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Message from the Director

Valued Contributor II
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Contributed by David Constable, Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute®

With the end of the year and the beginning of the next, there is always good reason to pause for a moment to reflect on the past year and anticipate the coming year. As one looks back over the many events of 2014 it is striking to think about how impossible it would have been to predict many of the geopolitical and economic events that have captivated the world. I suspect it will be equally striking at the beginning of next year when reflecting upon this year’s events; e.g., exactly where will oil at below $50/barrel take the world?  We are certainly living in interesting times.

So what can we anticipate in green chemistry this year? There are the usual meetings and conferences like the Spring and Fall National ACS meetings, and Regional meetings where you will find green chemistry and engineering-related sessions. I am privileged to pick out the sessions that are related to green chemistry for the Society’s mobile meeting app and it’s pretty exciting to see the green chemistry and engineering content in many different divisions. I think it’s great that green chemistry and engineering approaches are being implemented in many areas of the global chemistry enterprise.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the 19th annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference the week of July 13th (14th, 15th, and 16th). I am delighted that once again the U.S. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Ceremony will take place on the Monday evening preceding the Conference. Nothing quite like a celebration to start the Conference off in good form! The conference organizers, Dave Leahy (BMS), Richard Wool (Univ. of DE), and Bruce Lipshutz (UC, Santa Barbara) have assembled a great team of session organizers and they have put together an excellent technical program. Please do visit to learn more. The abstract system is open now and will close on March 16th.

As was the case last year, there are several other specialty conferences and symposia to look forward to this year.  In May, there is the 3rd International Symposium on Green Chemistry in La Rochelle, France and the first week of July there is the 7th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry in Japan. Both of these should be great opportunities to interact with different green chemistry and engineering researchers across the globe.  Very exciting indeed!

This year is a very special year in the history of the ACS GCI Industrial Roundtables given that it is the tenth anniversary of the Pharmaceutical Roundtable. This is quite an accomplishment in the green chemistry and engineering community, and represents an extended period of business collaboration to advance the state of the art and practice of green chemistry and engineering. There are a variety of activities to mark this milestone throughout the year and I am very excited to see the work of the Pharma RT continue. We were also delighted to see the Hydraulic Fracturing Roundtable come to fruition with 8 charter members signing up before the end of the year.  We have high hopes of more companies joining these companies to make good progress in implementing green chemistry and engineering in this key industry. Each of the Roundtables has advanced green chemistry and engineering in their own sphere of interest and we look forward to another year of notable accomplishments.

We are also working to expand our partnerships and collaborations in green chemistry and engineering. There are now many organizations who are working to advance green chemistry and engineering across the globe, and it certainly makes sense to work collaboratively to extend our collective influence, share best practices, and leverage each other's efforts.There is certainly insufficient time and resource to take advantage of the many opportunities that are presented throughout the year, but that’s a sign of a healthy ecosystem.

I look forward to working with you through the year. As always, let me know what you think.


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