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Nobel Laureate to speak at American Chemical Society green chemistry conference

Ei-ichi Negishi, Ph.D., recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, will be among the featured speakers at the 15th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference, June 21-23, in Washington, D.C. The three-day meeting will be held at the Capital Hilton Hotel, just two blocks north of the White House. The conference, which regularly attracts scientific leaders from around the world, is sponsored by the American Chemical Society's Green Chemistry Institute (ACS GCI).

Negishi, the Herbert C. Brown Distinguished Professor of Organic Chemistry at Purdue University, shared the 2010 Nobel Prize for helping to develop techniques to synthesize complex carbon molecules that have had an enormous impact on the manufacture of medicines and other products. During his conference keynote address, he will discuss his vision of green chemistry and its role in ensuring a sustainable future.

In addition to Negishi, other scheduled keynote speakers are:

  • Paul Anastas, Ph.D., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisor and Assistant Administrator for the agency's Office of Research and Development.
  • H. Fisk Johnson, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of S.C. Johnson, Inc.
  • Martyn Poliakoff, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at the University of Nottingham in England and Foreign Secretary for the Royal Society of Chemistry.
  • Jane Banyus, a natural sciences writer, innovation consultant, and co-founder of the Biomimicry Guild.

This year's conference theme is "Global Challenges, Green Chemistry Solutions." The conference is an official International Year of Chemistry (IYC 2011) event. IYC 2011 is a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind. It was proclaimed by the 63rd General Assembly of the United Nations.

As part of that celebration, participants in this conference will explore recent innovations and applications at the cutting edge of green chemistry, which offer real value to business. The conference also will address environmental challenges and explore sustainable solutions of today for future generations.

"For more than 200 years, we've been practicing industrial chemistry the same way," says Bob Peoples, Ph.D., director of the ACS GCI and conference co-chair. "Clearly chemistry has delivered wonderful benefits for the human race. At the same time, we know our production techniques are not sustainable on a long-term basis. Now is the time to shift our focus to rapidly renewable, bio-based raw materials for manufacturing, alternative energy sources and water conservation. Virtually all of modern society is underpinned by the chemistry of our materials and the products they enable. It only makes sense chemistry is the key to a sustainable future."

The conference program features 35 technical sessions, including green chemistry in the automotive industry, the uses of bio-fuels and new energy sources and promoting green chemistry education, entrepreneurship, and sustainable design.

In conjunction with the Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference, the EPA will recognize winners of the 2011 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. Winners are honored for their outstanding chemical technology efforts, which incorporated principles of green chemistry into chemical design, manufacture and use. Collectively, past award winners have introduced technologies that have eliminated more than 460 million pounds of hazardous chemicals and solvents, saved more than a billion gallons of water, and eliminated more than 170 million pounds of carbon dioxide.


Contact: Doug Dollemore
American Chemical Society

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