Paul Anastas, a pioneer in the design of environmentally friendly chemicals and Yale professor, will receive the 2012 Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award for “helping advance the biodiversity of life on planet Earth.”
E.O. Wilson, the renowned professor of entomology and evolutionary biology at Harvard University for whom the honor is named, will present Anastas with the award on Thursday, Oct. 4, at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont.
The award cites Anastas for “seminal contributions to the foundations of green chemistry.” Trained as a synthetic organic chemist, Anastas has focused his research on the design of safer chemicals, bio-based polymers and new methodologies of chemical synthesis that are more efficient and less hazardous to the environment.
A leading writer on the subjects of sustainability, green chemistry and green engineering, he has published 10 books, including Benign by Design; Designing Safer Polymers; Green Engineering; and his seminal work with co-author John Warner, Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice.
At Yale, Anastas is the Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment and director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering. He served recently as Science Advisor for the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Research and Development.
Prior to joining the Yale faculty, he was the founding director of the Green Chemistry Institute, headquartered at the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C. From 1999 to 2004, he worked at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he served as assistant director for the environment. He began his career as a staff chemist at the EPA, and went on to become chief of the Industrial Chemistry Branch and director of the U.S. Green Chemistry Program. It was during his work at the EPA that he coined the term green chemistry.
Anastas holds a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and an M.A. and Ph.D. in chemistry from Brandeis University.