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Message from the Director - GC&E Conference: Retrospective and Prospective

Valued Contributor II
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My sincere thanks to all who attended and helped organize last month’s Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference in Portland, Oregon—what a fantastic meeting!  A total of 580 attendees shared research results, engaged in interactive discussions, and visited the poster session, exhibitors, and product showcase.  The keynote speakers – Joe DeSimone, Don Sadoway, and Julie Zimmerman – were exceptional, and the high-energy networking events provided attendees with opportunities to establish new collaborations across sectors.

I would like to extend a special thanks to our conference co-chairs, Julie Haack and Richard Blackburn, for organizing such a dynamic conference. Their vision in retaining the scientific core of the conference while introducing new features, such as the interactive sessions and product showcase, was key to the success of the conference. The incredible support of my ACS Green Chemistry Institute® colleagues – Christiana Briddell, Ashley Choi, David Constable, Jane Day, Matt Deinhardt, Dawn Holt, Jenny MacKellar, Isamir Martinez, and Stephanie Wahl – was essential in delivering an outstanding meeting experience. The conference also afforded us the opportunity to recognize Kent Voorhees for his dedicated service to ACS GCI during his 11 years on the Governing Board, including five years as Chair.

voorhees.pngKent Voorhees thanked by Tom Connelly on behalf of his service on, and as Chair of, the ACS GCI Governing Board.
©2018 American Chemical Society. Photo Credit: Naim Hasan Photography.

Planning for the 2019 joint 23rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference and 9th International Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conference is well underway. The conference will be held in Reston, Virginia from June 11-13, 2019 under the leadership of conference co-chairs Joan Brennecke and Philip Jessop. The call for symposia is open through September 10 and I encourage you to submit your ideas. Submissions are welcome in all areas of green chemistry and engineering, particularly those that address the conference theme of “closing the loop” of the chemical life cycle.

While much of ACS GCI’s attention has been lately focused on the conference, work continues on other fronts, as evidenced by two recent publications. Jim Hutchison and Tom Holme, who are deeply involved in developing the Green Chemistry Education Roadmap, published an editorial in the April issue of the Journal of Chemical Education on “A Central Learning Outcome for the Central Science”.  The Central Learning Outcome articulated in this article is that “Chemicals have benefits and hazards, and these must be considered together.” Tony Noce, ACS GCI Advisory Board member and Chair of the ACS Committee on Environmental Improvement, authored a May 27 comment in Chemical & Engineering News that outlined how chemistry can help meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  He highlights chemistry’s essential role in meeting these ambitious goals.

Finally, I hope to see many of you at the ACS National Meeting in Boston next month. Symposia on green chemistry are featured in many of the technical divisions, including catalysis, chemical education, environmental, and organic.  Please stop by the GCI booth (#1418) in the exhibit hall – we look forward to welcoming you!