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Sustainable Science

Amy Cannon '97Everything's going green, including chemistry. Amy Cannon, class of 1997, holds the world's first doctorate in green chemistry, and she uses it to find safer technologies for everything from solar energy conductors to hair perm devices. She is the co-founder and executive director of Beyond Benign, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness of "green chemistry."

"Our mission is to inspire future scientists and create more informed consumers so that we can have safer processes and products that are also safer and more efficient and economical," Cannon says.

The non-profit organization teaches students, educators and citizens about green chemistry, and looks for ways to create sustainable products using natural biological processes. Cannon often speaks at K-12 schools in the Boston area, as well as to audiences in industry and higher education.

She earned her Ph.D. in green chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, working on the environmentally benign synthesis of photoactive materials. She has worked in industry for the Gillette Company and Rohm and Haas Electric Materials and has taught at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.