Dr. Catherine Middlecamp, Professor in the Department of Chemistry (University of Wisconsin-Madison), will be giving a Seminar in the Grace Allen Room (Library 4th Floor) on October 21, 2015.
"Sustainability! What, How, and Why Now? Version 2.0"
The Symposium “Sustainability in the Chemistry Curriculum” was held in March 2010 as part of 239th national meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in San Francisco. The symposium attracted over 30 speakers and was well attended. Eighteen speakers contributed chapters to a monograph in the ACS Symposium Series with the same title. I organized that symposium and contributed a talk entitled “Sustainability! What, how and why now for our chemistry students?”
Today’s presentation is the sequel. I will describe the steps that led to making topics relating to energy, food, and waste part of my teaching in ways I never could have predicted,. I will show how sustainability – although not always using this term – can become embedded in science courses, demonstrating that content and context are not in opposition but rather two sides of a coin. One thing, however, remains unchanged for me since 2010: the answer to the question “Why now?” The time is now for sustainability because a diverse group of students (and future citizens) need it, welcome it, and ask for it. So do our professional societies. “Chemistry for a Sustainable World" is a four-way win: for our students, for our discipline, for our communities, and for our planet.