UNESCO launch of the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements

The International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements was launched on 29 January at UNESCO’s Headquarters (Room I). Events and activities will be held throughout the year to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the organization of the periodic table by Russian scientist Dmitri Mendeleev, one of the fathers of modern chemistry.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, opened the event with Mikhail Kotyukov, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, Pierre Corvol, President of France’s Académie des Sciences, and Andrey Guryev, CEO of PhosAgro. The event brought together scientists, representatives of the private sector. It will feature a lecture on the “Periodic Table for Society and the Future” by the Professor Ben Feringa, 2016 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry.

At the launch, UNESCO presented its educational initiative, 1001 Inventions: Journeys from Alchemy to Chemistry. Consisting of educational material and science experiments to help young people improve their understanding of chemistry and its numerous uses, the initiative will be brought to schools around the world during 2019.

Other notable activities organized in the framework of the International Year include a periodic table challenge:

  • An online competition to test the knowledge and stimulate the curiosity of secondary education students on the subject
  • Women and the Periodic Table of Elements, an international symposium in Murcia (Spain), 11 and 12 February
  • The periodic table at 150, symposium at the 47thIUPAC World Chemistry Congress, (Paris, France, 5 to 12 July)
  • Mendeleev Congress on General and Applied Chemistry, in Saint Petersburg (Russian Federation), 9 to 13 September

The General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT 2019) on 20 December 2017.  

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