Friday, August 12, 2011

Utilizing social media to continue the International Year of Chemistry mission beyond 2012

The American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Analytical Chemistry is co-programming with the Pittcon Technical Program and will include symposia, organized contributed sessions, and one poster session.

Utilizing social media to continue the International Year of Chemistry mission beyond 2012
Abstract Status: Accepted for Pittcon 2012 POSTER SLOT #23 03/12/12
By: Jennifer Maclachlan 

The mission of the International Year of Chemistry is "to celebrate the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind". Social media played an integral role in promoting the IYC; via IYC website,ACS Network, Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In and blogging enabling worldwide participation and sharing.

As a member of the American Chemical Society I have had the opportunity to volunteer my time to participate in numerous ACS IYC activities as well as my own IYC Cape Cod Science Cafes. Use of social media has proved successful in my mission as a Chemistry Ambassador: I spent 2011 posting IYC and chemistry related things/events/people to Linked-In, Facebook, Twitter etc. 
Another mission of the IYC is to “generate enthusiasm of chemistry by young people”. The kids at my local YMCA are looking forward to participating in the world’s largest chemistry experiment: the Global Water Experiment.

My goal is to support chemistry education on Cape Cod by inspiring the attendees from my IYC Cape Cod Science Cafes to volunteer at K-12 school(s) during National Lab Day, Chemists celebrate Earth Day, National Chemistry Week. I envision utilizing this group of chemists to create a mentoring chain of chemistry outreach in 2012 and beyond. 

It is critical to learn from the lessons that the IYC taught us about the public perception of chemistry. For instance, the IYC had its own category in the TV show JEOPARDY!; all of the contestants shied away from the IYC column and only when it was nearly the last choice did they select it. At farmer’s markets across the Nation, produce is labeled as “chemical free”. The question and focus of this session addresses how can we change the public perception of chemistry? How do we keep up our momentum without the IYC branding?  By utilizing social media: connecting, sharing and getting the message out there that chemistry is essential for life.          

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