In December 2017, the United Nations proclaimed 2019 the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT2019). The year-long celebration will coincide with the 150th anniversary of Russian scientist Dmitri Mendeleev’s 1869 breakthrough in recognising the predictive properties of elements and their compounds. From Mendeleev’s initial 63 elements, the Table now comprises a total of 118 elements – ranging from the familiar, such as hydrogen, to the more obscure, like praseodymium.
Today, the Periodic Table stands out as a universally known symbol of science, as well as being itself, an example of science’s global language. The UN decision, enthusiastically welcomed by scientists across the globe, offers a unique opportunity to showcase the pivotal role played by science and chemistry over the last 150 years, as well as the importance it continues to play in facing the challenges of today. From the environment to energy, industry to agriculture, health to education, the reach of the chemical sciences is broad and fundamental.
EuChemS, as the voice of chemistry in Europe, is one of 5 supporters of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) initiative. Along with our Members and Professional Networks, we will actively promote the International Year of the Periodic Table throughout 2019, through articles, social media, games and various activities, but also through many events at both national, European and international level.
But what if future generations are taught a Periodic Table with blank spaces? The issue of element scarcity is a growing one, and to highlight the scarcity of many crucial elements, EuChemS has unveiled a unique Periodic Table. Curious? Click here!