A leading scholar in the field of green science will examine the intersection between ever-advancing technology and our increasingly delicate environment during a lecture hosted by West Virginia University.

Terry Collins, the Teresa Heinz Professor of Green Chemistry and Director of the Institute for Green Science at Carnegie Mellon University, will speak on “A Code of Sustainability Ethics” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, in 334 Percival Hall on WVU’s Evansdale campus.

“In the last century and a half, we have developed an unprecedented high-technology civilization,” Collins said. “In recent decades, our civilization has gone global and made an extraordinary place of the modern world.”

“At one and the same time, our world is full of exciting developments in knowledge, technology and human possibilities, while also being inflicted with crippling and accelerating environmental decline. The litany of environmental crises reads like a bone-chilling horror story in which we are authoring our own demise through our chosen development pathways.”

“Does it have to be this way?” Collins asked.

In his presentation, Collins will reflect on the un-sustainability of our civilization. He will present novel insight into how to frame sustainability challenges and sketch sustainable development directions in critical technology areas that are easily followed. And he will explore a set of simple ideas called a “code of sustainability ethics” that he believes, if taught in universities worldwide, would help the leaders of future generations to avoid mistakes and better pursue a sustainable future.

The lecture, sponsored by WVU’s Environmental Research Center, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Collins earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the University of Auckland, New Zealand where he is now a Distinguished Alumnus and Honorary Professor. He has been on the Carnegie Mellon faculty since 1987 and is a champion in the field of green chemistry. Collins invented the first effective small molecule mimics of oxidizing enzymes.

His TAML activators mimic the peroxidase enzymes that activate hydrogen peroxide throughout the natural world for innumerable chemical transformations. TAML activators are commercialized in several fields of use and have myriad potential uses, especially in water purification.

Collins holds many patents and he has co-founded one company and is in the process of co-founding others. He has published widely and has been honored with numerous awards including the Heinz Award for the Environment and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Academic Award. Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Green Science is a research, education and development center that uses a holistic approach to sustainability science.

WVU’s Environmental Research Center has developed a research program of state, national, and international significance with an emphasis on watersheds, sustainability, environmental restoration, biodiversity, energy, and rural development. The Center informs policy and promotes economic development focused on a sustainable and productive natural environment in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands region.

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CONTACT: David Welsh, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
304-293-2394, dwelsh@wvu.edu

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