Plastics have become some of the most beneficial and also controversial class of materials over the last century. They have become so embedded in our daily life that they go almost unnoticed. That is, until they begin piling up. This talk will not be aimed at demonizing plastics; they are marvels of modern science and serve many benefits in society. However, we cannot ignore the growing problem of plastic over-usage, waste, and pollution. This discussion will take a deeper look into the world of polymers, which is a broad term that encompasses plastics, rubbers, proteins, cellulose, DNA, and many other forms of large molecules. I have dedicated nearly 15 years towards higher education about polymers. When I see a plastic bottle lying next to a piece of wood, I see many molecular similarities. However, most would describe these two materials as complete opposite sides of the sustainability spectrum. What is the difference? and can frontier research in polymers usher in new plastics that are more environmentally benign? I look forward to an open discussion about the
challenges ahead and also to sharing my opinion on exciting developments that polymer scientists are working towards.
Thursday, May 16 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm
FSU Coastal & Marine Laboratory, Auditorium