Interestingly, many facets of the chemical enterprise (from cosmetics to big pharma to coatings and beyond) have embraced green principles in the way they create new products; hence green chemistry is increasingly baked into their business models. Where the roadmap for green chemistry and the needs of business overlap is that each is based on a truly multi-disciplinary approach to “being a chemical professional”. If the educational community could clearly articulate that multi-disciplinarity is a key attribute of green chemistry education (as described by the roadmap) it would be a much easier sell for industry.
You raise a good point Becca, and I think we can learn a lesson from other education efforts. For example, physics has been running a New Faculty Workshop for about 15 years, and follow-up studies of the faculty who participated indicate that they not only adopted more interactive teaching practices, but their colleagues did as well. In other words, these early-career faculty served as catalysts for interactive teaching strategies within their departments. We have seen how the presence of a green chemistry "champion" can influence a chemistry department or a company to adopt greener practices. Implementing the green chemistry roadmap can help to build a cohort of champions who can influence their colleagues on numerous campuses.
Hey Sarah, Glad to hear that you are still rocking the Lorax shirt! Your question about networks is a good one. We've leaned mostly on informal networks (e.g. our Green Chemistry in Education Workshop and Mary's ACS Green Chemistry Summer School networks). There are also regional networks in the Northeast and Northwest. In my experience networks convene around a shared purpose. It is our hope (and plan) that the roadmap will bring folks together during its creation and then execution.
If I’ve already revised my organic lab curriculum (or any other curriculum) to incorporate green chemistry, how will the roadmap effort help me to share what I’ve done more broadly? Where's the "go to" place for awareness about what people are doing in curriculum development and what's been successful?
Hi Kendra, the GC3 just co-hosted a webinar focused on careers in green chemistry. Here is a link to the discussion thread about the webinar, which may answer some of your questions: Careers in Green Chemistry Webinar Discussion Thread - Ask your questions here!
The link to the webinar recording isn't up yet, but it should be posted within the next few days. I will reply with a link once its up. In the meantime, here is the link to the careers webinar from last year which covered similar topics from 3 different industry speakers: In Pursuit of Green Chemistry: Perspectives on Careers in Industry — Green Chemistry and Commerce Co...
One way might be to create incentives on bringing green chemistry into the curriculum. For example, in the school of engineering at Pitt, we used various incentives to induce faculty to “flip” their classrooms, given how difficult this is to do on the fly. These included help with educational materials, extra TA support, and cash for summer support to create new materials.
As part of the overall roadmap exercise, an inventory of successful programs and practices will be conducted; not only does this help to describe the state of the art, but also provides visibility to early adopters and creates a repository of existing resources.
We have not specifically addressed student engagement with public policy in the roadmap, but it is a worthwhile topic. I think we need to do a better job of promoting such opportunities to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars. For example, I became involved in green chemistry thanks to a AAAS Fellowship at EPA. ACS sponsors policy fellows on the Hill and at ACS, as do a number of other scientific societies, including AAAS. Last week, the Council on Undergraduate Research, along with ACS, sponsored "Posters on the Hill", where undergraduates in a variety of disciplines presented research posters on Capitol Hill. Opportunities exist, but we need to do a better job letting students know about these options and encouraging them to take advantage of them.
Who was the catalyst for this classroom "flipping" initiative at Pitt? Did it come from the department chair?