AMES, Iowa — John Warner, a founder of green chemistry who literally wrote the book on it, is the keynote speaker for Iowa State University’s Symposium on Sustainability on Feb. 23. The Environmental Protection Agency defines green chemistry as the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate hazardous substances.
Warner will present “Green Chemistry: Helping Create a Safer, More Sustainable Future” at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. A reception and poster session will precede the lecture at 7 p.m. in the South Ballroom. All events are free and open to the public.
Warner started the world’s first green chemistry Ph.D. program at the University of Massachusetts-Boston in 2004, and co-authored the seminal text “Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice.” He is president and chief technology officer of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry. In 2008, Warner chaired the Science Advisory Committee of California’s Green Chemistry Initiative, which recently released landmark policy recommendations seeking to eliminate or reduce the use of toxic substances in products and manufacturing processes.
According to Warner, most chemistry and materials science education lacks much information about mechanisms of toxicity and environmental harm. Green chemistry practices have demonstrated that materials and products can be designed with negligible impact on human health and the environment while still being economically competitive and successful in the marketplace. Warner’s presentation will describe the history and background of green chemistry and discuss the opportunities for the next generation of materials designers to create a safer and more sustainable future.
Warner’s presentation is co-sponsored by the Department of Chemistry, Green Umbrella, ISU Office of Sustainability and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by the Government of the Student Body.