FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | October 19, 2009

Teachers and Students Nationwide receive The Merck Index during National Chemistry Week

WASHINGTON, October 19, 2009 – High school chemistry teachers and students nationwide are receiving copies of The Merck Index this week, through a partnership between the American Chemical Society and Merck & Co, Inc., for the Society’s National Chemistry Week celebration, Oct. 18-24.

More than 12,000 copies of The Merck Index, published and donated by Merck, are being distributed to teachers and students by local sections of the American Chemical Society. The Merck Index is an internationally recognized handbook of chemical, pharmaceutical and biomedical information. It contains essential data on more than 18,000 compounds we know as drugs, fragrances, cosmetics, food supplements, pesticides and standard laboratory reagents.

Madeleine Jacobs, ACS Executive Director and CEO, said “This book has been on the scientists’ bestseller list for decades, and is very important for anyone studying chemistry or anyone who simply wants to know more about the millions of compounds that make up our world. We’re delighted to make it the cornerstone of this year’s National Chemistry Week celebration.”

“Science education is key to the future of our country,” said Maryadele O'Neil, Editor, The Merck Index. “The Merck Index continues to be a premier reference book used by generations of educators and students for authoritative information on thousands of compounds used in scientific research. The book features the periodic table of the elements which is an important component in learning how chemical compounds are formed. Understanding these principles will help us find solutions to the global challenges of clean water, safe food, energy, national security and sustainability."

The theme of National Chemistry Week is “Chemistry—It’s Elemental” in celebration of the 140th anniversary of the periodic table of the elements. National Chemistry Week is an annual outreach program that engages students, teachers and the public in events that promote a better understanding of the role chemistry plays in solving societal challenges and improving everyday lives. For more information, visit


Media Contact:

Charmayne Marsh