Chemistry Cartoons For IYC 2011

For a little Friday afternoon fun, I thought I’d share some chemistry cartoons that came across the Newscripts desk recently as part of an International Year of Chemistry competition. Sponsored by the Physical & Biophysical Chemistry Division of the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), the contest asked participants to submit

Merit prize winner "Degenerate Orbitals" by Bruno Demoro. Credit: Courtesy of IUPAC

cartoons illustrating a chemical principle “that would be clear and accessible to the general public.” The international panel of judges accepted entries from Jan. 1 to May 31 and awarded prizes during the 43rd IUPAC Congress in Puerto Rico in early August. Even though my personal favorite (shown above to the right) among the six winners didn’t take home the grand prize, it did win a merit award for Bruno Demoro, a graduate student at Uruguay’s University of the Republic. As a physical chemist, I enjoyed the humor, although I suppose the general public might not get the reference to “degenerate” orbitals. Just us geeks here in the Newscripts gang.

Grand prize winner "Chemical Attraction" by Jessica Hough. Credit: Courtesy of IUPAC

Five students received merit awards of $100 for their entries, and one lucky winner—high schooler Jessica Hough of Valley Central High, in Montgomery, N.Y., took home $1,000 for her illustration entitled “Chemical Attraction.” On the basis of the success of the contest, IUPAC’s Physical & Biophysical Chemistry Division says it plans to run an annual student chemistry cartoon competition. So check in with the organization early next year for details.

Author: Lauren Wolf

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