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Chemistry has made extraordinary contributions to the betterment of humanity. The solution to many pressing problems lies in better chemistry, and better use of chemistry: biodegradable plastics, targeted drugs with fewer side effects, more efficient car batteries, and cleaner energy sources. Chemistry is exciting, it continues to flourish and grow into new areas.

Ammonia synthesis in the early 1900s led to fertilizers and enabled modern farming and the food supply for billions of people. Penicillin, discovered in 1928, and other antibiotics, provide effective treatments for bacterial infections and helped save millions of lives. The screens of computers, TVs, and phones, are made of liquid crystals, electroluminescent molecules, OLED polymers, and other advanced materials synthesized by chemists. The creations of chemists are everywhere: in water purification, air quality monitoring systems, plastics, explosives, dyes, glues, paints, solar panels, vaccines, vitamins, and a multitude of pharmaceutical drugs. Current research in chemistry may sound like science-fiction, with smart materials, molecular engines and nanorobots 1000 times smaller than the diameter of human hair, bioengineered tissues and organs, and drugs that reach targets in the body with exquisite precision. Chemistry innovations are continuously improving the way we live. As a growing community, we invite you to be part of it.

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Dr. Jennifer van Wijngaarden

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