The 54th International Chemistry Olympiad Kicks off in Tianjin


Change, creation, fusion! The 54th International Chemistry Olympiad ("IChO2022") kicked off at the Sports Center of Nankai University in Tianjin on the afternoon of July 10, 2022. Zhang Yuzhuo, Vice Chairman of China Association for Science and Technology; Zhang Gong, Mayor of Tianjin; and Gábor Magyarfalvi, President of the Steering Committee of the International Chemistry Olympiad, delivered video speeches. Nearly 1,000 participants from 84 countries and regions were gathered online. They will participate in the world’s largest and most influential youth chemistry competition and cement friendship. 

Zhang Yuzhuo said that this year’s competition aims to promote the use of science and technology for the good, facilitate openness and integration, encourage innovation and creativity, stimulate interest in science, spot and cultivate talents, foster exchanges and cooperation in basic discipline education, and cement the friendship of young people from all over the world. We stand ready to work with our peers all over the world to promote the global development of science and technology, enhance the trust and exchange in the international scientific and technological circles, and contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Zhang Gong said that Tianjin is an important birthplace of China’s modern industry and also a key frontier for modern chemistry and chemical engineering research and industrialization. Tianjin, which boasts a profound industrial foundation, strong scientific research strength and an open, inclusive urban culture, will create a broad stage and an enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship for young students and chemical talents around the world.

Gábor Magyarfalvi expressed his sincere thanks to the hosts and organizers of this competition. He said that China is the host country of IChO2022 and also a country that has made outstanding achievements in the history of International Chemistry Olympiad. Nankai University, one of the organizers, has strong academic strength in chemistry and is well-known globally. It is believed that IChO2022 will be a wonderful event for the “big family” of the International Chemistry Olympiad. 

Yao Jiannian, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, chairman of the Chinese Chemical Society (CCS) and executive chairman of the 54th International Chemistry Olympiad, and Yang Qingshan, Chair of the University Council of Nankai University, delivered speeches as representatives of the organizers. 

Yao Jiannian said that the Chinese Chemical Society (CCS) and the International Chemistry Olympiad are "old friends". CCS began to send teams to participate in the competition since 1987. It hosted the 27th Olympiad in concert with Peking University 27 years ago. Today, it works with Nankai University to hold the 54th Olympiad. CCS thanks the Steering Committee of the International Chemistry Olympiad for trust, and hopes that the contestants will appreciate the charms of chemistry and feel China’s passion in this competition. 

Yang Qingshan said that Nankai University, as one of the organizers and a century-old university with a strong foundation in chemistry discipline, strives to showcase its characteristics, Chinese culture, scientific spirit, and chemistry charms in this competition, and build a platform for representative teams to compete with chemical knowledge and experiment skills and demonstrate the achievements of chemical education, and for enhancing the exchange of global cultures and civilizations.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19, the competition is held online from July 10 to 18. At the opening ceremony, 326 contestants made "online entrance" in the form of video greetings. 

Yang Shu, the top overall scorer in the 53rd International Chemistry Olympiad and a member of the Chinese team, was invited to introduce his participation experience. 

Juline and Eve from the French team gave speeches on behalf of this year's contestants. 

It is learned that this competition will be conducted in the form of theory examination, covering inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, structural chemistry, analytical chemistry, etc. Participating teams will sit a 5-hour exam according to local time zone within the period from 14:00 to 24:00, Beijing time on July 13. The examination will be invigilated simultaneously online and offline to ensure fairness and impartiality. At the same time, this year’s competition also includes one experiment question and six online virtual simulation experiments. Technologies such as computer simulation and virtual reality are used in the combination of theory and experiment, so that the contestants can experience the fun of experiments without time and geographical restrictions. In addition, in order that the contestants can feel the local conditions and customs in a true, three-dimensional and comprehensive way online, the Organizing Committee also orchestrates more than 10 cultural and technological activities during the period. 

It is reported that Nankai University finally won the right to host the 54th International Chemistry Olympiad during the 51st International Chemistry Olympiad held in Paris, France in 2019. This is the second time that this grand event for young chemistry enthusiasts is held in Chinese mainland after the International Chemistry Olympiad was held in Beijing in 1995. 

(Edited and translated by Nankai News Team)