IOCD Logo IOCD Logo International Organization
Chemical Sciences in Development
The Chemical Sciences and Development
IOCD was founded at UNESCO in 1981 and promotes the pursuit and application of the chemical sciences for sustainable development and economic growth.
IOCD's current priority focus is on promoting the chemical sciences for development and especially for global sustainability.
News and Views
Integrating sustainability into learning in chemistry: An Editorial on this topic was published in the Journal of Chemical Education, related to the 2021 Earth Day theme of “Restore Our Earth”. Co-authors included Stephen Matlin, a member of IOCD’s group Chemists for Sustainability (C4S), as well as others who have collaborated with C4S. The Editorial highlights how the interdisciplinary work of integrating sustainability into chemistry education can be guided by systems thinking, and by the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Planetary Boundaries frameworks.
Robert Maybury (1923-2021): It is with great sadness that IOCD received the news of the death on 12 April 2021 of Robert Maybury, who served as Executive Director of IOCD from 1988 to 2008. The President, Jean-Marie-Lehn, and current Executive Director of IOCD, Federico Rosei, have expressed their deep sorrow and paid tribute to Robert Maybury's outstanding contributions to furthering the work of the organization over a period of two decades.

Federico Rosei takes up appointment as Executive Director of IOCD: IOCD's new Executive Director, Prof. Federico Rosei took up his appointment on 1 January 2021, succeeding Prof. Alain Krief who had been Executive Director since 2009. Prof. Rosei holds the Canada Research Chair in Nanostructured Materials at the Centre for Energy, Materials and Telecommunications, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université du Québec, Canada. His contributions to science research and education have been recognised by a number of awards, including a UNESCO Chair in Materials and Technologies for Energy Conversion, the World Cultural Council's 2014 Jose Vasconcelos Award of Education and the American Physical Society's 2019 John Wheatley Award. Professor Rosei said he is delighted and honoured at being appointed as Executive Director and is greatly looking forward to working with the members of IOCD to continue and further develop the organization's role in promoting the chemical sciences for sustainable development. He noted that the chemical sciences will be central to meeting the great challenges that the world faces in the 21stCentury.
Federico Rosei
Professor Federico Rosei

Material circularity and the role of the chemical sciences as a key enabler of a sustainable post-trash age: A paper just published by the core group of IOCD's Chemists for Sustainability, in collaboration with Klaus Kümmerer and Lisa Keßler at Leuphana University in Germany, discusses the role of the chemical sciences in sustainability and illustrates the use of the Systems-Oriented Concept Map Extension (SOCME) tool in three case studies that explore the sustainability of production, use and disposal of aluminium, plastics and textiles.
Working for Sustainable Development
The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals: At a high-level meeting of governments at the UN in New York on 25 September 2015, the Millennium Development Goals which have guided international efforts to address the problems of poorer countries since 2000 were succeeded by new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. The SDGs embrace a global vision of development for all and with responsibility shared by all countries.
IOCD's organizational strategy for 2020-2021 focuses promoting the chemical sciences for development and especially for global sustainability . For details, click here.
Chemistry and the SDGs: Chemistry's contribution is essential to meeting most, if not all, of the SDGs. Importantly, many of these contributions require that chemistry works in close concert with other disciplines to identify solutions that are practical, affordable and sustainable. IOCD is committed to working in partnership with others to ensure that chemistry fulfils its potential of contributing to sustainable development.
IOCD has formed an action group — ‘Chemists for Sustainability’ — focusing on the roles of chemistry in sustainable development. The group has published over a dozen articles on aspects of the role and future of the chemical sciences.
The 2020s is a critical decade for sustainability. Intensified efforts will be needed in the decade now begun to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals — 17 Goals and 169 targets associated with the UN's Agenda 2030. At the same time, a widening set of planetary environmental crises and emergencies is unfolding that urgently need attention — amidst warnings that actions taken in this decade are likely to impact on the state of the planet's environment for thousands of years to come.
Meetings, Conferences and Special Events
Despite many international conferences and meetings scheduled during 2020-21 being cancelled or postponed, IOCD’s work has continued and has made extensive use of videoconferencing, including during the twice-yearly meetings of its General Assembly. Virtual workshops of the IOCD group Chemists for Sustainability (C4S) were held and members of the C4S group participated in a number of national and international events, including giving lectures in India and Germany and contributing to several collaborative publications.
IOCD Working Groups and Projects

Chemists for Sustainability (C4S)

IOCD action group C4S was formed in 2014 by an international group of chemists who believe that chemistry and related sciences have indispensable roles to play in helping the world to achieve sustainable development. The core group, which includes Alain Krief, Henning Hopf, Stephen Matlin and Goverdhan Mehta as core members, has served advocacy and think-tank roles through written articles, lectures at various fora and web materials.

‘One-World’ Chemistry

Among its contributions, the C4S group has developed the concept of ‘one-world’ chemistry as a new orientation for the discipline.

Systems Thinking in Chemistry

The C4S group has emphasised the importance of incorporating systems thinking into chemistry. In 2017-2019, IOCD collaborated with IUPAC in a global project to infuse systems thinking in chemistry education (STICE), co-led by Peter Mahaffy and Stephen Matlin. They are now, along with others, heading a new IUPAC project, Systems Thinking in Chemistry for Sustainability: Toward 2030 and Beyond (STCS 2030+), in 2020-202
IOCD and Partners
IOCD engages in strategic collaborations with a range of other organizations that share similar goals in furthering the role of the chemical sciences. Current examples include:
  • African Academy of Sciences — AAS
  • International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry — IUPAC
For a complete list of IOCD Perspectives, which are all available to download free, click here.
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