Prof. Olalekan Fatoki, the Dean of Applied Chemistry at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa, has urged young scholars in the field of chemistry to embrace sustainable chemistry.
Fatoki made this charge on Tuesday, while delivering his keynote address at the Next Generation Consortium Conference of the American Chemical Society (ACS) held at the University of Ilorin.
“Sustainable chemist is all about design and development of benign chemical processes and products to preserve the environment,’’ he said.
The don, who spoke on the theme: “Chemical and Health Transformation for Sustainable Industrial Development”, noted that the field of chemistry had improved the quality of human lives immensely in the last 250 years through the production of a variety of useful products.
He canvassed for the adoption of renewable energy and chemical products that could be recycled.
“Some of the basic ideas of sustainable chemistry are the conservation of raw materials and energy, prevention of pollution and production of less hazardous waste materials,” he said.
Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, encouraged young chemists to take charge of their future by thinking beyond their certificates and grades.
He said that they could be daringly different by charting a new course for their lives and careers.
Abdulkareem lamented the rate at which excellent research findings were perishing on shelves, in Libraries and in academic publications in this part of the world.
The VC told the young chemists: “You must realise that many research breakthroughs are not necessarily the ones performed in the highfaluting and outstanding research laboratories equipped with all forms of advanced tools.
“But those that are uniquely performed and presented in comprehensible, discrete and elegant fashion are the necessary ones.’’
The Chairman, American Chemical Society (ACS), Nigerian chapter, Prof. Joshua Obaleye, said the society, which is scientific based was involved in supporting scientific inquiry in the field of chemistry.
He said that ACS founded in 1876 at New York University, currently has more than 158,000 members at all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related fields worldwide.
“It is the world’s largest scientific society by membership located in Washington. The ACS is a non-profit organisation and holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code,” he said.
Obaleye said the ACS holds national meetings twice a year covering the complete field of chemistry and smaller conferences concentrating on specific chemical fields or geographic regions.