Systems Thinking To Re-imagine Chemistry

September 8, 2016

Small figures standing next to a brain

Peter Mahaffy and Alain Krief will explore their premise that “the practice and overarching mission of chemistry need a major overhaul to be fit for purpose in the 21st Century and beyond.”  What can practicing chemists and chemistry educators do to help our profession embrace more of a systems perspective, and play a more meaningful and visible role in addressing multiple unfolding global challenges? The discussion is timely, given the August 29, 2016 recommendation to the International Geological Congress in Cape Town that the Anthropocene be formally declared as a new geological epoch. 

What You Will Learn

  • While chemistry is effective at creating new scientific knowledge and translating knowledge into new applications, an imperative exists for the profession to seriously and visibly take a lead in addressing multiple unfolding global challenges, such as the threats to our planetary boundaries and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Chemistry education and practice need to be re-imagined to emphasize the interconnectedness of chemistry with local and global systems.
  • Systems thinking and cross-disciplinary approaches are essential features of a re-imagined chemistry and will require a significant shift in culture and thinking, relative to current education and practice.

Additional Resources

One-world Chemistry and Systems Thinking - Nature Chemistry

The Fine Print

ACS Webinars® does not endorse any products or services. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the American Chemical Society.

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Peter Mahaffy
The King’s University

Joseph Fortunak
Howard University

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