WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2011 — Imagine a day without cars, electric lights, TV, telephones, safe food, and water, medicine, clothing, your house, and thousands of other familiar objects that make up modern society. Do it, and you are imagining a day in a world without chemistry.
The American Chemical Society (ACS) explores that thought-provoking premise in a new high-definition video released before the Feb. 1 official U.S. launch of the International Year of Chemistry (IYC). A Day Without Chemistry follows a person who sees more and more everyday necessities and conveniences disappear before his widening eyes.
The video was developed in conjunction with the ACS Younger Chemists Committee (YCC) to coincide with the start of the IYC, a global, year-long observance of the importance of chemistry in everyday life. YCC advocates for and provides resources to early-career chemists and professionals in the chemical sciences and related fields.
The program is debuting today concurrently on the websites of the ACS and other chemistry organizations throughout the world. There is no dialogue in the video, but voices in various languages provide narration at the close to illustrate the global nature of the chemical sciences. The video was produced by the Digital Services Unit in the ACS office of Public Affairs (OPA).
Mick Hurrey, Ph.D., YCC past chair, traces the video’s roots to 2010 and the European Younger Chemists Network (EYCN) Delegate Assembly. “I presented the idea of a video project for IYC 2011 that could be posted online to inform millions of young people about the importance of chemistry in their lives. We came up with the idea of A Day Without Chemistry as a topic that could inform audiences about the positive contributions of chemistry to everyday life — contributions all-too-often overlooked. "
The 63rd General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry, envisioning a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind. Also being celebrated in 2011 is the centennial of the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Marie Curie for her work on radioactivity, and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies.