In 1998, John Warner and Paul Anastas published the ground-breaking book, Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice. The road to this achievement was not linear for Warner. Growing up in a blue-collar family in Quincy, Massachusetts, he originally saw himself as a musician and went to college to study music. But it all changed when he saw what could be invented in a chemistry lab.
Completing advanced degrees in chemistry, Warner went to work at Polaroid and was headed for a successful career in industry. Then personal tragedy struck when a birth defect claimed the life of his young son. Unsettled by the thought that his work as a chemist might have been connected to his son’s birth defect, Warner realized that, in all of his studies, he had never been taught about the dangers of toxic chemicals for people and the environment.
Warner left Polaroid and set out to change the way chemistry is taught in universities across the country. And in 2007, he founded the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry as an invention factory to create technologies and processes that are functional, cost-effective, and environmentally benign.
Learn more about the 12 principles of green chemistry . . .