Organizations & People
Title: Chemistry's contributions to humanity - A feasibility
Task Group Chairman: Edwin
Appendix (updated 24 Sep 2004):
Listed below are books, pamphlets,
websites, and video/DVD
and identified to date, that contain information on the theme of chemical
contributions to society. This listing is by no means complete and
is given here to solicit help to augment this list or critique it from
the standpoint of what is included.
- The Chemical Society of Japan: a 125-Year Quest for Excellence
1878-2003, Chapter 1 Prominent Achievements, pp. 23-70, published
by the Chemical Society of Japan, 2003.
Scientific and industrial achievements of the Japanese chemical enterprise.
- Chemical Achievers: The Human Face of the Chemical Sciences,
Mary Eldon Bowen, A publication of the Chemical Heritage Foundation,
A book containing vignettes of 80 inventors and innovators in chemistry.
- Pharmaceutical Achievers: The Human Face of Pharmaceutical Research,
Mary Eldon Bowen, Amy Beth Crow and Tracy Sullivan, A publication of
the Chemical Heritage Foundation, 2003.
A book containing vignettes of 88 inventors and innovators in pharmaceutical
- Chemistry, Society and the Environment, A New History of the British
Chemical Industry, by Colin Archibald Russell (Editor)
Looks critically at the development of industrial chemistry in the UK
in the context of its effects on the environment. Early chapters look
at the shape and origins of the British chemical industry, and later
chapters describe various specific industries such as the alkali, nitrogen,
pharmaceutical, and inorganic chemicals industries. Other subjects are
polymers and petrochemicals, metal extraction and refining, and the
chemical industry and quality of life. Looks at the whole development
of industrial chemistry in the UK in the context of its effects on the
environment. Relevant to all those concerned with the social and environmental
impact of the chemical industry.
- A History of the International Chemical Industry: From the "Early
Days" to 2000, Fred Aftalion, paperback, 436 pages, A publication
of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, 2001.
A short history of chemical industry from the viewpoint of the chemicals
produced. It is a good historical reference and read from the perspective
of a chemist provides much interesting information on the contributions
that chemistry has made to society. However, it is probably not a book
for the general reader.
- Todo dia com a Quimica (Chemistry Everyday), in Portugese.
Edited by Abiquim (Brazilian Chemical Industry Association), 2003.
A 52-page brochure showing in a friendly and funny language, the presence
of chemical products in everyday life, from the wake-up in the morning
to the end of the day.
- Chemistry Europe & the future: Science and technology to improve
the quality of life in Europe, Prepared by the Alliance for Chemical
Sciences and Technologies in Europe (AllChemE) 2003.
A 44-page brochure on the contributions of chemistry to the quality
of life in Europe from innovations to the educational aspects of chemistry.
- Chemistry in Our Community, Prepared by the Royal Society of
A 10-page colorful brochure that highlights the role of chemistry in
- Brazilian Chemical Industry Association (ABIQUIM):
This website which is in Portugese and English has an attractive link
to a section entitled "You and the Chemistry". This site contains
descriptive information about the contributions that chemistry has made
to society in major areas of human need such as health, nutrition, water,
as well and pointding to the new materials and future developments from
chemistry. The site also has typical daily situations in the home, workplace
and school, highlighting the products of chemistry that are in common
use. One feature entitled " A Day with Chemistry" highlights
21 areas of everyday life and details the contributions that chemistry
makes to those activities. All vignettes of chemistry are designed to
heighten awareness of how pervasively chemistry enhances our lives.
- Nobel Museum - Laureates in Chemistry: http://www.nobel.se/chemistry/laureates/index.html
This website lists the laureates in chemistry (other fields are accessible
from the above URL) from 1901 to present. It provides a link through
each laureate to details about the person, the contribution for which
they are recognized, some personal comments by the laureate that often
includes why they studied chemistry and why they studied the problems
for which they have been recognized. The site has links to articles
that relate to the topic. This is an excellent site and is obviously
kept very current. The site design is easy to use and to navigate to
various levels of information. Information is apparently limited by
what the laureate has submitted because in some cases, the information
is very detailed, well illustrated with photographs and graphics and
in other recent laureates, it is limited. Some laureates include educational
programs such as the biochemistry laboratory on Kurt Wuthrich's page.
- Royal Society of Chemistry - Visual Elements: http://www.rsc.org/is/viselements.htm
The website provides a very interactive information base about each
element (through element 101) that is visually attractive as well as
factually informative. This site received the Scientific American Sci/Tech
Web Award in 2003. It is a site that contains some scientific information
but is also visually attractive providing a "game" atmosphere,
obviously designed to attract youngsters to use it.
- Royal Society of Chemistry - Timeline: http://www.chemsoc.org/timeline/index.html
This website provides a historical timeline through which various scientific
inventions (chemistry emphasis) and innovations are identified and linked
to other websites that give details of the discovery, invention or innovation.
Contributions to this site have come from individuals all over the world.
- Chemical Institute of Canada: Canadian Society for Chemistry -
National Chemistry Week
The Canadian Society for Chemistry has a number of outreach programs
to educate the general public and students on the importance of the
chemical sciences. National Chemistry Week is a week-long series of
events to highlight the chemical profession and educate the public about
the positive aspects of chemistry. This website links to a series of
articles about the contributions of chemistry in a variety of fields
including health and environment. There are also links from this website
to the McGill University Office of Science and Technology which also
has public education in chemistry materials on it. The Milestones in
Chemistry link on this site was not operational.
- Milestones of Canadian Chemistry in the 20th Century - Canadian
Society for Chemistry National Meeting, May 27-31, 2000, Calgary, Alberta,
This site gives a listing of the milestones that were described at this
meeting in a paper entitled, "A Retrospective Celebration of a
Century of Canadian Chemical Accomplishment at the Calgary CSC2000 Exhibition".
Unfortunately, no detail is given beyond mention of the accomplishments
nor are there links to other sites. The CSC site has a link to the milestones,
but it was not functional.
- Chemistry Milestones at NRC
This is a site that highlights milestones of Canadian Chemistry in the
20th Century at the National Research Council. It includes a wide variety
of innovations ranging from "prairie concrete", the problems
of making and maintaining concrete with the highly alkaline ground water
in the prairies, to the mass spectrometry of free radicals.
- Canadian Chemical Producers' Association
This website has a link to the CEFIC site "Chemistry and You".
- CEFIC - Chemistry and You:
This is an interesting and highly interactive site. It shows the role
that chemicals play in everyday life. You can follow five individuals
in different parts of the world through their daily activities and see
how their lives are made easier though chemistry. Also, there are three
rooms in a furnished house that you can move through pointing at various
items in the room and a pop-up tells you about the item and its chemistry.
Finally there is a supermarket game, again with chemical descriptions.
It is a site that would have some general appeal but is more likely
to attract children. This site went "live" in November, 2003
and they have had 15,000 visitors since that time.
- Chemical Heritage Foundation - Explore Chemical History: http://www.chemheritage.org/explore/explore.html
This site is being developed presently. It has descriptive information
about chemical innovations and industry. The database is at present
minimal and the site does not have any interactive aspects.
- Chemical Heritage Foundation - Publications http://www.chemheritage.org/pubs/pub-results.asp
The Chemical Heritage Foundation has published a number of books and
pamphlets that indirectly provide information on the theme of the value
of chemistry to society. For example, a 1994 publication entitled Chemical
Sciences in the Modern World, edited by Seymour Mauskopf was judged
as "The collection . . . deserves wide reading. It offers reflective
chemists the opportunity to find out how their science appears to seasoned
observers removed from the field."--Chemical and Engineering
- Science Across the World
This is a site that provides teaching materials for students/teachers
and has some 3000 teachers in 100 countries accessing the site. There
is a section entitled "Chemistry in Our Lives" that
provides student and teacher materials explaining how chemistry is everywhere
in our lives. It is designed for ages 12-16.
- German chemical societies and organizations - 2003 Year of Chemistry:
This website is more a newsletter about the celebration of chemistry
in Germany, giving details as to events in the celebration. It does
not have any factual chemical innovation information on it.
- Todo es química (Everything is chemistry) in Spanish.
This is a virtual exhibition where you can discover how chemistry is
present in everyday life and how it has contributed to the improvement
of life in many different aspects (health, nutrition, transport, sports,
- Didáctica de la química y vida cotidiana (Teaching
chemistry and everyday life) in Spanish
This website is part of a project aimed at supporting chemistry teachers,
attracting students and increasing the scientific culture of society.
It shows how chemistry is involved in our daily life (drugs, materials,
environment...) and intends to encourage the learning of chemistry with
analogies and examples that we encounter every day.
- Química en acción: aprender experimentando (Chemistry
in action: learning by doing experiments)
This is an initiative of the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares
to attract young students to chemistry. University teachers give lectures
and perform experiments in the secondary institutes and students from
these institutes visit the Pilot Plant of Fine Chemicals and other premises
of the University. In the website there is a video and a presentation
of the kind of experiments performed.
- Verband der Chemischen Industrie e.V. - Chemical innovations:
www.vci.de to Kommunications then to
Expo/ChemiDrom (German only).
There are links to information about innovations in chemistry that are
all on this site which are a series of descriptive articles such as,
the human body: a chemical factory.
- Scientific American Sci/Tech Web Awards in Chemistry:
This is a useful website that highlights new, unique and useful websites
in the chemical sciences. There are similar sites for other sciences.
- About.com - Inventors in chemistry:
A website that has many linkages to chemistry websites including inventors
- What you need to know about chemistry:
A website that provides many chemistry linkages, most of which are directed
at students and provide both factual information as well as details
for experiments. There are some sites that relate to the value of chemistry
- Australian scientists: Bright Sparcs site: http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/bs_expl.htm
This website gives the contributions and backgrounds of Australian scientists
and it has a subcategory of chemists which lists 505 chemists dating
back to 1811.
- "A Quimica em suas maos" (Chemistry in Your Hands);
Spoken in Portugese with English subtitles. Produced by Abiquim (Brazilian
Chemical Industry Association - 2002).
In 12 minutes, it shows the importance of chemical products in everyday
life and explains how the Responsible Care Program helps to improve
health, safety and environmental standards in the chemical industry.
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