Per Thoren

Project Manager, Molecular Frontiers (50%) and Communications Officer (50%)

Dr Per Thorén is Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Molecular Frontiers Foundation, a global network of scientists and educators, aiming to increase the public appreciation and understanding of science, in particular among young people. He is behind the website MoleClues (www.moleclues.org) and the successful initiative The Chemistry Calendar (www.youtube.com/chemistrycalendar and www.youtube.com/kemikalendern).

Per is also Communications Officer for the Materials Science Area of Advance, and works with both internal and external communication.

Molecular Frontiers Foundation is a non-profit organization, founded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The aim is to Inspire public appreciation of molecular science globally, by:

• Stimulating an interest in science in young people
• Increasing awareness of and access to chemistry and molecular science in the general public
• Promoting communication between scientists worldwide

Activities

Among the activities run by the Foundation are:

MoleClues, an interactive website for young people with games, videos, news, interviews, discussion forums and competitions - anything related to molecules!

Annual Molecular Frontiers Symposia, where world-leading scientists meet and discuss urgent topics. High school students are also invited to these meetings, and given the opportunity to ask questions to the researchers.

Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize, the first competition that rewards questions, not answers. Young people (under 18) are invited to submit questions about anything related to molecules. A jury, consisting of eminent scientists, many of them Nobel laureates, judge the questions to find the best questions. Each year, five girls and five boys win a medal, a certificate and a device such as an iPad.

The Chemistry Calendar, a video project created in conjunction with the International Year of Chemistry 2011. Twelve action-packed videos, one for each month of the year, show how chemistry plays an important role in everyday life, and how researchers at Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg are working to improve the world. In conjunction with each video, teaching material has been produced, downloadable via MoleClues.

People

Chalmers has played a key role in Molecular Frontiers since it was formed in 2006. Professor Bengt Nordén iniatied the organization, and Per Thorén has been employed since spring 2006 as project manager and web editor. The other nodes in the network are Massachussetts Institute of Technology (US) and Nanyang Technological University (Singapore).

Published: Tue 13 Sep 2011. Modified: Mon 21 Dec 2015