While there have been some recent symposium in th
e Chemical Health and Safety Division of the ACS that have focused on acade
mic lab safety training for undergraduates, such symposia are less common i
n the Division of Chemical Education. And, of course, symposia in CHA
S largely involved “preaching to the choir”. To rem
edy this, Bob Hill and I have organized a symposium in the CHED division (c
o-sponsored by CHAS, but physically located with the CHED symposia) titled
“Improving Safety Education in Academic Institutions.”
Here is the symposium description: “There is continuing and building interest in exploring how best to improve safety education in academic chemistry programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. This symposium will describe efforts being made at the nationa l level as well as individual safety programs that offer pathways to better safety education.”
I wish that I would have re-written this slightly to also include “recommendations for change”. Why? I would love to have the CHED audience hear directly from non-academic folks about what deficiencies are noted by those in the chemical field who hire c hemistry majors (with inadequate safety training.) This is a pretty c ommon observation, as I listen to non-academic folks in the safety field. So, here’s your chance.
Please consider submitting a paper for inclusion in this symposium if there is “something that you woul d like to say” to chemical educators about the safety training afford ed to most chemistry majors. Suggestions for “how to improve 221; are welcome.
We all know that this is a long-standing problem and that change will come slowly. And, we hope that this change is prompt ed by a collection of actions motivated by more than the continuing series of laboratory incidents both in academic and elsewhere. The CCS is co ntinuing to address this issue. Please contribute to this symposium a nd keep the conversation going. Ideas may emerge that will help us move forward towards better safety education in our colleges and univer sities.
Here’s the link to submit an abstract:
Deadline for abstract submission is (M onday) October 31, 2011.
Feel free to contact me directly if you have question s.
Dave (and Bob)
Professor of Chemistry
University Chemical Hygiene OfficerDepartment of Chemistry