We’re very pleased with how preparations for the 21st Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference are coming together. Our technical program chairs, Dr. David Leahy, BMS, and Dr. Amit Sehgal, Solvay, have been working very closely with us, and we are on schedule to open the abstract system on the 4th of January. Due to the large number of symposia proposed, the conference will add a 7th concurrent technical track this year — it’s very exciting to see GC&E expanding and broadening like this. We have also been working with a variety of partners to put together a new set of student workshops and a toxicology-oriented workshop being run by Beyond Benign and the MODRn research collaborative. Of course, we are looking forward to once again hosting the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards ceremony at the National Academy of Sciences on the Monday night preceding the conference. This should be an outstanding week of technical programming, extensive networking and fun events. I hope to see many of you in Reston, Va. this June.
I was honored to be invited to the UN-sponsored Summit on Science and Technology Enablement for the Sustainable Development Goals at the New York Academy of Sciences which took place earlier this month. At the summit, I worked with others to think about how to implement more sustainable consumption and production to support the sustainable development goals. There are a huge number of innovations we need to be working on now to enable the transition to more sustainable production, and it is perhaps easier to think about production than it is about consumption. Clearly, there needs to be more innovations in science and engineering research to effect substantive changes and move the world to closed loop, bio-based, and renewable production and consumption.
The end of the year is invariably a time of great reflection for many, and that is certainly true for me. I think it’s been a great year for green chemistry and engineering and the ACS Green Chemistry Institute®. We’ve made solid progress with the education road map effort, the 20th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference in Portland was a great success, and the industrial roundtables continue to grow and thrive. We’ve expanded our Nexus readership and our social media following, especially on Twitter. I’m very proud of what the Institute has accomplished with your help, and I look forward to increasing our reach and impact in the New Year.
This will be, however, not as director of ACS GCI, but as its science director. As of Jan. 1, Dr. Mary Kirchhoff will be heading a new staff division within ACS—the Division of Scientific Advancement. In addition to her work to establish this new division, Mary will assume responsibility for the ACS GCI as director. Many of you know Mary through her leadership as the director of the Education Division, where she has been for the past 11 years, and her long-term leadership of the ACS Summer School on Sustainable Energy and Green Chemistry. Mary is an ardent supporter of green chemistry, and was the first assistant director of the ACS GCI in the early 2000s. I hope you will join me in congratulating Mary on her new appointment and in supporting her as she moves Scientific Advancement and the ACS GCI forward. The details of the transition will take time to work through, but you may be assured that we will not miss a beat and will continue to deliver on all our programs.
It’s been a pleasure and an honor to be here over the past four years as director of the ACS GCI, and I look forward to working with you in my new role. All that remains for me to do is to wish you a happy, joyous, restful holiday season with friends and family, and a very prosperous, healthy and happy New Year!
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