By Mary M. Kirchhoff, Ph.D., Acting Director, ACS GCI; Executive Vice President of Scientific Advancement, ACS
I had the privilege of attending the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) “Arc of Science: Research to Results” event on Capitol Hill last evening. Featured exhibits highlighted NSF-sponsored research that “enhances the United States economy, security and global competitiveness.” Projects covered a breadth of topics, from cybersecurity to ocean acidification to monitoring the urban environment. The event showcased NSF’s substantial investment in science and science education, funding that has supported 223 Nobel Prize winners in chemistry, physics, medicine and economics. We cannot imagine our lives without the Internet, touch screens or Google, all of which were built on NSF funding.
The “Research to Results” theme is one that is highly relevant to green chemistry: Translating fundamental green chemistry research into greener products and processes results in benefits to human health, the environment, and the economy. Green chemistry discoveries will have the greatest impact when implemented at an industrial scale such that energy and water usage are minimized, efficiency is maximized, and the use and generation of hazardous materials are reduced or eliminated.
The goal of transforming green chemistry discoveries into commercial products is reflected in this year’s Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference theme of “Making Our Way to a Sustainable Tomorrow”. Conference symposia will address a wide range of topics, including those focused on the academic/industry interface, such as “Bridging the Gap: The Diverse Paths from Academic Discovery to Industrial Implementation for Innovations in Green Chemistry” and “Greener Organic Chemistry Research in Academia: Accelerating the Pace of Industrial Adoption”. Registration for this year’s conference opened yesterday, and I encourage you to join us in Reston, Virginia from June 13-15 by registering at http://www.gcande.org/registration/. I look forward to seeing you there!
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