Open Education: Connecting green chemistry with social & environmental justice (#GCSEJ)

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Contributed by Ed Brush, Professor of Chemistry, Bridgewater State University,, @GreenChemEd

Momentum is growing for the green chemistry education roadmap project (C&E News) and for the impact of systems thinking in chemistry education. As members of the chemistry enterprise continue to refine our future vision for chemistry education, we have a unique opportunity to make a contribution to these efforts in an exploration of the social and environmental justice issues that connect society with chemical exposure and the role of green chemistry in correcting unintended disparities.

As educators, many of us employ engaged learning as a high impact practice in our classes, where we guide students to explore topics on their own and take responsibility for their own learning. As educators, we can take advantage of conferences to challenge ourselves to explore new topics and share what we have learned with our colleagues. We investigate, share, accept feedback, and make revisions. We can then bring this back to our classes and generate new resources by collaborating with like-minded colleagues.

The idea of exploring green chemistry in the context of social and environmental justice (#GCSEJ) is new to many of us, but also provides a great opportunity to explore, learn, create and share (Open Education). Join the conversation and contribute!

  1. At the ACS National Meeting in San Francisco, Jane Wissinger and I are running a special session on #GCSEJ that is part of the “Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice” symposium on Sunday, April 2, 2017.
  2. The call for papers is now open for a multidisciplinary symposium on #GCSEJ at the 21st Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference in Reston, Va. in June 2017. Grace Lasker and I are looking for speakers from a variety of disciplines to collaborate in: (1) sharing knowledge and experiences across disciplines and fields; (2) discussing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT); and (3) learning about educational strategies and resources. A potential outcome of these conversations is to place green chemistry in a more meaningful, relevant and accessible context that better connects scientists, non-scientists, students, teachers, thought leaders, policy-makers, business leaders, and community organizers in transdisciplinary teams to help form solutions that correct social and environmental disparities. Should you have a question about contributing an abstract, please feel free to contact Grace Lasker at or Ed Brush at The submission deadline is February 13, 2017.
  3. If you cannot attend either of these conferences, you can still contribute your thoughts and opinions on green chemistry in relation to social and environmental justice at this Google Form. Your responses will help frame our discussions at upcoming conferences.
  4. Finally, a number of chemists and green chemists are on Twitter. If you are so inclined, please use the hashtag #GCSEJ.

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