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International Organization for Chemical Sciences in Development


Groups of scientists associated with IOCD have launched several concepts.

© One-World Chemistry

One-World Chemistry

One-world chemistry (OWC) promotes an integrated systems approach to meet global challenges [1]. It offers an answer to the questions:

Further reading:
Introduction to OWC
Origin and meaning of OWC
Sustainable development
Systems thinking in the chemical sciences
Cross-disciplinary approaches

Systems Thinking in Chemistry Education

By definition, systems thinking is a set of synergistic analytic skills used to improve the capability of identifying and understanding systems, predicting their behaviours, and devising modifications to them in order to produce desired effects. These skills work together as a system.

At the end of the 20th century, G. Fourez [2] asked the question: Do we teach biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, or do we teach young people how to cope with their own world? Answering this question has led science educators to a rethinking of scientific literacy and thinking about science education as in terms of ‘participation in the community’. This approach resonates well with the concept of ‘one-world’ chemistry’ (OWC). In 2016, the IOCD group Chemists for Sustainability published a paper [3] on OWC in which they proposed that chemistry needs to be reoriented as a science for the benefit of society, tackling global challenges and contributing to sustainable development. To do so, they argued that chemistry needs to adopt systems thinking.

Further reading:
Introduction to systems thinking in chemistry education
IUPAC projects
Technical resources

© Ivan Bertolazzi (pexel.com)


  1. S.A. Matlin. The Contribution of the Chemical Sciences to Global Progress: Achievements, Prospects and Challenges. International Organization for Chemical Sciences in Development, Namur, 2015, 11pp.
  2. G. Fourez. Scientific and Technological Literacy as a Social Practice. Social Studies of Science 1997, 27 903-936.
  3. S.A. Matlin, G. Mehta, H. Hopf, A. Krief. One-World Chemistry and Systems Thinking. Nature Chem. 2016, 8 393-398.

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