working at the American Chemical
Society (ACS), Randy Wedin served as the program manager for
the first National Chemistry Day in 1987. This program,
which has since grown to an annual National
Chemistry Week, is designed to enhance public awareness of
the important contributions of chemistry to the quality of our
lives. National Chemistry Week is celebrated annually, the
first full week of November, Sunday through Saturday, by community
volunteers nationwide including members of the 188 American Chemical
Society local sections, industrial chemists, and educators
the Society's flagship program for public outreach, its mission
reach the public, particularly elementary and secondary school
children, with positive messages about chemistry
make a positive change in the public's impression of chemistry
promote a mechanism for effectively mobilizing ACS local sections
motivate the ACS membership through local section activities.
his work on this program,
Wedin and the American Chemical Society received the Silver Anvil
Award from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA),
PR profession's highest award. Often called the "Oscars"
of the profession, the
Silver Anvil awards recognize complete programs incorporating
sound research, planning, execution, and evaluation.
has continued to be active in the National Chemistry Week program,
serving on both national and statewide committees. For his
work on this program, he has received two Phoenix Awards from
the American Chemical Society, awarded for outstanding performance
in the development and implementation of chemistry-related activities
that further the mission of National Chemistry Week.
Wedin, through Wedin Communications, has also been involved in the
development and implementation of another public outreach program
of the American Chemical Society. The Kids & Chemistry Program was developed by the American
Chemical Society to give scientists the resources and training necessary
to share hands-on science with schoolchildren ages 9 to 12.
working directly with children, scientists can make a real contribution
to their understanding of science, by showing children that:
and chemistry are part of everyday living
and scientists make important contributions to everyday
are people, just like other members of the community
Kids & Chemistry program provides scientists with free training
and a wide variety of hands-on science activities and demonstrations
that are safe and age-appropriate. Over 2,000 scientist
volunteers have done Kids & Chemistry activities with over
60,000 people in schools, museums, shopping malls, libraries,
and other community locations. These chemistry events have been
sponsored by ACS local sections, individuals, retailers, schools,
and other organizations in the community.
served on the national task force that developed and implemented
this program. He also designed, wrote, and produced Positive
Reactions: The Kids & Chemistry Newsletter from 1994 to
Chair of the Minnesota Section of the American Chemical Society
in 1993-4, he brought the program to Minnesota, where it has flourished.
Wedin continues to participate in the program by cpnducting hands-on
activities to his local elementary school, the Science Museum
of Minnesota, the Bell Museum, and the Mall of America.
Chemistry Celebration 1999
third example of Wedin Communications' expertise in Public
Outreach is the International Chemistry Celebration (IChC).
Members of the international chemistry community have found that
they share a strong common interest in reaching the public with
a positive message about chemistry. To recognize and celebrate
the international nature of this issue, the ACS joined with other
chemical societies around the world to declare 1999 as the year
of the International Chemistry Celebration. In the United
States, IChC began with National Chemistry Week in 1998 and culminated
with National Chemistry Week in 1999. Organizations and individuals
from over 50 countries participated in the year-long celebration.
served on the international task force that developed and implemented
this program. He also served as the Editor of the
IChC Newsletter, designing, writing, and producing
the newsletter from 1995 through 1999. Click
here to see a copy of the December 1999 issue of the newsletter.
(862K PDF file)
designed, wrote, and produced the final report on the International
Chemistry Celebration. Click
here* to see a copy of the IChC Final report, which is published
in the format of a corporate annual report. (2.26MB
Public Outreach Projects
has developed two handbooks to help scientists, engineers, and
their employers work together with their communities to improve
the public understanding of science. The Science Alliance
for Kids & Chemistry: A Handbook was developed
for the American Chemical Society, and ChemTogether:
A Handbook for Building Employee/Employer Partnerships of Public
Outreach Activities was developed for the American Chemical
Society and the Association Roundtable, a Washington-based consortium
of non-profit scientific and engineering organizations.
was the writer for Speak Out: Our Chemical World,
a joint project of the American Chemical Society, the American
Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Chemical Manufacturers
Association (now the American Chemistry Council), and the Council
for Chemical Research (November 1996). This "Chemical Communications
Toolbox," which serves as a guide and resource to assist
members of the chemical community in speaking with their local
communities about chemistry.
The package includes two presentations (with scripts,
slides, and suggestions for customization) and a video and booklet
with tips on public speaking.
authored "Balancing Risks and Benefits in a Chemical World,"
a book chapter in Your Chemical World (a book
for the general public, published by the American Chemical Society,
questions or comments about this web site.