International Year of Chemistry Travelling Exhibition

International Year of Chemistry Travelling Exhibition

As part of the International Year of Chemistry 2011, four Chemistry focused travelling exhibitions will tour Australia. 

Commissioned by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI), and sponsored by Questacon, the exhibitions will travel to public libraries throughout the country demonstrating to the public the fundamental importance of chemistry in everyday life. Featuring information banners and display cases, the four exhibitions include ‘Healthy Chemistry’ (VIC), ‘Eat Drink and Chemistry’ (WA), ‘Natures Chemical Diversity’ (Queensland) and ‘Chemistry and the Nucleus’ (NSW).

Please see below for more information on each of the exhibitions, as well as exhibition locations and dates. Further locations and dates will be announced throughout the year.

Being healthy is a matter of good chemistry. A large part of staying well involves maintaining the balance of chemicals your body transforms, uses and then loses in everyday life. And when you are unwell chemistry plays a role in developing medicines for treatments.

The ‘Healthy Chemistry’ exhibition looks at the role of chemistry in health and will help demonstrate to the public the ways chemistry and technology are interacting to find answers to some of medicine’s biggest questions.

Some of the topics covered by this exhibition include:

  • Butterfly inspires a treatment – development of the cancer medication Alimta®. 
  • A cancer cure that’s just for you – personalised medicine is based on your genetic makeup; for instance the breast cancer treatment Herceptin®.
  • Can robots cure cancer? – how robotic drug screening speeds up development of personalised cancer treatments.
  • Better nano-safe than mega-sorry – the new study of nanotoxicology assesses safety of new nanoparticle products.

Altona Meadows Library and Learning Centre, 23 February – 23 March
Colac Community Library and Learning Centre, 23 March – 20 April
The Age Library, Broadmeadows, 20 April – 18 May
Ballarat Library, 18 May – 15 June

Western Australia: "EAT, DRINK AND CHEMISTRY"
When it comes to food and drink, chemists are multi-cultural scientists. Agriculture, using the land to raise crops and animals, aquaculture, fish farming, and viticulture, growing grapes and making wine, are a few of the cultures where chemistry is at work.

‘Eat, drink and chemistry’ showcases projects chemists are involved in to increase and secure the supply of food, reduce dietary health problems and maintain our environment.

Some of the topics covered by this exhibition include:

  • Chemistry’s catch of the day – a few ways that chemistry is helping Australian aquaculture.
  • Water features – chemical technology working toward securing Australia’s water supply.
  • A smell ahead – how a nose of the future will help winegrowers and others.
  • Food packaging that takes itself away – a new plastic food packaging material that readily biodegrades.

Midland Library, Swan City, 9 March – 6 April
Riverton Library, 6 April – 2 May
South Perth Library, 2 May – 2 June

The natural world is a tapestry of known, new and yet to be discovered chemicals. Chemists find new compounds with useful properties in microbes, land and sea plants, sea animals and minerals from the ground. Whether animal, vegetable or mineral it's all a matter of chemistry.

‘Nature’s Chemical Diversity’ highlights the ways that chemists, over the years, have used nature’s diversity to identify treatments for diseases, substances which are light yet immensely strong and materials which efficiently transmit electricity and communication signals for broadband and other uses.

Some of the topics covered by this exhibition include:

  • Seaweed’s biologically active extracts – chemicals extracted from seaweed have a surprisingly wide range of uses.
  • Bubbles float the goods – bubbles provide an energy efficient way for miners to separate valuable minerals from unwanted materials.
  • Jellyfish light up medical research –a protein from a jellyfish enables researchers to view details inside cells.
  • Venomous path to painkillers– molecules from animal venoms are leading to new medical treatments.

Beenleigh Library, 25 February – 18 April
Gladstone Regional Library, Fraser Coast, 19 April, 9 June 

Invisible natural radiation not only surrounds you but is also within you. This low level radiation comes from the earth, space, your home and food. Human-made radioactive sources and their chemistry are relatively new on the scene. Whether natural or introduced you interact with radiation in many ways and your lifestyle affects your exposure.

‘Chemistry and the Nucleus’ tells the story of the ultimate nuclear family and how their half-lives are part of your life.

Some of the topics covered by this exhibition include:

  • Revealing the inner you – nuclear medicine uses radiation to diagnose and treat a wide range of illnesses.
  • Send in the neutrons – neutrons offer unique and versatile ways to study materials.
  • A date with a radioactive clock – ‘how old is this?’ is often a critically important question. The radioactivity in materials can be used as a clock to find the answer.
  • OPAL - a gem of Australian science – Australia has one of the worlds most versatile and efficient nuclear research reactors.

Liverpool Library, 7 March – 14 April
Singleton Public Library, 14 April – 23 May
Wallsend District Library, 23 May – 1 July