In its most elemental form (pun intended), outreach is a way to engage with the citizens of the world, young and old, and awaken their scientific curiosity. It is also one of the best ways to increase the public’s science literacy. We are all aware of the good, bad, and ugly stereotypes about chemistry that are perpetuated by society. Outreach is a way to reinforce the good that chemistry does for our life and health, for the environment, and for the future. Every time we engage in outreach, we provide firsthand evidence that refutes the stereotype that all chemistry is bad.
With this goal in mind, no interaction is too small. Outreach can occur with one box of supplies and a group of 20 kids. Or it can take place on a larger scale, through participation in activities such as science festivals. Whether their outreach involves working individually or in concert, chemists’ impact on the community can be significant.Paul convinced me that outreach is probably one of the best ways to combat chemophobia; I'm going to do my best to sign up for my local National Chemistry Week activities.