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Roberts to Give Sigma Xi Lecture on Re-inventing Green Chemistry

Jody Roberts, director of the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, will present this year’s annual Sigma Xi lecture, entitled “Re-inventing Green Chemistry: Alternative Histories for a Sustainable Science.”

The annual Sigma Xi lecture will take place on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. in Eberly Auditorium. 

Roberts will attempt to answer the question “what role does or can history play in the creation of more sustainable sciences?” Roberts will examine the ways in which history, as we tell it, directs our actions in the present and shapes our possible futures, and will show the connection between imagining possible (sustainable) futures and the ways in which we speak of our histories.

Focusing on the specific case of green chemistry, Roberts will examine the ways in which historical narratives are embedded in their identity. He will then outline other possible, alternative narratives that might alter the science and politics involved in the creation of a more sustainable chemistry.

Jody Roberts earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe. He received advanced degrees in science and technology studies from Virginia Tech, where he cultivated an interest in the practice of the molecular sciences and the ways in which they are shaped by internal architecture and design (e.g., technologies of the laboratory) and the politics of the broader world (e.g., chemical regulations).  He is the director of the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia. He lectures in the Science, Technology, and Society Program at Drexel University and in the History and Sociology of Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a senior fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program.

Sigma Xi is an international, multidisciplinary research society whose programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honor scientific achievement.

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