24 July 2014
John Warner is widely acknowledged as one of the founders of green chemistry. After a ten year career at Polaroid Corporation in Cambridge, MA, he joined the University of Massachusetts at Boston where he started the world’s first Green Chemistry Ph.D. program. His seminal book, coauthored with Paul Anastas, Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice, first described the “Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry”.
In the late 1980’s, Warner developed Non-Covalent Derivatization (NCD) technology. NCD is a unique method of synthesis to create new materials requiring fewer steps, less purification, and less waste. Today NCD technology is used for various industrial applications including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, construction materials and electronics.
In 2007, together with Jim Babcock, he co-founded the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, creating a new model for a research company. The Institute’s goal is to work with companies to invent commercial technologies that have superior performance, cost, and are environmentally friendly.
As a chemical educator, Warner has had an extraordinary impact on the future directions of research. Under his leadership, UMass has created five graduate level classes on green chemistry addressing such topics as sustainable design. Dr. Warner received the 2004 US Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentorship. Through his non-profit organization, Beyond Benign, which is run by Warner’s wife Dr. Amy Cannon, educators can download lesson plans that focus on green chemistry and sustainability.
In 2009, the Council of Scientific Society Presidents honored Dr. Warner with the Leadership in Science Award for founding the field of Green Chemistry. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts-Boston and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Princeton in Organic Chemistry. John has five children and lives with his wife Amy in Wilmington, MA.