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Ocean Environment Lecture Series

Blue Hill -

BLUE HILL — In the wake of the toxic tragedy still brewing deep in the Gulf of Mexico, the Marine Environmental Research Institute welcomes author Elizabeth Grossman, who will put the current situation in perspective, and ask if green chemistry could help prevent another similar disaster. An “eloquent, scientific muckraker,” Grossman will discuss the recent oil spill and present “Material Consequences: Our Chemically Altered Environment, Human Health, and the Promise of Green Chemistry.” The talk will take place at 7pm on June 10th and is part of MERI’s 2010 Ocean Environment Lecture Series. A reception honoring Ms. Grossman begins at 6 pm.

MERI’s director and marine toxicologist, Dr. Susan Shaw, has reported on the dangers posed by the chemical dispersants used in vast quantities on the oil spill, but over the past century we’ve created tens of thousands of other synthetic chemicals – substances that exist nowhere in nature, a great many of which are petrochemicals – materials that now permeate every aspect of our lives. These materials have been changing the world’s chemistry, in some instances altering the most fundamental building blocks of life on Earth. Consequently, the entire chemistry of the planet – from the cellular level to entire ecosystems – is now different than at any other time in history.

In her lecture, Grossman will discuss the impact of such changes and solutions to these environmental health and pollution problems. On the basis of extensive research, she argues that “green chemistry” is an essential part of this solution and describes this revolutionary new field that is introducing products that are “benign by design,” that considers health impacts at every state, and is creating new materials that mimic rather than disrupt natural systems. It is a radically new – and optimistic – approach to both product design and environmental health.

A freelance journalist and author, Grossman focuses on environmental and science issues. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, The Washington Post, Salon, The Nation, and Grist, and she has served as a science journalism fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Her latest book, Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health, and the Promise of Green Chemistry, has won several awards and is now in its second printing. She is also the author of High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health, which was chosen as a best book of 2006 by Booklist.

The lecture is part of MERI’s 20th Anniversary celebration events, which bring the world’s leading marine scientists and explorers to Blue Hill to address critical ocean issues. MERI’s 2010 Ocean Environment Lecture Series is supported by the Maine Coastal Program, the Maine Community Foundation. Elizabeth Grossman’s lecture is sponsored by the Blue Hill Inn. Acclaimed Blue Hill chef, Diane Bianco, will provide appetizers for the reception featuring recipes from her upcoming cookbook, “Let’s Party in Maine!”

The Marine Environmental Research Institute (MERI), located at 55 Main Street in Blue Hill, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the marine environment and human health through scientific research and education. For information about MERI’s monthly lectures, research and education programs, please call 374-2135, e-mail info@meriresearch.org or visit MERI online at www.meriresearch.org.

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Telephone Number: (207)374-2135

Website: http://www.meriresearch.org

Email: info@meriresearch.org