Dow Helps the World Celebrate the International Year of Chemistry

More than 150 Dow-supported events featuring Nobel laureates, thought-leaders and students, understanding of role of chemistry in solving global challenges

New York - October 04, 2011

As a global partner for the United Nations–designated 2011 International Year of Chemistry (IYC), The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW) has led an unprecedented international collaboration engaging more than 200 partners in all aspects of chemistry through events, educational lectures, exhibits and experiments across more than 40 countries.

Dow’s strategic emphasis on innovation, sustainability and recruiting the best and brightest into the industry align well with the objectives of IYC. To support these objectives, Dow is: increasing public appreciation of chemistry, encouraging students to pursue careers in science and generating enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry to solve world challenges. Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize award to Madame Marie Curie, Dow is also supporting IYC programming to celebrate the unique role of women in chemistry.

“The International Year of Chemistry presents a unique opportunity for the chemical industry to create a new understanding of the power of science to solve complex global issues,” said Andrew Liveris, Dow chairman and CEO. “Dow employees have embraced IYC in their communities and have reached out to key stakeholders to build awareness across every continent where we do business.”

Dow is supporting IYC at the local, regional and national levels and with online resources engaging a global audience supporting the major objectives of IYC:

Increasing the public appreciation of chemistry in solving world challenges. 2010 United Nations population projections estimate global population will reach 10 billion by the end of the century, increasing demand for resources and exacerbating challenges in the areas of energy and climate change, water, food, housing and health. With more than 95 percent of all manufactured products enabled by chemistry, this science will play a key role in building the future.

Encouraging interest in chemistry among young people. Building the next generation of leaders in chemistry and science-related vocations requires a strong, diverse talent pool. Fewer than half of U.S. high school graduates ready for college-level math, and less than a third ready for college level science, and IYC activities focus on making science accessible and engaging to students:

  • Two million students participated in the Dow-sponsored São Paulo’s Chemistry Olympics in June, and more than 4,000 students from 32 cities participated in the Olympics of Chemistry in Bahia, Brazil, from June through September.
  • Nearly 8,000 students engaged in the It’s Elemental nationwide video contest about the periodic table of elements with approximately 700 students submitting entries from 36 U.S. states. Dow awarded 11 $5,000 grants to winners’ high school to support science education.
  • Approximately 6,000 individuals worldwide have viewed the Celebrate Chemistry video series, featuring at-home experiments for creating a baking soda volcano, discovering the chemistry of blood and the science of baseball.
  • Dow investments in STEM education announced during IYC include nearly $10 million to enhance curriculum, train teachers and foster international educational opportunities such as the 2012 International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) along with $25 million per year over 10 years in funding of university partnerships.

Generating enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry. Under the unifying IYC theme of “Chemistry—our life, our future,” Dow initiatives showcased the power of chemistry:

  • Dow’s The Elements of Wonder interactive educational display debuted at TED 2011 from February 28 – March 4 in Long Beach, California, featuring an augmented reality display of the periodic table of elements and the ECO-IQ Challenge. Dow also participated in a panel discussion on the future of innovation with former Microsoft CTO and founder of Intellectual Ventures, Nathan Myhrvold, and Marissa Mayer of Google.
  • The Global Water Experiment launched on March 22, World Water Day, to help students from all over the globe to understand the importance of water as a resource. More than 60,000 students from primary to high school in 40 countries participated in activities, including: collecting data measuring the pH and salinity of water, constructing a solar still to purify water, and learning how chemistry is used to make drinking water safe.
  • In April, Dow sponsored the inaugural Philadelphia Science Festival (PSF), an unprecedented collaboration drawing 10,000 attendees and more than 100 organizations showcasing the important role science and technology play in everyday life. Dow developed a “Chemistry Fact of the Week” series shared via Twitter and Facebook.

Celebrating the achievements of women in chemistry. According to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration, women fill nearly 50 percent of the work force, but less than 25 percent of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) positions. At the undergraduate level, 2.5 million women hold STEM degrees compared with 6.7 million men. IYC activities focus on recognizing women in science, as well as making science accessible and engaging to students of all ages.

  • On March 1, The Future of Women in Chemistry and Science virtual conference featured 60 female pioneers in science in 60 minutes, fostering a social network of more than 28,000 views on Facebook across a dozen different countries with a total social media reach of 400,000.
  • During the 43rd World Chemistry Congress in Puerto Rico from July 31 – Aug. 7, Dow participated in a symposium entitled "Are Women Still Underrepresented in Science?," which recognized 23 women from around the world for their scientific contributions, including Dow’s Carolyn Ribes, business analytical leader for Performance Plastics at Dow’s Analytical Technology Center in Terneuzen, The Netherlands.

On December 1, Dow will participate in a global event celebrating the close of the International Year of Chemistry, joining Prince Philip of Belgium, IUPAC president Nicole Moreau, young scientists from around the world, and representatives from industry and government in a global dialogue to envision and build a better world through chemistry by 2050.

For more information on Dow’s involvement in IYC, visit

About The Dow Chemical Company

Dow (NYSE:DOW) combines the power of science and technology with the “Human Element” to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2010, Dow had annual sales of $53.7 billion and employed approximately 50,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 35 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at

For Editorial Information:

Mary Jo Piper
The Dow Chemical Company
+1 989 636-5955