03 October 2011 12:19 [Source: ICIS news]
By Andy Brice
BERLIN (ICIS)--Chemical companies must raise their efforts to promote a positive image of the industry and highlight the importance of chemistry, European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) delegates were told on Monday.
In his opening address, EPCA president Tom Crotty urged a record 2,500 delegates at the 45th annual EPCA meeting to emphasise the important contribution of the chemical industry and endeavour to raise public awareness.
“It’s a great paradox in many ways that an industry that is so important and so central to the lives of everyone on the planet should have to work so hard to get people to understand that ours is a force for good and not a force for bad. Sadly that is the situation we find ourselves in,” he said.
“Nothing in our modern world could exist without the ingenuity of chemists and chemical engineers. So why don’t people celebrate this? I think to a degree we’ve only got ourselves to blame,” said Crotty, a board member of Switzerland-headquartered INEOS.
“Our successes go unnoticed, whereas our failures get shouted from the rooftops. We need to tell people what a great industry this is and how important it is to people’s lives.”
The theme of the event was that more than 95% of the products used in everyday life rely on the chemical industry, whether it is in food, clothing, healthcare, transportation, communication, education or entertainment, he said.
Before Crotty’s call to action, a short film was shown that had been produced by the EPCA as part of the International Year of Chemistry 2011.
Among the audience were 14 students, winners of international chemistry Olympiads, who had been invited by the EPCA to participate in a workshop and meet board members and opinion leaders in the chemical supply chain.
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