It has been a full year since most of us began working from home. The accelerated rollout of vaccines brings hope for an end to the pandemic in the near future. In the meantime, we will continue to share our science through such virtual events as the ACS Spring 2021 National Meeting, April 5-30, and the Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, June 14-18.
We are currently finalizing the program for this year’s Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference. I am delighted that Amy Prieto, Professor of Chemistry at Colorado State University and founder and CTO of Prieto Battery, has been confirmed as our final keynote speaker. We will be offering a series of “GC&E Fridays,” featuring green chemistry technical and educational content, leading up to the conference. Registration is now open for this year’s conference at gcande.org. With approximately 40 technical sessions and a $75 registration fee ($25 for students), this is your must-attend green chemistry conference in 2021!
Next month we will observe on April 22 the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. The Biden Administration is organizing a Climate Summit on Earth Day as it ramps up U.S. efforts to address climate change. The American Chemical Society’s annual Chemists Celebrate Earth Week event will be held from April 18-24, with a theme of “Reducing Our Footprint with Chemistry.” Green chemistry applications can help reduce the many footprints we leave behind by, for example, designing plastics that do not persist in the environment, developing processes that use renewable resources, and creating new materials that enable energy efficient technologies. As we observe Earth Day this year, I encourage you to share with your networks green chemistry approaches to reducing our global footprint as you consider what you can do to minimize your personal footprint. ACS GCI will be co-hosting the Earth Day (April 22) ACS Webinar (check back to register at ACS Webinars). Presenter Rich Helling, Ph.D., Global Expertise Principal at Dow will speak about life cycle assessments and how they can help you compare potential directions and understand the trade-offs of actions—whether you’re designing a product or making choices in your daily life.
I note with sadness the recent passing of two friends of green chemistry. George Ruger left us too soon on February 16 at the age of 46. You could count on seeing George’s smiling face at every Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference and ACS National Meeting. He was an enthusiastic supporter of green chemistry! George Bodner, a legend in chemistry education, passed away on March 19. In his 2017 article in Physical Sciences Reviews, George outlined the advantages of incorporating green chemistry into the undergraduate chemistry major. He highlighted the quadruple bottom line, adding relevance to the economic, social, and environmental benefits comprising the triple bottom line. We mourn the loss of these two friends and advocates for green chemistry and extend our heartfelt sympathies to their families and friends.