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Chemical Education Trust Fund: Keeping the Spirit of Chemistry Alive and Well.

Your only contact with the Chemical Education Trust Fund (CETF) may have been on receipt of your annual fee billing where you may have noticed, near the bottom of the form, a request for a tax-deductible contribution to it. Chances are that, unless you have attended an E. Gordon Young lecture in various parts of Canada or participated in a Youth Science Fair or a student symposium, you may not have realized that the CETF has played a crucial role in providing a financial underpinning to all these educational activities.

The CETF has existed under a variety of names, within the CIC, since 1948. Its objectives are to support, expand, promote, and develop educational opportunities, financially or otherwise, in chemical science and engineering throughout Canada. This has consisted of meeting the expenses of speakers at local, regional and national conferences; bringing students together in the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering and chemical technology; developing a love and an interest for students in primary and secondary schools in order to ensure the future strength of our profession; and generally to raise an awareness in the public of the substantial contributions that are made by the chemical professions and the advances of chemistry for the benefit of Canadian society.

An independent Board of Trustees, consisting of five persons, who must be members of the CIC, governs the CETF. Every year, it allocates funding to a number of proposals submitted by member-organizations after close consultation with the Boards of the CIC and Constituent Societies. Over the past two years, the Trustees have encouraged innovative thinking to explore new horizons. As examples, the CETF, this year will be contributing funds to

* a project designed to incorporate the concepts of Responsible Care(R) in chemical engineering curricula

* support the PEI Science and Technology Awareness Site in providing on-line science and technology information to students, teachers and parents.

Financial assistance amounts to about $30,000 per year and is usually levered with other financial contributions. The funding comes from an accumulated Trust Fund that is now in the order of $450,000.

The main objective of this message is to advise you that the CETF requires the support of each and every member of the CIC. It needs your support in two ways.

Firstly, it needs your imagination. We are all members of the most exciting and important professions in the world. Together, we provide a myriad of benefits to Canadian society. We are aware, as well, of our social and ethical responsibilities to minimize any adverse footprints that might result from the use of our science and products. We need to ensure that the brightest young minds in Canada will be excited by the prospects of becoming a part of our professions--right from primary school and throughout their schooling. And we need to ensure that their parents will share that excitement and encourage them in that path forward. And we need to ensure that the general public will recognize that the chemical professions are at the very base of all high-tech industries and a sustainable future.

So, the first challenge is--WHAT BRIGHT IDEAS DO YOU HAVE THAT COULD CONTRIBUTE TO ACHIEVING THOSE GOALS ??? Develop your thoughts, talk about them in your Local Sections, bring them up with your Boards and then write up a proposal for the CETF. It should be in our hands by December, 2000 at the latest.

Secondly, it needs more funding. There are many more projects that deserve to be seeded, particularly those that you will be submitting by December. And just think, any contribution that you make will only cost you half because the government will be paying the other half through a tax deduction!! So, please pay attention to that bill that comes for your 2001 membership and check off that square that says "Donation to the Chemical Education Trust Fund".

People have found other ways to contribute financially to the CETF. The Estate of E. Gordon Young contributed a very significant amount that is being used to support lectures and other projects; friends of Norman and Marion Bright, following their tragic death, initiated a Memorial Fund to be awarded on the advice of the CSCT. There will be a feature story on the new Robert G.Auld Memorial Endowment Fund in our October issue to coincide with the annual meeting of the CSChE in Montreal, where it will be awarded.

So, the second challenge is - GOT ANY SPARE CHANGE ???

This is the story of the

CHEMICAL EDUCATION TRUST FUND in a nutshell. To make it a genuine fairy tale, it needs a happy ending. That can only come if chemical education, in its broadest sense, becomes the responsibility and commitment of all CIC members. So, how about it -- can we count you in??

Jean M. Thilanger, FCIC, O.C. is the vice-chair of the CIC for 2000-2001, having taken office during the Institute's Annual Ceneral Meeting in Calgary, AB. He holds a BASc in chemical engineering and did post-graduate studies in economics. Following a brief term in industry and a number of years in the public service, B[acute{e}]langer became president of the Canadian Chemical Producers' Association (CCPA) in 1979. Since his retirement from CCPA, he has served as a consultant on product stewardship, voluntary approaches to environmental management, and voluntary approaches as alternatives to regulations. He currently serves as a member of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, having been appointed by the Prime Minister. You can reach him at
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Author:Belanger, Jean M.
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Date:Jun 1, 2000
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