ConfChem Online Conference, Spring 2016

Science, Disarmament, and Diplomacy in Chemistry Education: The Example of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
05/01/2016 - 06/30/2016
Online Conference

Science plays a critical role in international disarmament policy and diplomacy; informing the negotiations of international agreements, and underpinning their articles and implementation. Of relevance to the science of chemistry, disarmament of chemical weapons provides an opportunity to introduce students to the nexus of science and international diplomacy.

An international disarmament treaty banning chemical weapons, the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), has been in force since 1997. The treaty has 191 States Parties (the governments that have agree to uphold the norms and obligations required by the treaty) and is implemented by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW); an international organisation located in The Hague in the Netherlands and the recipient of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts in chemical disarmament.

Despite being in existence since 1997 and its oversight of the destruction of more than 90% of declared military stockpiles of chemical weapons since the entry into force of the CWC, the OPCW is not widely recognized outside of disarmament diplomatic circles. Yet, the science of chemistry is an integral part of the CWC and the work of the OPCW, requiring that the organisation interact with the greater chemistry community. To this end, the OPCW has placed a priority on education and engagement to raise awareness of its work and the contributions both from and to science in chemical disarmament.

The OPCW is actively involved with projects at the high school and university level in the Netherlands, working with both science and security focused student programmes. The organisation maintains a series of educational resources with both scientific and diplomatic themes. Materials include general information about the organisation and its history; films and online learning modules, chemistry classroom and laboratory materials with a disarmament focus (such as Chemistry in Conflict ); ethical and responsible science considerations; and resources for science communication to both technical and non-technical audiences.

We will present an overview of the available educational resources and initiatives to introduce the OPCW, its history, and scientific aspects of disarmament diplomacy.

Conference Organizers
Jonathan E. Forman, Science Policy Advisor, Office of Strategy and Policy, OPCW, Jonathan.Forman@opcw.org
Robert E. Belford, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, rebelford@ualr.edu .

Papers

OPCW Overview and OPCW Educational Resources, Joseph Ballard and Jonathan E. Forman, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, The Hague, NL

Education and Engagement: Key Elements to Achieve a World Free of Chemical Weapons, Alejandra G. Suárez, Universidad Nacional de Rosario. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Argentina

Mainstreaming Multiple Uses of Chemicals in Chemistry Teacher Education Programs of Africa, Temechegn Engida, Editor in Chief, African Journal of Chemical education (AJCE)

The Project irresisitible: Introducing Responsible Research and Innovation into the Secondary School Classroom, Jan Apotheker, University of Groningen (communicating author), Ron Blonder, Weizmann Institute of Science, Sevil Akaygün, Boğaziçi University, Pedro Reis, University of Lisboa, Lorenz Kampschulte, IPN Kiel, Antti Laherto, University of Helsinki

Citizen Science and International Collaboration Through Environmental Monitoring with Simple Chemical Sensors, Peter G. Mahaffy, Kristopher J. Ooms, and Andrew F. Tappenden, The King’s University, Edmonton, Alberta Canada; Jonathan Forman, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, The Hague, NL; Ulrich Mans, Centre for Innovation, Leiden University, NL, John Sabou, Institute for Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University.

Painful Chemistry! From Barbeque Smoke to Riot Control, Christopher Green, Farrha B. Hopkins, Christopher D. Lindsay, James R. Riches, Christopher M. Timperley, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 0JQ, UK

Sampling and Analysis of Organophosphorus Nerve Agents: Analytical Chemistry in International Chemical Disarmament, Wesam S. Alwan and Jonathan E. Forman, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, The Hague, NL

Conference Organizers
Jonathan E. Forman, Science Policy Advisor, Office of Strategy and Policy, OPCW, Jonathan.Forman@opcw.org
Robert E. Belford, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, rebelford@ualr.edu .

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