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For almost everyone around the world, the past two years were a blur, and I view this coming New Year’s celebrations as a bookend to both 2020 and 2021. It also marks the start of a big year for the Society—celebrating the United Nations International Year of Glass 2022!

Since 1959, the General Assembly of the United Nations has designated specific years as United Nations International Years to acknowledge fields of international endeavor and the importance of their contributions to global society. On May 18, 2021, the United Nations General Assembly formally approved a resolution declaring 2022 as the International Year of Glass to celebrate the heritage and importance of this material in our lives.

IYoG 2022 has received endorsements from a wide range of entities. Credit: IYoG (statistics), ACerS (design)

“We know glass is ‘humankind’s most important material’ and are grateful that that this is the first time that the United Nations has accorded such a recognition to a specific material. It represents an acknowledgment on the part of the international community of the vital role glass has played and will continue to play in the advancement of human society,” Manoj Choudhary, adjunct professor of materials science and engineering at the Ohio State University, said during his presentation at the 82nd Conference on Glass Problems in November 2021.

Credit: CSIC Comunicación, YouTube

An inaugural conference for IYoG is planned to take place in Geneva, Switzerland, in February 2022. Beyond that, groups globally are organizing events to celebrate IYoG.

In North American, a steering committee was established to coordinate IYoG activities in the U.S. and Canada. The ACerS website hosts a landing page for the committee at https://ceramics.org/iyog, where all the events planned in the U.S. and Canada to date can be viewed. (Have an event to add? Fill out the form at this link.)

The National Day of Glass is one of the biggest events taking place near the start of the year. This event, which takes place April 5–7 in Washington, D.C., will feature technical programming and talks from some of the largest companies and biggest minds in the North American glass industry, art community, government agencies, and educational systems who rely on glass.

Registration for the National Day of Glass is expected to open in early 2022, and there are several opportunities for sponsorship of the event available at this link. Choudhary and Kathleen Richardson, two people instrumental in organizing the National Day of Glass, will appear as guests on the February episode of Ceramic Tech Chat to talk more about the event and other IYOG activities.

As part of the IYoG celebrations, ACerS is presenting the series “Glass: Then and Now,” which highlights ACerS journal articles that have played historically critical roles in advancing glass science and technology, as well as recently published articles that are setting future directions for the field.

Jincheng Du and John Mauro (editors, Journal of the American Ceramic Society), Mario Affatigato (editor-in-chief, International Journal of Applied Glass Science), and Bill Fahrenholtz (editor-in-chief, Journal of the American Ceramic Society) compiled the articles for “Glass: Then and Now.” ACerS members can access the articles free at any time, and ACerS and Wiley will make some of these articles free-to-read each month to highlight different areas of glass science. View the series at this link.

The ACerS Bulletin will feature a special column in each issue as well on the importance of glass in our lives. Check out the first column that appeared in the January/February 2022 issue.

Learn more about the events planned for the International Year of Glass on ACerS’ IYoG webpage. Also subscribe to the Ceramic Tech Today newsletter to keep up to date on the latest IYoG news!