Darmstadt, Germany, April 30, 2015 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading company for innovative, top-quality high-tech products in healthcare, life science and performance materials, announced today that the American chemist Professor Paul T. Anastas has been awarded this year's Emanuel Merck Lectureship. In the 1990s, Anastas coined the term “green chemistry” and with it more sustainability-oriented chemical value chains. Anastas' visionary idea was to observe the whole life cycle of chemicals and, building on this, develop the best, least harmful and safest manufacturing process.
“With his twelve principles of green chemistry, Paul Anastas has shown us a modern form of chemistry, the most important pillar of which is the principle of sustainability. The chemical and pharmaceutical industries will take these principles more strongly into account in the future. I am very pleased to award him the Emanuel Merck Lectureship, together with the Technical University of Darmstadt,” said Thomas Geelhaar, Chief Technology Officer Chemicals at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and President of the German Chemical Society.
The prize, which is worth € 10,000, will be presented to Anastas on Monday, May 11, 2015 at the Technical University (TU) Darmstadt during a special public lecture. The award winner will be holding a lecture entitled “Green Chemistry: Origins, Accomplishments, and Future Directions” at 5:00 p.m. in the Kekulé Hall of the Chemistry Department. On the following day, Anastas will hold two further lectures at the TU Darmstadt.
U.S. President Barack Obama recognized Anastas' pioneering role in 2009 by naming him Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Research and Development. Anastas went on to work at the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy and became Director of the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute in Washington, D.C. Paul Anastas began teaching at Yale University in New Haven in 2007. Five years later, he became Director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering.
Nearly a quarter of a century ago, many people thought the notion of green chemistry to be fairly questionable. Since then, it has been receiving growing attention. In green chemistry, the goal is to design reaction processes and products that are manufactured, used and disposed of in a way that produces as little waste as possible. Waste should also cause as little harm as possible. According to Anastas, prevention is better than disposal.
Paul T. Anastas has been awarded this year's Emanuel Merck Lectureship.
Emanuel Merck Lectureship
With this lecture prize, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and TU Darmstadt have been recognizing globally renowned scientists who have made superb contributions to chemical and pharmaceutical research for 22 years. The Chemistry Department of the TU Darmstadt selects the candidates and winners. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, established the prize in 1992 and it has been awarded 13 times since 1993.
2015 – Paul T. Anastas, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
2013 – Frances Arnold, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
2011 – Carolyn Bertozzi, University of California, Berkley, CA, USA
2009 – Axel Ullrich, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried near Munich, Germany
2007 – Sir Harold W. Kroto, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA
2005 – George M. Whitesides, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
2003 – Samuel J. Danishefsky, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
2000 – Stuart L. Schreiber, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
1998 – Jean-Pierre Changeux, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
1996 – Manfred Eigen, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany
1995 – Jean-Marie Lehn, Collčge de France, Paris/University of Strasbourg, France
1994 – Kenneth Wade, University of Durham, United Kingdom
1993 – Albert Eschenmoser, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland