ACS Green Chemistry Institute®

IN4GC: Integrating Green Chemistry and the Social Sciences

Blog Post created by ACS Green Chemistry Institute® on Nov 14, 2014

Contributed by Adam Halpert, Manager - Research, Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management, McGill Univeristy

 

While green chemistry is typically seen as the domain of chemists and chemical engineers, social scientists are actively exploring the policy and societal implications of sustainable materials through research, teaching and outreach. The Interdisciplinary Network for Green Chemistry (IN4GC) links scholars with an interest in green chemistry and, in particular, its broader business, economic, social and political implications.

 

IN4GC aims to bridge the gap between “hard” and “soft” science through interdisciplinary research and teaching about green chemistry. For example, it seeks to increase networking, research project development and publishing opportunities for scholars interested in examining green chemistry, including its adoption and impact on the global chemical enterprise, from social science perspectives. In December 2015, IN4GC is looking forward to organizing a lively interdisciplinary symposium at the PacifiChem conference.

 

IN4GC also develops teaching resources to help make green chemistry meaningful to non-technical audiences, including MBA students and executives; and to help make the business, economic, social and political contexts of green chemistry meaningful to chemists and chemistry students. One such example is McGill University’s annual “Sustainable Innovation through Green Chemistry” workshop and case competition. Since 2012 the Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management (MDIIM) and McGill’s Department of Chemistry have collaborated to host a two-day event that brings together MBA and chemistry graduate students to

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work on interdisciplinary teams to address a sustainability challenge, presented in the form of a case study. This year, engineering students will also

participate through the Trottier Institute for Sustainable Engineering and Design. With acclaimed keynote speakers, seminars that introduce technical topics to non-technical audiences, and a competition among the interdisciplinary student teams to develop compelling solutions that integrate both commercial and technical considerations, this unique event allows participants to gain a deeper understanding of how knowledge from multiple disciplines can be mobilized to address sustainability challenges, as well as how to collaborate across traditional boundaries to do so.

 

IN4GC is currently planning its activities for 2015-2016. Interested parties can contact anna.birnie-lefcovitch@mcgill.ca to learn more about becoming involved.

 

 

 

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