On Thursday 20 September RSC Belgium welcomed Prof David Cole-Hamilton of St Andrews University and current vice-president of EuChemS, the European Chemical Society, to the British School of Brussels to give us his view on 'Chemistry and the Future of Life on Earth'. David also helped had out the prizes for our 2018 Chemistry Challenge competition and gave the audience one of the first public views of EuChemS new version of the periodic table of the elements. Next year, 2019, will be the United Nations / IUPAC Year of the Periodic Table.
David (pictured below) described some of the major problems facing the world and what Chemistry can do and is doing to alleviate them.
The future of life on earth is threatened by a whole range of potential problems, many of them man-made. They range from ones that have been around since biblical times such as famine, pestilence, disease and war to the more modern ones of pollution of the land seas and sky, depletion of natural resources and the population explosion. In his lecture David examined the role of chemistry in combating all of these problems.
New periodic table
2019 will be the UN/ IUPAC Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT2019) and EuChemS has devised a unique Periodic Table (see below) that highlights the issue of element scarcity and was officially launched on 19 September. The new Periodic Table is available for free download now and a video game based on it will be available from 22 January 2019.