It is my pleasure to return to the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® as a result of the organizational realignment announced last month by ACS Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Tom Connelly. The ACS GCI is part of the newly formed Scientific Advancement Division, which also includes the Office of Research Grants, ACS technical divisions, and technical programming at ACS National Meetings. This new structure will enable the Society to address its mission “to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people” by better coordinating and focusing its activities related to advancing the chemical sciences.

 

While much has changed since I served as Assistant Director of the Institute from 2001-2004, several key initiatives remain strong. The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards continue to recognize outstanding green chemistry technologies through the partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the ACS Green Chemistry Institute®. The Institute awards the Ciba Travel Awards in Green Chemistry, Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowship and the Kenneth G. Hancock Memorial Award to students for their outstanding contributions to green chemistry. The annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, now in its 21st year, saw record attendance last year in Portland, Oregon. The call for papers for this year’s conference is open through Monday, February 13, and I encourage you to submit a paper aligned with the symposia themes.

 

A critical ACS GCI initiative in recent years has been the creation of Roundtables, which are designed to accelerate industrial adoption of green chemistry. Current Roundtables address five key areas of the chemistry enterprise: Pharmaceuticals, formulators, chemical manufacturers, hydraulic fracturing, and biochemical technology. The Roundtables have been very effective in identifying research needs within their respective sectors and developing tools and strategies to address these needs.

 

I am delighted that ongoing support from the ACS Petroleum Research Fund will enable the ACS Summer School on Green Chemistry and Sustainable Energy to be held once again at the Colorado School of Mines, from June 20-27, 2017. The Summer School is the highlight of my professional year thanks to the commitment to and passion for green chemistry and sustainability demonstrated by the graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who participate in this program. The future of chemistry is in good hands!

 

Another education initiative of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® is the Green Chemistry Education Roadmap. Two workshops held in 2016 produced draft green chemistry core competencies, which have recently been revised in response to stakeholder input. These competencies will serve as the foundation for the roadmap, and we will be seeking additional input from the community in the coming months.

 

I have much to learn in my new role at ACS and I would encourage you to share your ideas regarding all aspects of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® with me at m_kirchhoff@acs.org. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

 

All the best,

 

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