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Zero Hunger & the Role of Chemistry

Honored Contributor
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By Christiana Briddell, Sr. Communication Manager, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

The U.N. Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger has been the focus of several initiatives lately across the ACS and beyond.

In December, the ACS Office of Sustainability organized a 4-day Zero Hunger Summit (as part of the ACS Campaign for a Sustainable Future) with experts from academia, government, industry, and smaller businesses to discuss the role of chemistry in addressing hunger and food security. If you missed the Summit, you can still watch the recorded panel discussions on the impacts of agriculture on climate, the climate impacts on agriculture, optimizing crop production, and sustainable food packaging. ACS director of sustainable development, Adelina Voutchkova-Kostal and ACS senior director of scientific advancement, Jitesh Soares, recently published a guest editorial in C&EN summarizing the topic: How chemists can solve world hunger.

Meanwhile, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, ACS Agricultural Science & Technology, and ACS Food Science & Technology are preparing to publish a joint virtual special issue on “The Future of agriculture and food: sustainable approaches to achieve zero hunger”. Submissions are due January 31, 2023.

The Summit and virtual special issue will be followed by a slate of activities and publications, as discussed by ACS Agric. Sci. Technol. editors Laura McConnell and Thomas Hofmann in their recent editorial, “How Can Peer-Reviewed Journals Help to Speed Progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Developm...:

“Several publications will be generated from this summit to be included in the joint virtual special issue. A symposium on the same topic will also be organized for the 2023 ACS Fall National Meeting in San Francisco in collaboration with the ACS Division of Agrochemicals (AGRO), the Division of Agriculture and Food Chemistry (AGFD), the ACS Committee on Science (COMSCI), and the ACS Committee on Environmental Improvement (CEI). The symposium will bring together researchers contributing to the joint virtual special issue and those leaders participating in the Zero Hunger Summit to exchange ideas and build partnerships that can accelerate progress toward the U.N. SDGs. This multilayered engagement approach, involving organizations across the ACS, can be improved and expanded to include additional stakeholder organizations to bolster the impact of future projects.”

Meanwhile the German-based International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3)’s Innovation Challenge this year is focused on Sustainable Chemistry and Agriculture. They seek nominations from global start-ups for a chance to win $25,000. The first application deadline for this grant is April 3, 2023.

And of course, the Herman Frasch Foundation Grant program, of which ACS is the advisor, offers academic grants for agricultural chemistry every five years, with the next application window in November 2026.