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Understanding Environmental Challenges and a Sustainable Way Forward

As the world’s largest society of scientists, the American Chemical Society (ACS) recognizes the importance of chemistry and allied sciences in improving people’s lives and ensuring the well-being of the planet. ACS is committed to supporting its members and working with partners to address global sustainability challenges.

Environment and Sustainability Event Group Photo

Staying true to our commitment, ACS organized a “Glocal” event in New Delhi, India in association with the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, and Delhi Technological UniversityACS Student Chapter. The event provided a platform for multiple stakeholders including established professors, young scientists, and students to discuss several pertinent environmental and sustainability issues.

Environment and Sustainability Event Booth

The event featured two panel discussions, eight keynote lectures, and 24 lightning talks covering several topics on the Water-Energy-Food-Climate Nexus, with emphasis on current environmental challenges, sustainable mitigation measures, and technological development strategies.

Over three days, the event was attended by students, faculties, and industry representatives from across India. The panel discussions and keynote lectures featured ACS Editors and high-profile researchers from India, namely:

Environment and Sustainability Event - ACS Journals Presentation

In the inaugural session, Prof. Ram Ramaswamy (Former Vice-president; INSA) recognized the ongoing event as an impactful platform and urged the organizers to publish the conclusions/key messages in a tangible form accessible to the broader scientific community.

Prof. Satish Patil, co-convenor of the event, provided a glimpse of the various nexuses between different research fields and why collaborative work is paramount in solving the key challenges plaguing human civilization. Dr. Daniel Kulp (Senior Director, Research Integrity and Global Developments at ACS) gave an overview of ‘ACS Publications – Beyond Chemistry’ and highlighted new journal launches and Open Science at ACS.

The concluding remarks by Dr. Deeksha Gupta, (Senior Associate Director, India Strategy & Operations) covered some of the key programs undertaken by the society like the ACS Campaign for a Sustainable Future: The Zero Hunger Summit and the Foundations of Chemical Safety & Risk Management course.

Environment And Sustainability Event - Panel Discussion

The panel discussions were centered around two key areas—the first highlighted groundwater pollution and technologies to ensure water security, and the second focused on the water-energy-food-climate nexus.

The Keynote Lectures and Lightning talks covered diverse topics in the field of environment and sustainability, including severe air pollution; water quality degradation; loss of biodiversity; lack of waste management; clean energy; geogenic/anthropogenic contaminants in the groundwater; depletion of resources (land, air, water); and net zero and low-cost hydrogen generation from green sources. Additionally, several state-of-the-art mitigation measures were also discussed, including AI/ML-based tools to predict pollution/severe events.

The Lightning Talks were delivered by Early Career Researchers from 27 institutes, covering 11 states across India. This ensured a diverse pool of speakers highlighting the various regional environmental challenges and opportunities.

Call for Papers: Special Issues

The Environmental Science & Technology journal portfolio was highlighted during the conference, and the editors shared valuable insights on each journal’s scope and expectations. Learn more about the open call for submissions to thematic Special Issues in these journals:

Data Science for Advancing Environmental Science, Engineering, and Technology
Environmental Science & Technology, Environmental Science & Technology Letters
Submission Deadline: January 12, 2023

Resource Recovery and Recycling from Water Streams: Advanced Membrane Technologies and Case Studies
ACS ES&T Water
Submission Deadline: January 17, 2023

Oxidative Water Treatment: The Track Ahead
Environmental Science & Technology
Submission Deadline: January 31, 2023

Applications of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Analytics in Water Environments
ACS ES&T Water
Submission Deadline: March 31, 2023

Quotes and Unsolicited Testimonials

“We Science vs Me Science. We are in this for the species – public health, biodiversity, and ecosystem services” – Prof. Bryan Brooks, EiC, ES&T Letters

A lot of good work has been done [presented] by multiple speakers, some of which could have featured in ES&T. Similar problems exist around the world and the solutions you are working on here [India] are transferable to other regions of the world.” – Prof. Greg Lowry, EE, ES&T

The future of the world rests in the hands of India. We have the potential to make an immense contribution.” – Prof. Wonyong Choi, EiC, ACS ES&T Engineering

Thanks to the ACS team for the invitation and excellent hospitality provided at INSA. It was wonderful to engage with ACS and other researchers from the environment and sustainability domain. It is very helpful for me and hopefully will lead to some collaborations in near future.” – Prof. Sanyasi Naidu, INST Mohali

It was a sheer pleasure to be part of this panel where a high level of learning instantly happened through exhaustive brainstorming. Thank you, American Chemical Society.”– Prof. Manish Kumar, UPES Dehradun

Happy to be part of excellent discussions and talks at the event and met diverse researchers in the domain of Environment and Sustainability.” – Prof. Ramesh Gardas, IIT Madras

A pleasant experience attending the Environment and Sustainability Event organized by the ACS at INSA. It was fascinating to meet the Editors from the ES&T journals and discuss the latest developments closely. I am sure the connections we developed during this event will be long-lasting and exciting.” – Prof. Mohit Prakash Mohanty, IIT Roorkee

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