Canada Post will introduce a limited-edition stamp next week to celebrate the work of world-renowned University of Toronto chemist Dr. John Charles Polanyi, and the 2011 International Year of Chemistry.

Polanyi’s groundbreaking research forged a new field of chemistry – chemical kinetics – which examines the rates of chemical reactions. Polanyi pioneered the use of infrared chemiluminescence, using extremely weak infrared emissions from newly formed molecules to understand how chemical reactions take place. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work in 1986.

Designed by Tejashri Kapure, the Canada Post stamp features a photograph of Dr. Polanyi and a graphic image representing his work in Scanning Tunneling Microscopy. While the official launch date of the stamp is October 3, Canada’s 2011 International Year of Chemistry organizing committee will unveil the stamp on October 1 at 8:00 p.m., as part of the University of Toronto’s Chemistry Nuit Blanche event.

Chemistry Nuit Blanche is a new event initiated by students at the University of Toronto that aims to present chemistry to the general public in a fun and interactive manner. The event will showcase a dynamic panel discussion and will also include booths demonstrating chemistry topics prevalent in everyday life. Crowds will be engaged as they walk amongst over 20 booths and learn about the diversity of chemistry and how it affects and improves their lives. Booths from Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, BioChemistry, Astronomy, Pharmacy, Forensics, Forestry and many more will all be present

The 2011 International Year of Chemistry recognizes the 100th anniversary of the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies, the same year in which Marie Curie won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for her pioneering work on radioactivity.

Media availability:

Dr. John Charles Polanyi, University of Toronto
Dr. Karen Burke, Canadian Society for Chemistry
Mr. Eugene Knapik, Canada Post

WHEN: 8:00 p.m., October 1, 2011
WHERE: Sydney Smith Terrace, adjacent to the University of Toronto’s Chemistry Building at 80 St. George St.

For more information:

Bobbijo Sawchyn
Chemical Institute of Canada
613-232-6252, ext. 226

Eugene Knapik,
Canada Post

IYC Gold Sponsors

Amgen, Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC), Imperial Oil, LANXESS Inc., Maxxam Analytics, NOVA Chemicals

IYC Silver Sponsors

Canexus Corporation, Croplife Canada, BASF, DOW Chemical Canada Inc., Newalta, Woodbridge Foam, Xerox Research Centre of Canada