IHS Chemical Week


International Year of Chemistry: Chemistry is our life, our future

9:32 AM MDT | September 19, 2011 | By BERNARD ROCHE

Bernard Roche, President and CEO, Arkema Inc.
For those of us who read and rely on this magazine each week, we recognize that chemistry is at the heart of all we do, and that molecular transformations are central to the production of virtually all manufactured and extracted products. This year’s celebration of the International Year of Chemistry 2011 (IYC 2011) recognizes the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind.
Under the unifying theme “Chemistry—our life, our future,” IYC 2011 events sponsored and conducted by companies and universities around the world are now offering a range of interactive, entertaining, and educational activities for all ages. As chemical companies, we can and should participate in the IYC 2011 program. The goals of IYC 2011 are:
* to increase the public appreciation and understanding of chemistry in meeting world needs,
* encourage interest of young people in chemistry,
* generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry, and
* celebrate the role of women in chemistry.
Through IYC 2011 chemical community can publicly celebrate the art and science of chemistry and its key contributions to developing human knowledge, advancing economic progress, and fostering a wholesome environment. Arkema continues to invest its R&D resources in areas that will be important for the future, such as materials for alternative energies and energy savings, food conservation, access to potable water and biobased polymers.
What’s the benefit to your organization?
As 21st century chemical companies, we all face a major challenge to recruit the next generation of innovators to propel our industry forward. Chemistry, appropriately called The Central Science, is both a deeply philosophical inquiry and an applied scientific endeavor.      The science of chemistry is fundamental to humanity’s understanding of the world and the cosmos. To ensure that first-rate minds continue to be attracted to and challenged by the central science, IYC events can excite the young mind and underscore the role of chemistry in managing natural resources in a sustainable manner. Our companies have a great opportunity to use IYC 2011 to promote the plastics industry and the good work that we do, if we just seize the opportunity.
A visit to the http://www.chemistry2011.org site would be worthwhile, if you haven’t already visited. You’ll find that through the first half of 2011, more than 1,200 activities with 600 events in nearly 100 countries have been conducted or are planned. An additional 300 ideas or so have been posted, triggering connections and exchanges of tips and good practices. All this is taking place within a network of more than 7,300 individuals in more than 165 countries.
At Arkema, our North American production facilities are incorporating IYC 2011 into all of our community outreach activities. Our research and development organization has sponsored and actively participated in IYC-themed events in several local communities near our North American headquarters in King of Prussia, PA.
We think that IYC 2011 is good for our industry, and good for our company. Please join us in celebrating our industry’s heritage.
Bernard Roche
President & CEO
Arkema Inc.
King of Prussia, PA

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