Chemists for Sustainability: A group promoting the chemical sciences for
Sustainable development is one of the overarching global challenges of the 21st century.
In 2015, governments agreed at the United Nations on a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) to be achieved by 2030.
Chemists for Sustainability (C4S) was formed as an Action Group in 2014 by an international
group of chemists who believe that chemistry and related sciences have indispensable roles to
play in helping the world to achieve the SDGs. There are currently four core members in the
group, with others co-opted as required to bring additional perspectives to the work. The core group
comprises Henning Hopf, Alain Krief, Stephen Matlin and Goverdhan Mehta.
The group has served advocacy and think-tank roles through written articles, lectures at various
fora and web materials. It holds brainstorming meets about twice a year alternately in India and
Europe, interacting in between by teleconference and email, to maintain a high momentum and deliver
topical products via diverse international platforms.
The following is an overview of C4S products.
Championing chemistry; advancing science
group discusses the need for new champions of chemistry to step forward to help drive
the reforms that are need in the discipline.
- S. A. Matlin, G. Mehta, H. Hopf, A. Krief. Championing
chemistry. Chemical and Engineering News 2017, 95(6) 20-21.
In the ‘post-truth’ era, the C4S
group emphasises the importance of chemists and
other scientists vigorously promoting ‘scientific temper’ (the adoption of the culture
of science, in and beyond the field itself, as a way of life that rejects anti-science thinking)
- S. A. Matlin, H. Hopf, A. Krief G. Mehta. Why
Scientists Are Marching. Project Syndicate 17 April 2017.
- Krief, H. Hopf, G. Mehta, S. A. Matlin. Science in the post-truth
era. Current Science 2017, 112, 2173-2174.
- H. Hopf, A. Krief, G. Mehta, S.A. Matlin. Die Welt des
Postfaktischen – ein Widerwort aus der Wissenschaft. Nachrichten aus der
Chemie. 2017, 65, 659-661.
group analyses the system of scientific publishing, with emphasis on a perspective
from the chemical sciences, and identifies a deep crisis that is unfolding, driven by the
conjunction of sub-systems that connect the primary purpose of scientific advancement with financial
and reputational rewards. It argues that piecemeal solutions are unlikely to be effective or
sustainable and the time is ripe for the stakeholders in science publishing to seek new, systemic
approaches that comprehensively address the fundamental flaws. The outlines of an action plan for
the science community to generate such a process are suggested.
- S. A. Matlin, G. Mehta, A. Krief, H. Hopf. The scientific publishing conundrum: a
perspective from chemistry. Beilstein J Organic Chem., 2017, in the press.