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Chemistry our life..our future – The Curie Club

Chemistry has played a pivotal role in shaping our life.It has not only made our life easier by bringing in various modes of comfort but also has releived mankind of various diseases in past centuries.Coming to the modern age the role of chemistry has become even more important.As NASA puts it “life is made of molecules”,so chemistry is central to the search for life on other planets.We don’t expect to be lucky enough to see a whale breaching the oceans of Europa,its far more likely when one of our probes detecting life elsewhere in the form of microbial remains that persisted beneath the surface.In other words our first indication of life elsewhere in our solar system will probably be proved through the tools of chemistry.We call these molecules left over from Life ‘biomarkers’ and much of our research strategy relies on developing chemistry to find them: “In keeping with the spirit of matter the international union of pure and applied chemistry strongly believe that it is the time to acknowledge the significance of chemistry as a ‘Basic Fundamental Science'”.At its general assembly in Turin,Italy in August 2007,IUPAC unanimously approved a resolution in favour of the proclamation of the year of 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry.
The International Year of Chemistry would encompass the following:
-Improve the understanding and appreciation of chemistry by public
-Enhance international co-operation by serving as a focal point or information source for activities by National Chemical Societies,educational institutions,industries,governmental and non governmental organisations
-Promote the role of chemistry in contributing solutions to global challenges
-Build capacity by engaging young people with scientific disciplines,especially the scientific method of analysis developed by hypothesis,experiment,analysis and conclusion..
Madam Curie’s life is a source of inspiration for all young scientists.Her devotion was such that she never patented any technique relating to isolation of Radium.In view of her contributions she was awarded the Nobel Prize twice.During the first World War,she worked tirelessly with Red Cross Society and helped injured soldiers by driving mobile Radiography units.Her pioneering work in Radiography is now being used in the treatment of cancer and has saved millions of lives.Unfortunately she lived in a society of male hegemony where her male colleagues tried to make sure that her research never saw the light of the day.But Curie fought the system and made them recognise her work.After the Nobel Prize committee had asked her to skip the ceremony,she defied them and went on to collect the prize.But ultimately this passion for science had cost her very own life.She carried a glass tube of radioactive isotopes in her pocket and was enamoured when the tube glowed in darkness.But such exposure took its toll and in 1934 Marie died from aplastic anaemia-a radiation induced leukaemia.Even now her scientific papers dating back to the 1890’s are radioactive-they cannot be safely handled and kept in leadlined boxes.
Inspired by her life,we,the chemistry community at IISER Mohali,have taken the initiative to start a community called “Curie Club”.The main idea behind the club is to inculcate a scientific spirit in students of IISER Mohali.Since it is the International Year of Chemistry,it is imperative that we recognize this immense contribution chemistry has made to the whole.Finally, a quote from Madam Curie,
“Life is not easy for any of us.But what of that?We must have perseverance and,above all,confidence in ourselves.We must believe that we are gifted for something and that is this thing,at whatever cost,must be attained.”


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