Molecular Miracle Workers

Green chemist Paul Anastas on making the world less toxic and more convenient


| Utne Reader July / August 2007


Yale professor Paul Anastas is considered the father of green chemistry, a field he defines as 'the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances.' He talks about the innovations in this burgeoning field and why chemists have a special responsibility to the environment.

Many people assume chemists are evil--they inevitably cause pollution.

People don't know we have the option of doing things green. They think that in order to have cars, computers, and other modern conveniences, we need to generate all kinds of nasty poisons. Green chemistry is disproving that myth every day.

What's really new about it?

We're touching on something that historically has not been done, which is to design molecules with an eye to consequences right from the start. If you just try to deal with a particular hazardous outcome--cancer or poisoning or explosions--then you're addressing things piecemeal. If you go back down to the molecular architecture, you can address a wide range of issues.

Has green chemistry actually taken hold anywhere?






Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $31.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter flipboard


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265