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Chemists issue declaration against chemical weapons

A professor of chemistry at the University of St Andrews has pledged the support of 160,000 European chemists to the Ypres Declaration, which calls for the complete elimination of chemical weapons around the world.

Issued on 21 April, 100 years after the first large-scale use of chemical weapons at Ypres, Belgium, the declaration condemns the possession and use of chemical weapons and reaffirms a determination to completely exclude the possibility of their use. The declaration was issued by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the implementing body of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention.

David Cole-Hamilton is the president of the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences, which represents 160,000 chemists in 32 countries. He said: “The association calls for the ethical mobilisation of all chemists, either in academia or industry, to nurture critical thought, to act ethically, and to properly inform non-chemists about both the potential virtues and dangers of chemistry. In short, we call for responsible science.”

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