Welcome to beyond benign
Beyond Benign¹s vision is to revolutionize the way chemistry is taught to better prepare students to engage with their world while connecting chemistry, human health and the environment.
Beyond Benign was created by Dr. John Warner, a founder of the field of Green Chemistry, to provide an approach and means for scientists, particularly those involved in green chemistry and sustainable science, to reach out to the public. Guided by the belief that all scientists should be able to explain their research in a simple and meaningful manner to people from all backgrounds and of all ages, in 1999 John incorporated community outreach into his students' academic experience as a requirement early in his tenure at the University of Massachusetts. His vision is to increase public awareness and understanding of science in general and specifically of the relationships between chemistry, human health and the environment.
Green Chemistry provides the perfect platform for communicating the importance of science in providing solutions for many of society's challenges because Green Chemistry inherently minimizes the impacts of science on the environment and it is a sustainable approach to chemistry. The relationship between Green Chemistry and the environment provides a uniquely positive, solutions-based starting point for encouraging younger students, who are greatly interested in the environment, to consider positive contributions they can make in any scientific field.
Over the eight academic years between 1999 and 2007, this positive message and the basic concepts of Green Chemistry were brought to an estimated 16,000 K-12 students through our outreach program. In August of 2007 Beyond Benign was incorporated as a non-profit organization independent of the University. Building on the relationships established with community members and schools in the Greater Boston area, we have expanded our community outreach efforts to include curriculum development and teacher training for K-12 educators.
What We Do
A major focus within our organization is the education of the next generation of scientists; we aim to inspire future scientists and to create more informed consumers and voters who are able to support a growing industrial market based on the concepts of green chemistry and sustainability.
Beyond Benign has three main focuses:
- K-12 Curriculum and Training – The concepts of Green Chemistry and Sustainability will be integral knowledge for all future scientists and educated citizens. We believe that education of these topics must begin at the K-12 level. Through Beyond Benign’s K-12 Curriculum and Training programs, a number of lesson plans, curriculum materials and training opportunities are presented to the K-12 educational community to aid in the implementation of science driven by the principles of Green Chemistry throughout the K-12 educational system.
- Community Outreach and Communications – Community education is an essential piece to an environmentally, socially and economically prosperous world. Beyond Benign seeks to educate the community to inspire future scientists and to create more informed consumers and voters who are able to support a growing industrial market based in concepts of Green Chemistry and sustainability.
- Workforce Development – Green Chemistry in practice implies designing safer, economical, efficacious and efficient processes and products. All of these aspects are symptoms of good product design and good manufacturing processes in industry and can result in economic benefit for industries that implement these practices. Green Chemistry can be a tool for regional economic development and jobs creation. Education and training at the academic and professional level are required to support a workforce that can sustain industries driven by the principles of Green Chemistry.
Courtesy Fisher Scientific Education
Read more about our programs in our informational brochure:
Supporting Sustainability in Science Education
in Chemical & Engineering News:
by Stephen K. Ritter
October 4, 2010
The October issue of Chemical & Engineering News a publication of the
American Chemical Society, features an article on Beyond Benign and the Warner Babcock Institute in it's Science & Technology section.
"In a technology park just north of Boston, a new model for sustainable chemical research and development is unfolding..."
Read an Excerpt
Our Annual Reports
Our most recent years' Annual Reports are now available as optimized PDF files!
Vision and Core Philosophies
Beyond Benign's Core Values
Beyond Benign specializes in curriculum development, outreach, education and training. Beyond Benign’s unique educational approach produces materials and trainings that are:
- Audience Driven
- Based on core sustainability values of environment, economics and social equity
- Useful for multiple learning styles
- Relevant to science in society in order to demystify science
- Activity based approaches (both content and curriculum)
- Based on state-of-the-art industrial approaches to Green Chemistry
- Specialized in adult educational approaches (andragogy)