Contributed by David Constable, Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute®
There is always a lot going on in green chemistry and engineering, which is a great thing. I sometimes hear that many people don’t think that is the case and believe that more should be done and at a faster pace. But, from where I sit, there is a lot going on and green chemistry is being discussed and implemented more and more with each passing day.
Just take the ACS National Meeting as one example. For anyone who hasn’t been to an ACS national meeting, you should try and go at least once to experience the breadth and depth of the meeting. On any given day, several technical divisions are sponsoring sessions on some aspect of chemistry that falls under the umbrella of sustainable or green chemistry and engineering principles. These sessions aren’t always labeled as sustainable or green chemistry or engineering, but a quick look at what is being presented should demonstrate that there’s a lot to offer in these areas. To be clear, what is being presented isn’t always about toxics elimination either (actually, it usually isn’t) and the presenters may not actually consider what they are doing to be sustainable or green chemistry and engineering, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t. The bottom line for me is that I’m greatly encouraged to see all the programing that is available at the ACS National meetings and I hope that it continues.
Another major event for the ACS GCI that is not terribly apparent to anyone outside of the Institute, is our twice a year Board meeting. For those who are unfamiliar with the ACS and how it operates, there are many governance structures to oversee the work of the ACS, and one of those is the ACS GCI Board. For a complete list of who is on the ACS GCI Board click here. The Board is responsible for overseeing the work of the ACS GCI, sets its strategic direction, and discusses what it thinks we should be doing. We had a good meeting in early April and some excellent discussions on several projects, partnerships and alliances with other green chemistry organizations, and how best to proceed in a world of ever-increasing green chemistry and engineering organizations.
The same week of the Board meeting the Organizing Committee for the Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference met to finalize the technical program for the 2015 conference scheduled for July. The Conference is shaping up to be another great year with solid technical programming thanks to the hard work of the organizing committee and their session chairs. Many don’t realize that the Organizing committee has been at work since last summer and very engaged in making the conference a reality. For those of you that had not heard elsewhere, we were greatly saddened by Dr. Richard Wool’s untimely passing in late March. Richard had been such a strong force in green chemistry and engineering for a long time and was very active and committed to making the conference a great event this year. We will miss him greatly, but we were pleased to welcome to the organizing committee a former student of Richard’s, Dr. Joseph F. Stanzione, a professor at Rowan University, to take up where Richard left off. Finally,
I’d like to acknowledge the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable's successful meeting in Basel, Switzerland, the week of 13 April. For those of you that don’t know, the Pharma RT is celebrating its tenth year anniversary and in addition to their normal meeting, they had a great one-day symposium on green chemistry to help them celebrate. The ACS GCI Pharma RT continues to make a number of significant contributions to green chemistry and engineering, and I look forward to their continuing success over the next ten years.
So, I’ll end as I began; there’s a lot going on in green chemistry and engineering, and while it may not be apparent to everyone, it’s undoubtedly a good thing. As always, please do let me know what you think.
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