Exciting discoveries made by Canadian chemists – including how to produce insulin for treating diabetes, how to extract canola oil from an inedible plant and how to detect fingerprints at crime scenes – will be commemorated as part of Canada’s 2011 International Year of Chemistry (IYC) celebrations.

“The International Year of Chemistry is a global celebration, so we wanted to highlight the role that Canadian chemistry has played in improving the well-being of people around the world,” said David Dolphin, chair of the Chemical Institute of Canada’s IYC organizing committee.

Milestones in Canadian Chemistry, as well as profiles of some of Canada’s most prominent women in chemistry, will be published on Canada’s IYC website throughout 2011. Canada will also host a series of local and national events to celebrate the IYC, including:

  • a YouTube contest, where students will be eligible to win a total of $4000 in scholarships by producing a chemistry-themed video;
  • a cross-country speaking tour by Joe Schwarcz, author, radio host and director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society;
  • the Science Rendezvous, a day-long program where scientists will interact with members of the public in malls, coffee shops and libraries;
  • National Chemistry Week, where businesses, elementary schools, colleges and universities will hold lectures, lab tours and competitions to spark interest in chemistry.


Joe Schwarcz, director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society, is available for interviews about the International Year of Chemistry and the importance of chemistry in our everyday lives. To arrange an interview, please contact:

Sarah Mayes
Chemistry Industry Association of Canada
613-237-6215 x 239