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Message from the Director

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

As we get closer to the 20th Annual GC&E​, I’d like to think that the pace of activity would slow a bit and we would be in a more settled state.  I have to say that is definitely not the case!  There is so much going on with this conference and the activities around it that the ACS GCI staff is in constant motion.  That’s a good thing for those who will be attending, as this will be well worth your time to attend!  Just take a look at the various articles in this and next month’s Nexus and you’ll get a sense of why we’re very excited about the conference this year.

I’d also like to draw your attention to the Educational Roadmap that we’ve been working on for the past 18 months or so.  Next week there is an “Ask the Innovator’s” event that will be hosted on the Green Chemistry Innovation Forum.  We’ve posted some background material there and on our website for everyone with an interest in promoting the integration of sustainable and green chemistry into how chemistry is taught.  I can’t emphasize enough that this effort will require hard work by many, many people to effect the changes that will be necessary to achieve a different vision for chemistry education.  That vision is: “Chemistry education that equips and inspires chemists to help solve the grand challenges of sustainability.”  Please ask questions, contribute to the discussion, take the survey, be a part.  And when I say many, many people need to be involved, I really do mean it – students and educators, administrators, industry and business, government, textbook writers and researchers.  I’ll say it again because this is really important – we need people from all parts of the chemistry community to be involved, and we need to hear from you.  The Ask the Innovator’s event is not a “one-and-done” event; the forum was established to be a place for discussion, the contribution of ideas, a place to find answers.  For the Forum to achieve its potential, you have to participate, so please don’t convince yourself that your voice doesn’t matter, or that your contribution isn’t important.

I generally steer clear of politics and policy but I wanted to update you about Federal legislative efforts for Sustainable Chemistry.  Some of you may know that Senator Chris Coons spearheaded efforts to introduce legislation last year in the Senate.  In the legislative equivalent of a Hail Mary pass, the language from Senator Coon’s Bill was transferred to the Senate version of the TSCA Reauthorization Bill and once that was approved, the Bill moved into the House/Senate Conference Committee to resolve differences in the Senate and House versions of the TSCA Bill.  To make a long story short, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not that language is going to survive the TSCA negotiations, and if I was a betting man, I would bet that it doesn’t.  That means any sustainable chemistry-related legislation will now have to take a different, slower, and probably harder legislative route.  Now you know one of the reasons why I generally steer clear of politics and policy, although in a world filled with uncertainty, it’s nice to know you can always count on certainly being disappointed with the U.S. Congress.

As always, please do let me know what you think.


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