John C Warner to Receive 2014 Perkin Medal


Press contact:

Stan Sehested



Program contact:

Ron Reynolds




John Warner to Receive Prestigious Perkin Medal


Founder of Green Chemistry to be honored in Philadelphia


PHILADELPHIA—May 13, 2014The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI), America Group, announced today that the 2014 SCI Perkin Medal will be presented to John C Warner, President and Chief Technology Officer of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry.  This honor recognizes his outstanding work in applied chemistry and acknowledges his industry leadership.   Warner will receive the medal at a dinner in his honor on September 16, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Philadelphia.  

“John Warner has led the search for new methods to make the products society needs, while preserving our environment,” said Erik Fyrwald, President and CEO of Univar Corporation, and SCI America chairperson.  “He created a new field of study in university chemistry departments and works with today’s largest companies to develop green technologies.”

About John Warner

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.

About the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) Perkin Medal

The annual award is recognized as the highest honor given for outstanding work in applied chemistry in the United States. It commemorates the discovery of the first synthetic dye (the so-called Perkin mauve) by Sir William Henry Perkin in 1856. This discovery was a significant step forward in organic chemistry that led to the birth of a major segment of the chemical industry. The SCI Perkin Medal was first awarded to Sir William at a banquet held by the SCI in New York in 1906. Since then, more than 100 such awards have been given to notable scientists.

About the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI)

SCI America Group, launched in 1894, is part of the Society of Chemical Industry’s international organization. It provides a unique networking forum for chemical industry leaders, industrial scientists and technologists to exchange new business ideas and best practices. It celebrates achievement to promote public awareness of the contributions of industrial chemistry and inspire students to enter technical careers.

 SCI America Section also offers its members the opportunity to become part of an international network of industry thought leaders and researchers. Through specialized conferences, e-events, and publications, it helps foster best practices in fields as diverse as fine and commodity chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, agriculture, and environmental protection. SCI America events are managed by the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF). The award dinner will be the final event of Innovation Day, a full day of research collaboration in the molecular sciences held at CHF on September 16.
About the Chemical Heritage Foundation

The Chemical Heritage Foundation is a collections-based nonprofit organization that preserves the history and heritage of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences and technologies. The collections are used to create a body of original scholarship that illuminates chemistry’s role in shaping society. In bridging science with the humanities, arts, and social sciences, CHF is committed to building a vibrant, international community of scholars; creating a rich source of traditional and emerging media; expanding the reach of our museum; and engaging the broader society through inventive public events.