May 5, 2019

Celebrate the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements

Posted by Laura Guertin

Did you hear… 2019 is a big year, if you are a fan of the periodic table. The United Nations proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements because of the importance of raising global awareness of how chemistry promotes sustainable development and provides solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health (see the official UN press release). The UN states that the periodic table is one of the most important and influential achievements in modern science reflecting the essence not only of chemistry, but also of physics, biology and other basic sciences disciplines. From the United Nations:

Chemical Elements play a vital role in our daily lives and are crucial for humankind and our planet, and for industry. The International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements will give an opportunity to show how they are central to linking cultural, economic and political aspects of the global society through a common language, whilst also celebrating the genesis and development of the periodic table over the last 150 years. It is critical that the brightest young minds continue to be attracted to chemistry and physics in order to ensure the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators in this field. Particular areas where the Periodic Table and its understanding have had a revolutionary impact are in nuclear medicine, the study of chemical elements and compounds in space and the prediction of novel materials.  —  IUPAC Secretariat

See these resources below to expand your knowledge of the periodic table.


There are several articles and resources that have been published this year, and are sure yet to come. This is a brief list to start exploring more background.


I hope you find a way to share and celebrate during this International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements! At my campus, we held a writing contest for girls in grades 3-12 with an awards ceremony that included a  keynote talk on the women of the periodic table. Perhaps consider organizing a campus and/or community outreach event during National Chemistry Week (October 20-26, 2019).

How have you engaged with this United Nations celebration? Share your IYPT 2019 activities with the world via #IYPT2019 on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.