Message From the Director: A Successful Experiment

Honored Contributor
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Thanks to all those who joined the ACS Green Chemistry Institute for our first virtual conference the week of June 15!  It was an amazing week spent sharing green chemistry and engineering research and education, making new connections, and reconnecting with colleagues across the globe.  The keynote speakers – Bruce Lipshutz, Tom Jaramillo, Jamie Garcia, and Jillian Goldfarb – delivered compelling presentations on their research.  We were honored to partner with ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering on the journal’s 2020 Lectureship Awards, recognizing the accomplishments of Jonas Baltrusaitis, Katalin Barta, and Feng Wang.  And our sincere thanks to EPA Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dunn for joining the conference to announce the 2020 recipients of the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards.  ACS congratulates Genomatica, Merck, Johns Manville, Professor Steven Skerlos, and Vestaron on their award-winning technologies!


One of the biggest benefits of the virtual conference was its global reach:  Almost 5,000 individuals from 100 countries logged onto the meeting platform during the week of the conference!  The online format coupled with no registration fee and no travel costs made the meeting content accessible to a much broader audience than the traditional in-person meeting.  I sincerely hope that greater awareness of and access to green chemistry and engineering content will accelerate implementation of greener technologies across the globe.


Transitioning from an in-person to a virtual conference was not trivial, and I am grateful to everyone who contributed to the success of the conference.  Conference Co-Chairs Meg Sobkowicz-Kline and Rafa Luque provided outstanding leadership in organizing a program focused on the theme of “Systems-Inspired Design,” with the support of the advisory committee and symposium organizers.  My phenomenal colleagues in the ACS Green Chemistry Institute, the ACS Meetings Department, and the Scientific Advancement Division spent countless hours learning how to navigate the Chime platform while “Zooming” in with conference presenters and attendees.  You have my deep appreciation for learning so many new skills in ensuring the success of the conference.


My thanks to the sponsors and exhibitors who continued their support as we moved to a virtual meeting, especially to our gold sponsor, the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable.  The generous support of all sponsors and exhibitors greatly contributed to the success of the conference.


Finally, we sincerely hope that conditions will allow us to meet in person in Reston, Virginia for next year’s conference, June 14-16, 2021.  Please consider submitting a symposium proposal to the 2021 Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference.


Stay safe and healthy!


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