The Periodic Table of Younger Chemists was conceived by members of the International Younger Chemists Network (IYCN) during the IUPAC General Assembly held in Brazil in August 2017 and led by Dr. Christine Dunne. The aim was to highlight early-career chemists (from high school to established career scientists) by linking them to an interactive Periodic Table. The intended outcomes were to show the diversity of chemistry (country, language, and career), to increase the visibility of IYCN and IUPAC, as well as to engage countries outside the National Adhering Organizations belonging to IUPAC in order to encourage participation in future IUPAC events, such as the World Chemistry Congresses or General Assemblies. The project also aimed to raise awareness of STEM educational issues.
Beginning in July 2018 and ending in July 2019 at the World Chemistry Congress and IUPAC General Assembly in Paris (France), a diverse group of 118 outstanding early-career chemists from around the world who embody the mission and values of IUPAC were individually awarded an element of the Periodic Table. The resulting Periodic Table highlights the diversity of careers, creativity, and dedication of the young chemists leading us into the next century.
The elements were revealed over time in order of scientific discovery. For each element, a profile of the selected chemist was uploaded along with links to additional scientific information on each element. Winners are profiled on the IUPAC100 website and received a certificate from the IUPAC. Elements 113 – 118 were presented with their awards at a ceremony held on July 8 at the Paris 2019 Congress of IUPAC. Individual winners received certificates, letters, paperweights, pins, and stickers.
The winners ranged from undergraduate students to full professors and industry researchers. There were equal numbers of male and female winners, representing over 50 different countries from all parts of the world. A video showing all the awardees is available at the IUPAC YouTube channel. The completed Periodic Table of Younger Chemists and individual profiles of each awardee is at the IUPAC100 site.
This project was admirably led by a team from the IYCN led by Dr. Christine Dunne (USA) with participation by Leonardo Scarabelli (USA), Irene Rodriguez Meizoso (Sweden), and Nnanake-Abasi Offiong (Nigeria). They were assisted by IUPAC volunteers Dr. Laura McConnell, Professors Hemda Garelick, and Mary Garson, as well as by Dr. Lynn Soby, Enid Weatherwax, and Dr. Fabienne Meyers from the IUPAC Secretariat.