MKE and BASF have jointly developed a unique online chemistry knowledge base for the young generation of Internet users.
Budapest, March 9th 2011 – As part of the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) programme series, the Hungarian Chemical Society (MKE) and BASF have crowned their joint efforts by establishing a unique online chemistry knowledge base. Developed by Hungarian scientists with the intention to present and promote chemistry to the young generation, the new website Chemgeneration.com will be launched in 10 countries and available in 11 languages in the next few months. The welcome speech in Hungary was delivered by József Pálinkás, President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
The founding members of the initiative include several large companies, such as Gedeon Richter PLC, TEVA Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd,, MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company, Tisza Chemical Group Public Ltd, and sanofi-aventis/Chinoin, while the Department of Physical Chemistry and Materials Science of the University of Szeged provided the expertise the project required. The companies understand that the availability of well-trained and knowledgeable young experts has been, is, and will remain a major challenge. Offering 21st-century features and tools, a modern Web 2.0 site developed for and targeting young Internet users might be a great asset in promoting chemistry among young people.
Packed with eye-catching visual elements in an entertaining style, Chemgeneration.com presents the history of chemistry, its greatest achievements, and its influence on civilization. The core content is based on the chapter called “Milestones of Technology from a Chemist’s Perspective”, which demonstrates the development and the key role of chemistry through the history of major industries during the past few centuries. The main purpose of the website is to attract young people to chemistry and to present the fundamental part chemistry plays in the world, with special emphasis on its key role in the sustainable development of our future.
”Chemgeneration.com offers videos, interactive charts as well as modern and popular web-based solutions to teach young people about outstanding chemists, the history of chemistry, and today’s chemical research projects. By reading these chapters and watching these video, it is easy to understand the importance chemistry has in our life. Wherever we look, chemistry is there,” says Péter Mátyus, President of the Hungarian Chemical Society.
In addition to offering scientific and educational materials, targeting online communities and the subsequent generations is highly important because chemistry will not be able to maintain the current pace of growth and development on its own. The necessary change in attitude can only be introduced by future experts and scientists, who can see chemistry as an opportunity and a solution, rather than a boring academic subject.
“BASF is committed to ensure that the younger generations know, understand and like chemistry. Young people should be aware that chemistry is everywhere in our life. Everything is chemistry: our past, our present and, most importantly, our future. It gives me great pleasure that with the Chemgeneration.com project we can effectively support the teaching of chemistry in Hungary and Central and Eastern Europe,” said Dr. Herbert Fisch, CEO of BASF Hungária Kft.
The virtual chemistry lab at Chemgeneration.com answers a high number of interesting questions, such as how the greasy black gold is transformed into fuel, how a tiny mould fungus can save lives, or what exactly is going on in a nanotube. Visitors can learn more about the life and work of Marie Sklodowska-Curie, Nobel Prize winner in chemistry 100 years ago, or about Albert von Szent-Györgyi’s achievements. The 3D molecule viewer allows us to take a closer look at the elements that build up and form our world.
Creators of the website hope that an active online community is going to form around Chemgeneration.com, and students and teachers will discuss and share all chemistry-related problems and issues (e.g. images, texts, videos, animations) here. Like any other web 2.0 applications, from now on the content of the website will be developed by the founders and chemistry-loving visitors alike.