CHANGING THE COURSE OF CHEMISTRY
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The education of chemists and all those interested in chemistry is an ever-evolving endeavor to keep up with the latest innovations, discoveries, concepts, perspectives and techniques of the field. One of the most exciting developments in recent years is the development of Green Chemistry – the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the generation of toxic substances.
The path that the field of chemistry has taken over the course of the past 200 years is one of creativity, innovation, and discovery. It is also a path that we have followed without fully considering the consequences of either what we have created or the methods and processes we have used to do so. This is largely due to the fact that historically we have had little understanding of the impact of chemicals on human health and the environment. In recent decades, science has dramatically increased our knowledge of the various types of adverse consequences of chemicals. More importantly, it has begun to provide us with a molecular-level understanding of these consequences, thereby allowing us to design our chemical products and transformation processes in order to minimize these adverse consequences. This is the basis of the green chemistry movement, which has been bringing about a wide range of innovations throughout the chemical enterprise.
Green Chemistry education seeks to enhance chemists` understanding of the impacts of their design choices and experiments. Curricula based on the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry cast the field of chemistry in an entirely different light. Hazard and waste become recognized as design flaws or, more positively, as opportunities for innovation. Routine handling of inherently safe chemicals reinforces the beneficial impacts and problem-solving potential of the chemical enterprise. Students gain an appreciation for product lifecycles and environmental ethics and are empowered to follow their moral inclinations as scientists and engineers.
Date: 2015-01-29; view: 994