This week is IUPAC’s 23rd International Conference on Chemistry Education, and it’s conveniently being held in Toronto! I’ve played an active role by coordinating all of the volunteers, and I am also giving a talk tomorrow on Chemicals Are Your Friends in a session called “Chemistry for All Citizens of Planet Earth: Creative Ways of Communicating Chemistry.” (note: I must be a little crazy because I am doing all of this while I also started working with Planet in Focus this week as their digital media producer. I am already wiped, and the week has barely begun!)
The ICCE kicked off on Sunday with an exciting lecture by Bassam Shakhashiri, full of inspiring quotes, points regarding the importance of communicating science, and some really entertaining experiments! Towards the end of his lecture he recommended chatting with your server about the color of the candle flame the next time you’re out at a candlelit dinner. It sounds simple, but he is making an excellent point. These types of discussions are a fantastic way to get people thinking about chemistry, combustion, etc. without shoving facts down their throats. It’s just one example of an endless number of ways that you can incorporate science engagement with people in your every day life!
In addition to interesting lectures, ICCE delegates can take a break and go on a tour of Toronto’s Distillery District this Wednesday, and see fermentation in action! Not to mention a boat tour later on in the evening!
I would like to take this moment to thank all of the ICCE volunteers who are helping to make this week happen, and I’d like to send a particular shout out to those who helped move a ton of materials in the pouring rain. I wish I had photos because it was rather comical!