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Chemistry’s Contribution to Our Global Future


In the International Year of Chemistry, prominent scientists highlight the major advances in the fight against the largest problems faced by humanity from the point of view of chemistry, showing how their science is essential to ensuring our long-term survival.

Following the UN Millennium Development Goals, the authors examine the ten most critical areas, including energy, climate, food, water and health. All of them are opinion leaders in their fields, or high-ranking decision makers in national and international institutions. Intended to provide an intellectual basis for the future development of chemistry, this book is aimed at a wide readership including students, professionals, engineers, scientists, environmentalists and anyone interested in a more sustainable future.

The editors of this collective work are:

Javier Garcia-Martinez is currently a faculty member and director of the Molecular Nano-technology Laboratory at the University of Alicante, Spain. He has published extensively in the areas of nanomaterials, catalysis and energy. Read more...

Elena Serrano is a Research Fellow at the Molecular Nanotechnology Lab of the University of Alicante (Spain). Read more...


  1. Chemistry for Development
    by Stephen A. Matlin and Berhanu M. Abegaz

  2. The Role of Chemistry on Addressing Hunger and Food Security
    by Jessica Fanzao, Roseline Remans and Pedro Sanchez

  3. Poverty
    by Mari-Carmen Gomez-Cabrera, Cecilia Martinez-Costa, Juan Sastre

  4. The Human Element: Chemistry Education’s Contribution to our Global Future
    by Peter Mahaffy

  5. Health
    by Rene Roy

  6. Green Chemistry
    by Pietro Tundo, Fabio Aricoa, Con Robert McElroy

  7. Water: Foundation for a Sustainable Future
    by Maya A. Trotz, James R. Mihelcic, Omatoyo K. Dalrymple, Arlin Briley, Ken D. Thomas, and Joniqua A. Howard

  8. Facing the energy challenges through chemistry in a changing world
    by Gabriele Centi and Siglinda Perathoner

  9. Ozone layer depletion
    by Glenn Carver


The book is inspired by the United Nations declaration of 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry (IYC), and clearly spells out the role and importance of chemistry for meeting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Nicole Moreau
President, IUPAC

We hope that this book will be used to show young people that “chemistry” is exciting and meaningful, and that many will be enticed and inspired to take up careers in this field of scientific endeavour.

Julia Hasler
UNESCO Focal Point for IYC

As a policy strategist, I was riveted page by page, as the technological possibilities for the future were authoritatively conveyed. Each chapter offers remarkable clarity, breadth, technical precision, and a deep sense of humanity.

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs
Director of The Earth Institute
Committed to achieve the MDGs
Chemistry—our life, our future
Water: A Chemical Solution
Shaping the Future