United Nations had declared 2019 as the “International Year of Periodic Table of the Chemical Element” (IYPT 2019) to commemorate 150th Anniversary of introduction of Periodic Table by Russian Chemist Dimitri Mendeleev.
The founding partners of IYPT2019 celebrations are the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), the European Chemical Society (EuChemS), the International Science Council (ISC), the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) and the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IUHPST). The co-chairs of the International Management Committee of IYPT2019 are Professor Natalia Tarasova and Professor Jan Reedijk. Executive Committee for IYPT2019 Japan consisted of Professor Kohei Tamao, Professor Maki Kawai, Professor Kaoru Yamanouchi and other dignitaries.
In the global level, a number of activities were held to celebrate the “International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements”. This includes:
- Opening Ceremony at UNESCO, Paris on January 29, 2019
- Program in Russia, February 8, 2019
- Seminar on “Contribution of Mendeleev – a True Genius, January 2, 2019 in India
- Seminar of “The Periodic Table at 150” during IUPAC World Congress of Chemistry in Paris
- Mendeleev 150, 4th International Conference on the Periodic Table, Saint Petersburg, Russia
- Periodic Table Challenge, organized by IUPAC, throughout 2019 and many others
During 2019, program was held all over the world to celebrate IYPT 2019. India took leading role in IYPT celebrations and organized many program in different parts of the country. All these program were uploaded in the website of “International Year of Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements” (www.iypt2019.org).
The Closing Ceremony of “International Year of Periodic Table of the Chemical Element” was held in Tokyo on 5th December, 2019. In the program, the “International Management Committee of IYPT 2019” and the “Executive Committee for IYPT 2019 Japan” invited Dr. B. Saha, Director – R&D, L.R. Research Laboratories, NACL Industries Limited, Hyderabad to make a presentation on IYPT activities in India.
The program started with a musical performance. The opening session was chaired by Professor Maki Kawai. Welcome address was delivered by:
- Dr. Kohei Tamao (Chairman, Executive Committee for the IYPT2019 Japan)
- Prof. Natalia Tarasova (IUPAC Past President, IYPT MC Co-chair)
- Representative of Ms. Audrey Azoulay (Director General, UNESCO)
- Mr. Andrey A. Guryev (CEO and Chairman of the Management Board PJSC PhosAgro, Russia)
- Prof. Hiroshi Matsumoto (President, RIKEN, Japan)
- Mr. Alisher Burkhanovich Usmanov (Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation, Russia)
It was followed by congratulatory addresses by:
- Dr. Miyoko O. Watanabe (Vice President, Science Council of Japan)
- Prof. Aslan Tsivadze (President, Mendeleev Russian Chemical Society)
- Prof. David Cole-Hamilton (Past President, EuChemS)
- Dr. Bonnie Charpentier (President, American Chemical Society)
- Prof. Zhigang Shuai (Vice President, Chinese Chemical Society)
- Prof. Hyun-Joon Ha (President, Korean Chemical Society)
The next session was on “Activities in IYPT 2019” and it was chaired by Professor Ken Sakai. In this session, Dr. Lynn M. Soby, Executive Director, IUPAC made a presentation on “Periodic Table of Younger Chemists”. During 2019, nominations were invited from outstanding young chemists and those selected were assigned one element of the periodic table. In this way, 118 elements of the periodic table were filled up with photo and research activities of 118 bright young chemists.
The next program in this session was Presentations on IYPT Exhibitions from Russia, Taiwan, and Japan. The presenters were:
- Prof. Grigory Trubnikov (First Deputy Minister of Science and High Education of Russia) : “IYPT 2019 Activities in Russia”
- Prof. Mei-Hung Chiu (Distinguished Professor, National Taiwan Normal University, Graduate Institute of Science Education): “IYPT in Taiwan”
- Mr. Yoji Hisamatsu (Ehime Prefectural Science Museum; Vice-Chair, Expert Subcommittee of the Executive Committee for IYPT2019 Japan) : “IYPT Japan Exhibition Highlights”
A large exhibition was organized on innovative depiction of Periodic table and Chemistry related experiments and demonstrations and the participants were from Japan and few other countries.
After lunch break, the next session was on “IYPT Events in the World” and was chaired by Professor Jan Reedijk. He talked in detail about the global events on IYPT celebrations across the whole world. Dr. Frank Sekeris presented a video on the global events.
Dr. B. Saha then made a detailed presentation on IYPT activities in India. He informed that the kick-off meeting for IYPT celebrations in India was held on 2nd August, 2018 in NACL Industries R&D Centre near Hyderabad where a detailed plan to implement IYPT 2019 in India was worked out. The inaugural program was held on 2nd January, 2019 where a quiz competition on “Mendeleev and Periodic Table” was held. In this program, school students also delivered speeches on life and works of Mendeleev. It was followed by program in “FICCI, New Delhi” and “PMFAI, Mumbai”. The next event was at CSIR-IICT on 1st February where school students participated in a quiz contest on “Periodic Table” and speeches were delivered about “Mendeleev”. It was followed by a series of program such as : (a) Speech by Pressor Sason Shaik of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (b) Periodic Table Memory contest (c) Chemical Magic Show (d) Program at Reeds World School Coimbatore – “Chemical Elements through our Lives” (e) Science Fair on Periodic Table organized by Royal Society of Chemistry , London (India Chapter), CSIR-IICT and White Board Ventures (f) Tamil Nadu State Level IYPT Celebrations and many other program.
The delegates were highly impressed with IYPT activities in India. Professor Kohei Tamao, Chair of the Executive Committee for IYPT2019 in Japan sent the following mail to Dr. B. Saha: “On behalf of the Executive Committee for IYPT2019 in Japan, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you for delivering a wonderful presentation at the Closing Ceremony. Thanks to your sincere cooperation and support, the Closing Ceremony was a great success”. Professor Jan Reedijk, Co-Chair, Inter-Union Management Committee, IYPT 2019 wrote to Dr. B. Saha: “We are very happy that you have presented India in such an excellent way, and we are glad we had selected your country”.
After Dr. Saha’s speech, Professor Christopher Brett, Vice President of IUPAC made a presentation on “Periodic Table Challenge”. Large number of participants from all over the world participated in this global program. The website is https://iupac.org/100/pt-challenge/
To participate, one has to pick any one of the 118 elements. Then 15 questions were asked on-line. If 9 answers are correct, he goes to the next level of the challenge (Nobelium contest). Those who are successful in Nobelium contest have a chance to win a limited edition periodic table autographed by a Nobel Laureate. Entries in the Nobelium contest are posted in the website and are eligible for a popular vote in Science, Art and Education categories.
Dr. Brigitte Van Tiggelen of Science History Institute delivered a speech on “Women and the Periodic Table in Chemistry”. It was followed by a musical performance.
The next session was on “Discoveries of Chemical Elements” which was chaired by Professor Yoshiteru Maeno of Kyoto University Japan. In this session, Prof. José Ramón Bertomeu-Sánchez (Institute for the History of Medicine and Science, the University of Valencia, Spain) gave a video talk on “Early days of the discoveries of chemical elements”. Dr. Renaud Huynh (Director Curie Museum in Paris) spoke on “Discovery of radioactive elements”.
The title of the next session was: “Creation of Super Heavy Elements”, chaired by Dr. Hideto En’yo, Director, RIKEN Nishina Centre for Accelerator Based Science. The scientists working in the laboratories which discovered superheavy elements appeared on stage to celebrate the completion of the 7th row of the periodic table. Amongst them were Dr. Karlheinz Langanke(Germany), Dr. Mark Stoyer (USA), Prof. Kosuke Morita (Japan), Dr. Victor Matveev (Russia), Dr. Roderick Clark (USA), Dr. Krzystof Rykaczewski (USA), and others. Special speeches were given by Professor. Y. Oganessian and Professor K. Morita. Ms. Honoka Motai (student, Tokyo Gakugei University Senior High School) played her piano fantasy “Nihonium” to celebrate the occasion.
After this, there were two sessions on “Periodic Table for the next generation”. The first session was chaired by Mihoko Nojiri. In this session awards were given to the winners of the essay contest in Japan, followed by speeches by the awardees. The second session was chaired by Dr. Hiroyoshi Sakurai and the speakers were: Prof. Alexander Sergeev (President, Russian Academy of Science), Prof. Martyn Poliakoff (University of Nottingham, UK) [Video message], Dr. Akira Yoshino (Asahi Kasei Corporation, Japan, Nobel Laureate) [Video message], Prof. Makoto Kobayashi (KEK, Japan) “Message to the younger generation” . Short speeches were also delivered by children (Licht J. Nagamori, Riku Kakuhata, Honoka Motai).
The closing ceremony was chaired by Prof. Maki Kawai and the speakers were Prof. Qi-Feng Zhou, President, IUPAC, Prof. Bruce McKellar, Past President, IUPAP and Prof. Junichi Watanabe, Vice President, International Astronomical Union.
The program came to an end with musical performance by the “Orchestra Chimica” and dinner. In the dinner party, address was given by the orrganisers Prof. Maki Kawai, Prof. Kohei Tamao, Prof. Kaoru Yamanouchi, Prof. Natalia Tarasova, Dr. Yuri Oganessian and others.
To quote Russian chemist and science historian Lev Chugaev, Mendeleev was "a chemist of genius, first-class physicist, a fruitful researcher in the fields of hydrodynamics, meteorology, geology, certain branches of chemical technology (explosives, petroleum, and fuels, for example) and other disciplines adjacent to chemistry and physics, a thorough expert of chemical industry and industry in general, and an original thinker in the field of economy."