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John Warner (chemist)

John C. Warner is an American chemist. He is the Co-founder, President, and Chief Technology Officer for the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, and the Co-Founder and President of Beyond Benign. He is the recipient of the 2014 Perkin Medal,[1] widely acknowledged as the highest honor in American industrial chemistry.[2]


Warner received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Princeton University.[3]


Known as one of the founders of the field of green chemistry,[4] Warner co-authored with Paul Anastas [5] Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice. His and Anastas' 12 Principles of Green Chemistry are the basis for some high school, college and graduate programs around the world[6] and have significantly altered the landscape of the chemicals industry in the United States and other countries.[7]

Following a nine-year career with the Polaroid Corporation, during which he developed "Non-Covalent Derivatization" technology—a unique method of synthesis that requires fewer steps, less purification, and less waste in materials development—he took a full professorship at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.[8] There he started the world's first Ph.D. program in Green Chemistry before moving to the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, as a professor, where he established and directed the Center for Green Chemistry.[9] In 2007, he left Lowell to found, with Jim Babcock, the Warner-Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, and with his wife, Beyond Benign, a green chemistry educational foundation.[10]

Committed to educating the public on green chemistry, Warner has spoken as keynote and plenary speaker for numerous green chemistry and sustainability conferences. Aside from his awards for his work in the field, in 2011 he was selected as a Utne Reader "visionary",[11] and (with Anastas) a "Top 40 Power Player" by ICIS.[12] Warner has published over 200 patents, papers, and books.[13][14]


Warner has been recognized for his pioneering work with several awards, including:

  • 2002: "Distinguished Chemist of the Year Award" from the American Institute of Chemistry’s Northeast Division[15]
  • 2004: "Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentorship" from the National Science Foundation[8]
  • 2008: "Leadership in Science Award" (with Paul Anastas) from the Council of Scientific Society Presidents[16]
  • 2011: "Environmental Merit Award" from the US EPA[17]
  • 2014: "Perkin Medal" from the Chemical Heritage Foundation[8]