International Year of Chemistry

October 03, 2011

The science of chemistry has contributed to advancements in every area of day-to-day living. Chemists, through their observations and experiments, have given us everything from chemotherapy to explosives, and from fertilizers to even non-stick fry pans!

The United Nations' International Year of Chemistry (IYC) initiative recognizes the 100th anniversary of the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies in 1911, the same year in which Marie Curie won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for her pioneering work on radioactivity.

In honour of IYC 2011, Canada Post is issuing a stamp celebrating the work of world-renowned Canadian chemist Dr. John Charles Polanyi, who was also awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1986. In awarding the Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy stated that Polanyi's groundbreaking research in reaction dynamics forged a new field of research in chemistry. He was cited for developing "the method of infrared chemiluminescence, in which the extremely weak infrared emission from a newly formed molecule is measured and analyzed," and used this method to provide "a much more detailed understanding of how chemical reactions take place."

Designed by Tejashri Kapure of q30, this PERMANENT™ stamp features a photograph of Dr. Polanyi.

"I am surprised and honored to find myself a part of this intriguing stamp," says Polanyi, who continues to have a powerful influence in Canadian chemistry research. He is also a member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada (P.C.), and a Companion of the Order of Canada (C.C.).

Booklet of 10 stamps

Booklet of 10 stamps


  • Product #: 413801111
  • Denomination: 1 x PERMANENT™ domestic stamp
  • Design: q30 design inc.
  • Dimensions: 32 mm x 24 mm (horizontal)
  • Printer: Lowe-Martin
  • Printing Process: Lithography in 6 colours
  • Quantity: 2,250,000
  • Gum Type: Pressure sensitive
  • Illustration: q30 design inc.
  • Perforations: Simulated perforation
  • Tagging: General, 4 sides
  • Photography: Zoran Milich / Globe and Mail
  • Paper Type: Tullis Russell
  • OFDC Cancellation Location: Ottawa, Ontario