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American Elements chairman and founder Michael N. Silver will talk about “How Minerals Will Impact Global Geopolitics in the 21st Century” on Oct. 9. (Credit: American Elements.)

It’s apparent from even a quick visit to the website of American Elements that the company is unique—its home page consists mainly of an interactive periodic table. Each element is clickable, and a quick click takes visitors to a page featuring substantial information about the element ranging from the origin of its name to atomic statistics such as radius and electron configuration to primary applications, properties, safety data, and more. And, all the information is available in six languages.

American Elements says it sells every element on the periodic table and features a product line of more than 6,500 advanced materials. The company is known for expertise in the properties, applications, and cost-effective manufacturing of advanced and engineered materials, including ultra-high purity refining and monoatomic elements. Its online materials catalog runs to 10,850 pages, is viewed by more than 1.2 million visitors each year, and has more than 30,000 Twitter followers.

With operations in Los Angeles, Calif.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Monterrey, Mexico; Baotou, China; and Manchester, UK, plus a global distribution network, American Elements is the brainchild of founder and chairman Michael N. Silver. In the 1990s, Silver pioneered a direct production and distribution supply chain from rare-earth mineral sources in Inner Mongolia to North America and Europe. Known as an expert on current and future demand for rare
 earths and other strategic and critical materials, Silver frequently addresses issues affecting the global high-technology industries, science education, and ways to improve Chinese-American relations.

Silver is also quite the philanthropist. In 2011, American Elements cosponsored the four-part “Making Stuff” series, which covered materials science on PBS’s NOVA science program. He also funded and hosted a delegation in 2011 from the UCLA Medical Center to the Inner Mongolian Medical Teaching College in Baotou, which led to student and teacher exchanges and development of a joint AIDS research program.

On Wednesday, Oct. 9, Silver will speak at a meeting of the New York Mineralogical Club on the topic of “How Minerals Will Impact Global Geopolitics in the 21st Century.” Silver will share his thoughts on how increasing demand for dwindling proven reserves of critical elements such as the rare earths, lithium, and others will impact not only the future of high technology, green technology, and space exploration, but also the foreign policies of nations around the world in the 21st Century.

The presentation is free and open to the public. The bad news, unless you happen to be in the New York City area, is that the event will take place at a midtown Manhattan hotel. The good news is, the rest of us can join in via a live webcast, which will begin at 6:45 p.m. Access is free, and users can watch the event from their personal computer or mobile device by logging onto this page on the American Elements website.