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September 8, 2008
Volume 86, Number 36
p. 63

Communities of Practice

Corinne Marasco

FOR THIS YEAR'S education supplement, we're borrowing a term from learning theory. "Communities of practice" refers to the learning that occurs when people who have a common interest collaborate over an extended period of time, share ideas and solutions, and build innovations. The stories in this year's supplement share the themes of collaboration and innovation.

Courtesy of Edward Brush
Green Team Bridgewater State College undergraduate students (from left) Julianne Martell, Amanda Bragan, and Maely Cabral work with Edward Brush on green chemistry research projects.

As the green chemistry field grows, educating students in green chemistry's principles and practice becomes imperative. In the first story, I take a look at current activities in green chemistry education in some New England colleges, as well as the work of the Beyond Benign Foundation. Following is ACS Education Division Director Mary Kirchhoff's story on the recent Summer School on Sustainability & Green Chemistry.

Next, Assistant Managing Editor Linda Raber examines the current status of Ph.D. nuclear chemists and radiochemists, whose numbers have been declining for the past 30 years. Raber points readers to the handful of surviving programs at U.S. universities in these areas. Graduates of these programs will be needed more than ever if the U.S. seriously pursues nuclear power as a solution to our energy needs. People must be adequately trained in order to d