New Ideas for Green Chemistry Education

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Green Chemistry offers solutions to environmental problems which seem difficult to tackle. For example, the Green Chemistry framework has successfully been implemented in fields as diverse as agriculture, mining, transportation, communications, and manufacturing.

To continue this success, it is imperative that we give the next generation of scientists the opportunities and training they need to implement green chemistry even further. While undergraduate and graduate students are given more and more opportunities to develop and grow their professional network during their studies, it is unclear if we are doing enough. Are we providing students with sufficient opportunities to learn about the newest advances in Green Chemistry and interact with the leaders of green chemistry? Are we attracting and retaining women and underrepresented groups?

With this in mind, on September 18, 2016, the Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering at Yale and the University of Massachusetts Boston co-hosted a workshop for New England students and faculty that highlighted the achievements in the field and engaged students in the wider green chemistry discussion.

The workshop consisted of several parts, where students had a chance not only to present their work to a diverse audience of scientists, business managers and industry leaders, but more importantly to interact with the early Green Chemistry innovators and learn about their career paths.  The event was attended by over a 75 people, from UMB, Yale, UMass Dartmouth, Hult Business School, Gordon College, UMass Lowell, Bridgewater State University, Northeastern University and Salem State University. Students attended multiple talks and participated in numerous networking breaks to learn about state of the art Green Technologies from the Warner & Babcock Institute, US EPA Region 1, Beyond Benign, Amgen and Pfizer. In addition to inspiring talks and networking opportunities, students also participated in the poster session.  Posters were assessed based on their merit and presentation. Winners received Yale and UMB themed prizes.

The event was certainly well received by students and faculty. Dr. Jason Lam, a postdoctoral student at the Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering at Yale said “The conference was very educational and inspirational. Lectures delivered by well established green chemistry professors motivate me to think about how we can incorporate sustainable elements into our research projects”. 

Text available through ACS GCI Nexus blog.