We all remember the famous tagline: better living through chemistry. But in recent years, that promise has been distorted, as serious health effects have been traced to the chemicals in everyday products. When a plastic baby bottle can interfere with brain and reproductive development, you know something is missing.
John Warner is working to fill in the pieces. Starting out as a musician, Warner never thought he would enter the sciences, let alone become a world-renowned chemist. Yet through extraordinary professional and personal experiences, he not only learned to create safe, environmentally-friendly chemicals, but discovered what was broken in the system. From an educational approach that teaches chemistry through rote instruction rather than creative exploration, to business models that short-shrift R&D, society at large is not fostering the development of benign chemicals.
The Missing Elements proposes a path forward, arguing for straightforward changes in education, business, government, philanthropy, and personal behavior that would support the universal adoption of green chemistry. The scale of reform is substantial, but so is the possibility when we restore chemistry’s promise.