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Message from the Director

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

It’s hard to believe that three weeks have passed since we were at the 252nd ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia. The ACS National Meetings are usually a whirlwind of activity and it’s a bit overwhelming to keep up with all the concurrent activities. We once again had the pleasure of several Pharma RT member company representatives, Leanna Schuster from GSK and Mike Kopack of Lilly, join us at our booth to talk to attendees about green chemistry and what they are doing in their respective companies to implement green chemistry. We also partnered with our LAUNCH colleagues to promote the 2016 LAUNCH Chemistry Challenge.

In case you had not heard, this year’s LAUNCH challenge is “…a global call for innovators, entrepreneurs, companies and organizations to enable predictive chemical design through innovative applications of data in chemistry. “ There are 4 focus areas: Data Generation, Data Access, Data Integration, and Data Analysis and Application. I would invite you to investigate this and see if you have a part to play.

One of the highlights of the week was the opportunity to hear Senator Chris Coons speak at the Hero’s of Chemistry Awards Ceremony. Senator Coons is a strong and articulate supporter of sustainable chemistry. We are extremely grateful for his persistent advocacy in the Senate to progress some form of legislation promoting greater Federal Agency attention to sustainable chemistry. He and Senator Collins have asked the U.S. General Accounting office to do a technology assessment around sustainable chemistry implementation in the U.S., and we are looking forward to a report sometime next year.


The ACS GCI continues to progress the 21st Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference under the able leadership of Jenny MacKellar, Dawn Holt and Jane Day. The Advisory Committee and Technical Program Chairs continue to map out the details of the conference and planning for all the various parts of the Conference are well in hand. We are looking forward to the Technical Session Submissions and I would ask you to remember that the closing date for that is the 7th of October. This is going to be another great conference, and I hope you are making plans to be a part!

We continue our work on the education roadmap with a variety of stakeholders, once again under the able leadership of Jenny MacKellar and our Leadership Team Jim Hutchinson, Mary Kirchoff and Eric Beckman. It’s challenging work to integrate green chemistry concepts into what is normally taught in chemistry curriculum. One bridge we’re building is the idea of systems thinking; a concept familiar in biology and engineering, but not so much in chemistry. But, to truly address some of the major sustainable and green chemistry challenges we face, we need to think more about all the systems involved in making the world more sustainable and where to integrate green chemistry thinking and practice. These opportunities need to be recognized and understood by educators so they may be taught within routine chemistry education.

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


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