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.
Legend has it that Dmitrii Mendeleev created the #periodictable in a single day: February 17, 1869 on the Russian calendar (or March 1 on the Gregorian calendar). Today it’s “arguably the most important concept in chemistry.” #IYPT2019 https://t.co/z4LDEfAouJ 1/3
— Science News (@ScienceNews) March 1, 2019
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.
- The Periodic Table (Royal Society of Chemistry) — An interactive website to explore the periodic table
- JSTOR Daily: How Far Does the Periodic Table Go?
- Nature: Celebrate the women behind the periodic table — Nature International Journal of Science spotlights female researchers who discovered elements and their properties.
- Science History Institute: International year of the Periodic Table
- Science News: How the periodic table went from a sketch to an enduring masterpiece
- Science News: 150 years on, the periodic table has more stories than it has elements
- Science News: Extreme elements push the boundaries of the periodic table
- Science News: Here’s how long the periodic table’s unstable elements last
- TED Ed: Interactive Periodic Table — Each element has a TED Ed lesson attached!
- YouTube Playlist: All Chemical Elements in Order — From Hydrogen to Oganesson watch a video about all 118 elements.
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.