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Message from the Director: From San Diego to Botswana—and Announcing a New Education Project!

Valued Contributor II
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It was lovely to see so many of you at the ACS National Meeting in San Diego in August! Green chemistry symposia were presented across numerous divisions on a variety of topics. The ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable organized a workshop, an organic symposium and two ACS Theatre presentations. Nobel Prize winner Frances Arnold, who also received the 2019 Bower Award for Green and Sustainable Chemistry, gave a fantastic Kavli address on "Innovation by Evolution: Bringing new chemistry to life." We enjoyed catching up with many of you at the ACS GCI reception at the Dubliner on Tuesday evening, and look forward to seeing you at green chemistry receptions at future ACS National Meetings.

One outcome of the San Diego meeting that I am very pleased to report is the approval from the ACS Board of Directors to fund the development of green and sustainable chemistry education resources. These new resources will integrate green and sustainable chemistry, systems thinking, and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and will be targeted at undergraduate students studying general and organic chemistry. We hope to engage a number of you in developing these new classroom resources over the next three years. This initiative is part of the Green Chemistry Education Roadmap project, to which many of you have contributed over the years. If you want to catch up on these efforts, I recommend reading ACS GCI Advisory Board Chair Bill Carroll’s article in the August 2 issue of Chemical & Engineering News where he mapped out ACS GCI’s education efforts.

In other news, I recently returned from the Federation of African Societies of Chemistry conference in Gaborone, Botswana. Our colleagues in Africa have a strong interest in green chemistry, and I was delighted that so many speakers referenced the SDGs during their presentations. The SDGs are proving to be a compelling framework to guide chemistry research and education going forward. ACS is currently mapping out how we can best contribute to achieving the ambitious goals articulated by the SDGs, and we will keep you apprised of our efforts and opportunities for you to join us in meeting these global challenges.