Paul Anastas — Lecture

Event Date: January 25, 2018
Speaker: Paul Anastas
Speaker Affiliation: Yale University
Sponsor: School of Environmental and Ecological Engineering
Time: 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Location: FRNY G124
Contact Name: Marsha Freeland
Contact Phone: +1 765 49-45341
Contact Email:
Priority: Yes
School or Program: College of Engineering, Environmental and Ecological Engineering
College Calendar: Show
Anastas headshot

Green Chemistry: The Future


To achieve a sustainable society, there will need to be a transformation on a civilization-wide scale. This transformation will affect all aspects of life including the way that we raise food, generate energy, utilize water, design products, and communicate. These changes will only be possible if the way that we think changes. There have been civilization wide changes in history. These changes of always been accompanied by the way that humans collectively perceive what is knowable versus unknowable; what is possible versus impossible; what is our place and role in the universe. There are forces in place today that will drive a change in the way that we answer these questions. How the change in these answers can influence whether we will move toward or away from a sustainable society. The beginning of green chemistry over the past 25 years has been focused largely on how we do what we’ve always done, better. Doing things better is not the same as doing a better thing. In order for the future to look dramatically different from the past, the design of the material basis of our society and economy and how those materials will relate to the service, function, and applications we need to perform will need to change.

Thoughts on what the future may look like and the role that green chemistry may play is worth contemplating.


Professor Paul T. Anastas is on the faculty of Yale University with appointments in the Department of Chemistry, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, The School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and the School of Management. He is widely known as the “Father of Green Chemistry” and has published 13 books on sustainable technology. He has experience in business (co-founded three companies), the NGO world (co-founded the Green Chemistry Institute), and government having served in the Administrations of the past four U.S. Presidents including serving in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Clinton and Bush Administrations and as Assistant Administrator and Chief Scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Obama Administration.

Selections of numerous awards include:
Heinz Award
Rachel Carson Prize
E. O. Wilson Prize
Emanuel Merck Medal