You Can Own The Periodic Table!

Well, kinda…

To promote next year’s International Year of Chemistry, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute are auctioning off the elements in the periodic table.  I’m not sure I completely understand what the benefit for sponsors is. From what I can gather, it appears that organisations or individuals are paying for the privilege of having to research and prepare a small report on the element they sponsor. The description of the project is extremely vague, and gives little insight as to why any person or company would want to sponsor an element. I’ll be really surprised if the RACI manage to sell even 10% of all 112 elements before the auctions close at lunchtime tomorrow. Here’s hoping the other offerings for IYC are a little more realistic – I’ve put my hand up to volunteer, so I hope the events aren’t lame!



I have just read the RACI October newsletter, which contains more information on the project.


An important component of IYC2011 is communicating with the public and raising awareness of the positive contributions chemical sciences make to everyday life.

IYC2011 also aims to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the

International Association of Chemical Sciences (the precursor to IUPAC).

As part of its 2011 International Year of Chemistry celebrations, RACI is undertaking a Periodic Table Meets Art project and wishes to invite members to participate. The basic premise of the project is that individuals and organisations are invited to sponsor an element, the sponsors are asked to prepare the following information:

  • Element name, symbol and atomic number
  • Brief outline of its discovery
  • How it exists in nature
  • Its main uses
  • Any Australasian points of interest

This will then be given to an artist who will produce a creative design based on the information. The designs will be shown in the exhibition tour and on the IYC2011 RACI website.

There will be a limited edition print run for each element with the first print being given to the sponsor. At least two full Periodic Tables will be assembled for permanent display once the tour is complete.


  • To deliver an engaging exhibition that brings chemistry, art and history together.
  • To take the single most important chemical resource to the public by exhibiting artists’ interpretations of the Periodic Table elements.
  • To develop an online educational resource for students and teachers.
  • To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the International Association of Chemical Sciences through exhibiting the 2010 IUPAC Periodic Table.


The sponsor packs for all 112 elements will be auctioned on e-Bay, with a reserve of

AU$60 and the auction will be open from 11th October 2010.

The auction will have a “Buy Now” option for those who really don’t want to miss out on their favourite element!

You’ll need to visit the site to find out the price. Use “RACI Element Sponsor Pack” as your search term.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to participate in the auction, visit for a sponsorship form to indicate that you are willing to sponsor any element that was not sold in the auction. This will still incur a AU$60 sponsorship fee.

Sponsors must be willing to prepare information on the element for the artist as described above by the 5th November 2010 deadline.

In return for sponsorship, the sponsor will receive the first print of their element (15cm x 15 cm unframed) and information on the artist.

The project will be completed for National Science Week 2011 (13th -21st August 2011) with sponsors prints available from July.

For further information contact Vicki Gardiner:


Sorry RACI, I love the elements more than most but I can’t say I’m all that compelled to sponsor an element at $60 a pop…


One Comment on “You Can Own The Periodic Table!”

  1. Wow, thankyou for bringing this to my attention. I look forward to hearing about which artists are taking part.

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