Green chemistry no more?!

Oh, this is so dis­heart­ening, friends. The EPA has can­celed a $20-​​million fund to pro­mote green chem­istry research projects with vir­tu­ally no expla­na­tion of why. Read the Envi­ron­mental Health News story about this sad turn of events here.

In response to the deci­sion, Graham Jones, chair of the North­eastern Depart­ment of Chem­istry and Chem­ical Biology says:

This announce­ment took the aca­d­emic com­mu­nity by sur­prise, in part due to the fact that many teams had been working for months on pro­posals the due date for which is later this month. If there is a silver lining to this, the EPA has hinted that it may re-​​issue a call for pro­posals later in the year. One would hope that the aca­d­emic com­mu­nity will not be deterred from investing time and effort in the response to the next call — for fear of the same thing hap­pening again. The intent of the pro­gram, to estab­lish “Cen­ters for Mate­rial Life Cycle Safety and Cen­ters for Sus­tain­able Mol­e­c­ular Design” is note­worthy and the vision of the agency was largely applauded.

In case you missed my post a couple weeks ago, green chem­istry is the move­ment toward chem­istry that is sus­tain­able from the ground up. Instead of trying to figure out ways to make our cur­rent prod­ucts more sus­tain­able, green chem­istry seeks to make new prod­ucts that were never not sustainable.

Photo: Joshua Drew Vaughn, “Poly­mers!” December 11, 2011 via Flickr. Cre­ative Com­mons attribution.