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“Global issues such as environment, energy, food, natural resources, diseases, and safety are synchronized internationally and directly influence our daily life. Sciences, technologies, economy and culture are also interconnected globally and affect each other. We live in this dynamically changing wonderful world. It is chemistry which is able to solve or find fundamental solutions to all these problems. (

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Atoms and molecules are building blocks of life and materials and these are what chemistry covers.

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Human beings expanded their knowledge to the fundamental properties of atoms and molecules and start to apply the knowledge to the understanding of life and materials. Time has come when humanities, social science, and philosophy may need chemical thinking to understand the fundamentals of life and materials. The public also starts to understand the concept, importance, and necessity of chemistry.

In Korea, chemical industry is the second largest in economic scale and fifth or sixth in the world. The heavy and chemical industries started in the 1960s and served as the locomotive for the Korean prosperity. It is chemistry in the center of all although the slogans have been changed continuously from heavy and chemical industries to advanced industries to new materials industries and recently to green industries. Advance of chemistry strongly influences the progresses of its related industries and society.

Accordingly, the Korean Chemical Society (KCS) is renewing its roles and goals in a new light and repositioning its direction to lead the society responsibly and eventually improve the world. KCS is composed of the most and the best brains in chemistry and chemistry-related science and technology fields in Korea. Now, KCS is asking the members of the society to participate and to lead voluntarily in the development of chemical industries, education, and many chemistry-related issues….“ (– The above passage is quoted from the 2011 Welcome Address by Prof. Nakjoong Kim, President of the Korean Chemical Society)

Responding to the KCS President's request particularly in the year of the IYC, the members of the society have organized three projects of ‘ChemConnect’, ‘ChemConsort’, and ‘ChemCongress’ (Figure 1) and declared IYC in Korea on March 8, 2011 with slogans of ‘Chemistry, our life, our future!’, ‘Chemistry, resource reservoir!’, ‘Chemistry with world, chemistry for future!’, and ‘Chemistry, essential element for hope!’ (Figure 2).

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Figure 1. Front page of IYC 2011 Program Leaflet.

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Figure 2. Declaration of the International Year of Chemistry in Korea by the KCS President Prof. Nakjoong Kim on March 8, 2011.

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  • ‘ChemConnect’ is intended to provide an ‘Advanced and Integrative Platform for Future Chemical Industry’ and includes events such as ‘Exhibition of Cutting-Edge Chemical Industry and Science Technology’, ‘Network through Business PR and Job Fair’, ‘Presentation and Discussion of New Products and Research Achievements’, and ‘Policy Discussion of Energy, Sustainability and Environment’.
  • ‘ChemConsort’ is designed to promote ‘Public Approach and International Understanding’ with action items of ‘Launching Ceremony’, ‘Korea Science Festival’, ‘Fine Arts with Chemical Mind’, ‘Chemistry Column-Dong A Science Journal’, ‘UCC-Chemistry Visual’, ‘IUPAC Activities’, ‘Chemistry Ambassador Program’, and ‘IYC2011 Digital Archive’.
  • ‘ChemCongress’ is organized to encourage ‘Academic Activities and Discussion’ and consists of a good number of gatherings such as ‘Worldwide Korean Chemist Fair’, ‘10 International Forums’, and ‘Green Chemistry Forum’.

All events of the foregoing triple ‘CC’ are arranged throughout the year as announced on the society’s IYC website located at http://www.chemistry2011.or.kr/.

The Korean Chemical Society is the first learned society among those established in Korea. In 1946, 53 chemical scientists led by the late Dr. Taikyue Ree (Figure 3), the first President of the KCS, founded the KCS. Since then its body grew up to 6 500 annual fee paid personal members, 140 organization members, and 25 cooperation members in 2011. The organization of the KCS can be highlighted by 11 regional chapters, 12 divisions, 4 editorial boards, 13 acting committees, and an executive body.

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Figure 3. Founding President of the KCS, Dr. Taikyue Ree (1902–1992).

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The KCS provides various platforms for chemical scientists to exchange ideas, to recognize outcomes, and to promote research activities. Academic meetings constitute one good form of platforms and consist of two annual meetings and frequent division meetings in all areas of chemistry. The KCS publishes the monthly membership magazine ChemWorld (renamed in 1991 from Progress in Chemistry and Chemical Industry launched in 1961) to provide the members with chemistry-related current information. Scientific periodicals also published by the KCS are Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS, monthly journal launched in 1980), The Journal of Korean Chemical Society (JKCS, bimonthly journal launched in 1949), and the quarterly magazine Chemical Education launched in 1974. Free-access links to web archives of the periodicals are available either at http://new.kcsnet.or.kr/ or at http://new.kcsnet.or.kr/eng. The KCS is a member society of the Asian Chemical Editorial Society (ACES) which publishes Chemistry–An Asian Journal. The KCS delegate to the ACES had served as Vice-President during the first four-year term of 2006– 2009 and was elected as President at the 6th Hawaii ACES meeting in 2010.

The initial efforts of the KCS to develop international cooperation led to joining the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry in 1963 and then the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies in 1979. The KCS sponsored the Asian Chemical Congress in 1987 and 2005, cosponsored Pacifichem 2005 and 2010, hosted the IUPAC International Conference on Heteroatom Chemistry in 1995, Physical Organic Chemistry in 1996, Macrocyclic Chemistry in 1997, and Chemical Education in 2006, and will host the IUPAC General Assembly and Congress in 2015. The society had strongly supported one of its members, Prof. Jung-Il Jin, who served as IUPAC President during the 2008–2009 term and strongly publicized the IYC 2011 by visiting Mr. Ki-Moon Ban, Secretary-General of the United Nations in 2009 (Figure 4).

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Figure 4. Immediate Past President of IUPAC, Prof. Jung-Il Jin (left), with Mr. Ki-Moon Ban, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

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The KCS, which organized the International Chemistry Olympiad in 2006 (Figure 5), is very keen to cultivate future chemists and popularize chemistry through chemical education and outreach programs.

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Figure 5. Poster of the 38th International Chemistry Olympiad organized by the KCS.

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The society also has much cooperation not only with other chemical societies in Asia, Europe, America, and other continents but also with international publishers. Among recent developments, the signing in 2010 of the Collaborative Agreement to Create a Reciprocal Lectureship between the Italian Chemical Society (SCI) and the Korean Chemical Society, namely Ree-Natta Lectureship, is worthwhile to single out (Figure 6).

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Figure 6. Signing Ceremony of Ree-Natta Lectureship between the representatives from the KCS (Prof. Kimoon Kim, left) and the SCI (Prof. Luigi Campanella).

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The Korean Chemical Society, as an academic organization, promotes research and education in the field of chemistry and the chemistry profession as a vital resource for Korean’s economic and social development. The Korean Chemical Society is trying to help the Korean chemists actively contribute to the prosperity of all humankind through the 21st century with the slogan, “Green Chemistry, Clean World”.

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Youngkyu Do

Professor of Chemistry, KAIST

Chairman of the Committee of International Affairs, KCS

President of the Asian Chemical Editorial Society (ACES)