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Message from the Director – End of the Year Wrap Up

Honored Contributor
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Amazingly, another year is drawing to a close – it is hard to believe that 20 years ago we were worried about Y2K!  The end of every year brings a time for reflection on the current year and anticipation for the coming year.  2019 has been a good year for the ACS Green Chemistry Institute (ACS GCI), with more than 600 individuals registering for the Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, which was held jointly with the International Conference on Green & Sustainable Chemistry in June.  The 2020 conference, with a theme of “Systems-Inspired Design,” will be held from June 16-18, 2020 in Seattle, Washington.  Abstract submission opens on January 6, and next year’s conference will feature about 40 technical sessions, the product showcase, a poster session, and ample opportunities for networking with colleagues.  I encourage you to submit an abstract by the February 17 deadline at


Education has been at the forefront of ACS GCI’s work in 2019.  Connections between green chemistry and systems thinking continue to grow, and a special issue of the Journal of Chemical Education, featuring articles on these two topics, has just been published.  We continue working with the ACS Exams Institute to integrate green chemistry into the Anchoring Concepts Content Maps.  And as reported in my last column, we will be embarking on a new project in 2020 to develop a suite of education resources designed to integrate green and sustainable chemistry into general and organic chemistry.


On December 2, the ACS GCI began accepting applications for a new fellowship, the Heh-Won Chang, PhD Fellowship in Green Chemistry.  This fellowship provides graduate students conducting green chemistry research with $5,000 to be used for any purpose, including conference travel, professional development, and living expenses.  Recipients of the fellowship must present their research at the Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference.  Applications are due by 5:00 PM EST on January 5, 2020.  The fellowship was established through the generosity of Mrs. Cecilia Chang in memory of her husband Dr. Heh-Won Chang.


Pacifichem will be held one year from now in Honolulu, Hawaii, from December 15-20, 2020.  Along with colleagues in Canada and New Zealand, ACS GCI is organizing a symposium on “Green Chemistry and Engineering’s Role in Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”  Numerous other symposia will focus on green chemistry, including “Green Techniques for Organic & Medicinal Chemistry,” “Green Chemistry and Engineering for a Sustainable Circular Economy,” “Innovations for Green Chemistry:  Striving Towards Zero Waste API Manufacturing,” and “Chemistry for Global Challenges:  A Role for Systems Thinking in Chemistry Education.”  The call for abstracts will open on January 2, 2020 at   


Significant progress has been made in advancing green chemistry and engineering research and education across the chemistry enterprise, yet much work remains in order to achieve a sustainable planet.  I am grateful for your dedicated efforts to transform the practice of chemistry, and wish you joyous holidays and a happy new year! 


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