26th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

Systems chemistry: An introduction to systems thinking in green chemistry education, research and innovation

Organizer: James E. Hutchison, Professor, University of Oregon
Session Room: Galleria North

What distinguishes green chemistry from the traditional practice of chemistry? Principally, green chemistry seeks to reduce the impacts of the production and use of chemistry on health and the environment, which are complex systems. Thus, the consideration of systems is one of the attributes that defines green chemistry. In green chemistry, one often encounters tradeoffs and unintended consequences that can best be addressed by taking a broader view of the problem. An emerging opportunity is to view chemistry within the context of systems thinking – systems chemistry.

This workshop aims to introduce participants to the application of systems to the practice of chemistry, introducing key concepts, terminology and examples of the advantage of systems thinking in chemistry. Participants will engage in exercises that help them evaluate alternative approaches and/or design new solutions in the context of systems thinking. Examples will address systems chemistry in teaching, research and innovation. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will have new strategies, approaches and resources that they can use to infuse systems thinking into their green chemistry efforts.

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