn’t actually start with Mendeleev. Many had tinkered with arranging the elements. Decades before, chemist John Dalton tried to create a table as well as some rather interesting symbols for the elements (they didn’t catch on). And just a few years before Mendeleev sat down with his deck of homemade cards, John Newlands also created a table sorting the elements by their properties.

Mendeleev’s genius was in what he left out of his table. He recognised that certain elements were missing, yet to be discovered. So where Dalton, Newlands and others had laid out what was known, Mendeleev left space for the unknown. Even more amazingly, he accurately predicted the properties of the missing elements.

You can find the website for the International Year of the Periodic Table here and it’s still possible to attend the Opening Ceremony in Paris (from the Announcement for the Opening Ceremony Registration page),

November 14, 2018 | Today the registration opened for the launch of the 2019 International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT2019). This Opening Ceremomy will take place on Tuesday the 29th of January 2019 from 10 a.m. till 7 p.m. in Paris, France at the UNESCO House. It promises to be an exciting day with inspiring speakers and exhibitions.

Some of the speakers will be Professor Ben Feringa (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2016), Professor Youri Oganessian (Author of the Element 118 – Oganesson) and sir Martyn Poliakoff (Lead presenter of the Periodic Table of Videos).

More information about the programme and a link for registration can be found here.

International Year of the Periodic Table
The United Nations General Assembly during its 74th Plenary Meeting proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. The IYPT2019 was adopted by the UNESCO General Conference at its 39th Session (39 C/decision 60) to highlight the contributions of chemistry and other basic sciences to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The IYPT2019 is an IUPAC initiative and administered by a Management Committee consisting of representatives of the initiating organizations, UNESCO and a number of other supporting international organizations.

The founding partners of IYPT2019 are the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, the European Chemical Society (EuChemS), the International Science Council (ISC), the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) and the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IUHPST).

I checked and registration still seems to be open. Plus, they have listings for the events taking place all over the world.

On other fronts, the American Chemical Society (ACS) has a dedicated page for the IYPT 2019, which includes, amonst other things, a section on the Latest News,

Latest News
How far does the periodic table go?
First IYPT Event took place in India on January 2
Join the IUPAC periodic table challenge quiz! Which element will you choose?
Nature Chemistry‘s January 2019 issue celebrates the periodic table

As for what Canadians might be doing, I have contacted the Chemical Institute of Canada [CIC], (an umbrella organization representing the Canadian Society for Chemistry [CSC]; the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering [CSChE]; and the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology [CSCT]) and they’re busily preparing to highlight the 2019 IYPT according to one of Peter Mirtchev, one of the organizers (Conference Technical Programs Officer) for the 102nd Canadian Chemistry conference,

… at the 2019 Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition (CCCE2019), we will organize an event called Chemistry Across the Periodic Table, whereby we will highlight a single element from every abstract submitted. We’re printing the highlighted elements on the
name badges of our attendees in the hope of facilitating conversation and networking throughout the conference.

Since things can change, I suggest that you keep an eye on the CCCE 2019 website to track the progress of their plans. I’m sure they hope to organize more 2019 IYPT celebratory moments at the conference, which will be held in Québec City, Québec from Monday, June 3, 2019 to Friday, June 7, 2019. You might also want to keep an eye on the
Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC} and its affiliated organizations for other 2019 IYPT events in Canada.

Calling all Canadian chemists: about communicating your work

You never know where something is going to take you, especially not online. My Aug. 9, 2012 posting about a communications  initiative for young scientists in the UK attracted a comment from staff writer/news editor Tyler Irving of the Canadian Chemical News/L’Actualité chimique canadienne. (This is published by the Chemical Institute of Canada, an umbrella organization for three different societies: Canadian Society for Chemistry, Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, and Canadian Society for Chemical Technology.) He very kindly informed me,

I’m always looking for interesting research by Canadian chemists and chemical engineers to write about in the Chemical News section of ACCN, the Canadian Chemical News.  While I do often rely on media releases, I’m trying to spread the word that researchers should feel comfortable contacting me directly; it cuts out the middleman. Moreover, copies of our magazine are sent to the publishers of Macleans, Quirks and Quarks, and other outlets for science-based journalism.  So in a way, getting coverage with us acts as a kind of media release in itself.

Exciting, yes? He also gave some indication as to what he’s working on for the next issue,

I’m currently working on the November/December issue of the magazine, and while I have a story about catalysis already, it’s threatening to turn into a full-blown feature rather than a short Chem News article. … please feel free to drop me a note.

Here’s the contact information,

Tyler Irving
News Editor
(ETA Nov. 2, 2012: The contact telephone number was removed. Tyler says it’s easier to contact him via email.)

This is a wonderful and generous offer and I would like to suggest that before you race off to contact him about your latest work that you pause and consider how to best present the work to him. Being of a somewhat enthusiastic and impulsive nature myself, I can state uncategorically that contacting someone and sharing ‘stream of consciousness’ excitement about your work does not encourage the kind of result you hope for. Take the time to think about what the editor might want. Here are a few suggestions:

(1) intelligibility

(2) self-introduction (your name, area of expertise, academic institution or business)

(3) the same kind of brief description of your latest work that you would give a fellow chemist who doesn’t know much about your specific area of expertise

(4) the courtesy of using his/her correct name (ETA Nov. 2, 2012: I actually forgot to write his/her the first time.)

(5) if you do already have a news release, send it along with a personal note

Good luck!