American Chemical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry jointly launch sustainability websites

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2010 –– Two of the world’s largest scientific societies today unveiled new Web sites showcasing information intended to help the general public better understand how the science of chemistry can help solve global challenges such as global climate change, abundant food, safe drinking water, new energy sources, and medical breakthroughs looming in the 21st Century.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) both launched Web sites that mirror each others content. The ACS Web site — — seeks to shine a spotlight on efforts to develop sustainable energy, provide abundant food and water, maintain environmental equilibrium and solve other emerging global challenges caused by unprecedented worldwide population growth and shrinking availability of resources needed to sustain life as we know it.

This comprehensive online guide features links to ACS and RSC resources on creating renewable fuels, fostering safe and sustainable agriculture, combating emerging diseases, confronting climate change, ensuring clean air and water, and promoting a “greener” lifestyle.

The Web sites are the first of several planned joint efforts by ACS and RSC to increase public understanding of the challenges facing Earth as well as the chemistry underlying these issues and their possible solutions. The societies also hope to inspire a new generation of scientists to explore solutions to these challenges, and promote the international cooperation that both organizations believe is necessary to sustain our environment and resources for future generations.

ACS and RSC agreed late last year to form a collaborative alliance and mutually use their resources to contribute to global efforts that seek out solutions for many of the world’s emerging problems. In addition to the Web site, the alliance partners will host a series of trans-Atlantic seminars for scientists, elected representatives, government officials, the media, students, and the general public on sustainability practices. Planning for the first of these “dialogs” is underway for November in Washington, D.C. The two organizations will also seek to train scientists to speak compellingly and convincingly, in non-technical terms, about the world’s sustainability challenges.

ACS (161,000 members) is the world’s largest scientific society and RSC (46,000 members) is the largest European society for advancing the chemical sciences. Their alliance stems from a realization that the challenges of sustainability can’t be solved by a single country. Even before the alliance, both had initiated significant efforts to address similar issues, and both had created special Web site sections dedicated to sustainability-related topics:

  • ACS’s Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions (GC/CS)
    A series of podcasts describing how cutting-edge research in chemistry advances the quest for solutions. Scientists describe research advances in their own words. Each podcast has a transcript, suggested reading, and learning resources suitable for the classroom. GC/CS is regularly updated with new episodes. (
  • RSC’s Chemistry for Tomorrow’s World
    A publication that identifies areas where the chemical sciences can provide technological and sustainable solutions to global challenges. It provides a comprehensive description of priority areas for action, active challenges, and upcoming policy events. Also includes links and downloadable documents. (


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Doug Dollemore