All BCGC Associate Directors and affiliated faculty, researchers, and students participate in activities of the Integrative Sciences.
Integrative Sciences embodies the interdisciplinary mission of the center by serving as a vehicle to help integrate the Center's differing areas of inquiry into an overarching intellectual framework. Consistent with the Center's mission of advancing sustainability through green chemistry, this framework holds that the global carrying capacity for health and environmental harm caused by chemical substances is finite, and that harm must therefore be prevented, not simply ameliorated.
The imperative of prevention runs counter to the predominant model of industrial development of the last 150 years, in which society has acted on the assumption that ecosystems and human populations are almost infinitely capable of absorbing harm in the form of chemical pollution and exposures. This assumption has shaped education, research, and professional practice in chemistry and the materials sciences; environmental engineering and risk assessment; law, policy, and ethics; and decision-making in business and industry. With notable exceptions, this assumption has also influenced—and has been enabled by—University and college curricula throughout the United States.
Collaboration and Transformation
Preventing harm is therefore much more than a technical question of design; it requires a transformation in the ideas on which multiple disciplines and fields of practice are based, along with a far greater commitment to collaboration across previously disparate areas of research, teaching, and engagement within the American Academy.
Integrative Sciences at the Center grows out of the recognition that the successful development and the adoption by society of green chemistry will require innovations in—and integration among—chemistry and engineering; the environmental health sciences; public policy; law; business; and economics.
The Integrative Sciences group is organizing BCGC research, education, and outreach activities in five areas:
- Alternatives Assessment
- New Science and Chemicals Policy
- Occupational Safety and Health
- The Consortium on Green Chemistry
- Health and Environmental Science, Policy, and Law in California.
Lead Faculty and researchers:
Michael P. Wilson, PhD, MPH, Associate Director
Akos Kokai, MS, Chemist
Joseph Guth, JD, PhD, Associate Research Scientist