I missed writing something for the Nexus last month and over the period of time since I last wrote there have been a number of significant events I’d like to tell you about.
On the 11th of March I had the opportunity to take part in a gathering at the NASA headquarters here in Washington as part of the LAUNCH initiative. LAUNCH is a collaboration between NASA, the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and Nike that tries to stimulate pivotal innovations in materials. This year the LAUNCH organizers have decided to focus on a Green Chemistry challenge and that’s an exciting thing. A few new faces were in attendance, but for the most part, the usual suspects from the green chemistry community were sitting at the table. It was an interesting day and I’m looking forward to seeing how the challenge shapes up.
On the 12th of March the Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference Program Chairs met with the ACS GCI staff to finalize the technical program for the conference. The conference is shaping up to be quite an event and we continue to work very hard to ensure that participants will not be disappointed. The program organizers have been working to maintain thematic coherence and continue to work with session chairs to ensure there will be a high degree of “connectedness” between sessions despite the usual diversity in content. I think you will see a difference in this years’ Conference that we hope to carry forward to future conferences.
The ACS National Meeting in Dallas the week of March the 16th turned out to be a great meeting. There continues to be a considerable amount of technical programming across many divisions related to sustainable and green chemistry. Like many areas of chemical research (e.g., nanotechnology, materials research, biochemistry) that are cross- or interdisciplinary, green and sustainable chemistry thinking and practices are being integrated in one way or another into research so it’s hard to decide where to listen in. This is a very good problem to have. Dallas was also where the ACS GCI launched its’ “What’s your Green Chemistry?” campaign. Simply stated, this campaign is trying to capture all the ways people are applying sustainable and green chemistry in what they are doing. It’s clear that a lot is happening throughout the world in green and sustainable chemistry and it is difficult at times to keep up with all that is happening!
In late March I had the opportunity to attend the Spring meeting of the Pharmaceutical Roundtable (ACS GCIPR) in Vitry, France hosted by Sanofi-Aventis. The ACS GCIPR continues to thrive and is a model for industrial collaboration and partnership. There are now about ten sub-committees within the roundtable working on implementing sustainable and green chemistry like solvent selection, reagent guides, biopharma best practices, grants, medicinal chemistry, etc., and more are being explored. Thinking back on where this group started in 2005 and where it is now is very gratifying and in many ways, pretty amazing. It is certainly our ambition to get all of the ACS GCI roundtables to this point.
This past week I had the great honor to be invited to Gordon College to speak. Gordon is a small school with a large green chemistry footprint. There are actually a significant number of schools, colleges and universities in New England, both small and large, that have been very active in teaching and promoting green chemistry. It certainly helps to have organizations like Beyond Benign, the Warner Babcock Institute, the Yale Green Chemistry and Engineering Institute and EPA Region I working very actively in the region, but many schools are equally active and influential in their own right. Once again, it is quite exciting to see just how many people are integrating green and sustainable chemistry into their education, their research, and into their communities. Green and sustainable chemistry is alive and well!
As always, let me know what you think.
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