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Monday, 21 February 2011

Business and Chemistry - IYC 2011

The International Year of Chemistry 2011 (IYC 2011) is a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind. The unifying theme “Chemistry—our life, our future,” for IYC 2011 will offer a range of interactive, entertaining, and educational activities for all ages and is intended to reach across the globe, with opportunities for public participation at the local, regional, and national level.
The goals of IYC2011 are to increase the public appreciation of chemistry in meeting world needs, to encourage interest in chemistry among young people, and to generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry. The year 2011 will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize awarded to Madame Marie Curie—an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women to science. The year will also be the 100th anniversary of the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies, providing a chance to highlight the benefits of international scientific collaboration.
IYC 2011 events will emphasize that chemistry is a creative science essential for sustainability and improvements to our way of life.
The IYC 2011 is an initiative of IUPAC, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, and of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. It involves chemical societies, academies, and institutions worldwide, and relies on individual initiatives to organize local and regional activities.    Source: http://www.chemistry2011.org/about-iyc/introduction .  
There is a New Zealand node for the IYC which you can find at:         http://www.chemistry2011.org/connect/the-iyc-network?show_node=1385
 In 1921 Arthur D. Little wrote in an article entitled The Place of chemistry in business:
The wholly abnormal conditions under which business everywhere is now conducted lend particular interest to another function of industrial research, namely, that of finding new outlets for present products and new products for existing plants. Bankers and capitalists should realize, as they doubtless do, that the basis of credit for industrial enterprises has shifted. Past earnings have lost their significance. Audits and inventories and balance sheets tell the story of past performance. What is now required is the assurance of future earning power. That assurance can be safely based only on technical studies covering raw material supply, the adequacy of equipment, the relation of processes and methods to the best modern practice, the efficiency with which energy and material are utilized, and the status of the product in the market under the new industrial and economic conditions. Now is the time to put our house in order, to sweep out wastes and inefficiencies, to study and solve our problems, to make ourselves worthy of and ready for a sounder and broader prosperity than our country has yet known. Let us go to it.

New Zealand’s international  trade based the export of primary products has at its base, the research and knowledge that comes from chemistry.   Without that chemical knowledge, the ability to export and  the  wide variety of products we export, would not exist.    Little’s article is dated in parts but surprisingly up to date in others, but importantly makes the link between the importance of chemistry to business, and of course to international trade.

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