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Topic Title: Sustainability: The Materials Role
Topic Summary: Lecture series focused on links between materials, energy and the environment.
Created On: 6/30/2008 11:59 AM

 6/30/2008 11:59 AM

Diana Grady

Posts: 359
Joined: 11/14/2007

Abstract This lecture series began in 1971 focused on the links between materials, energy, and the environment. The issue of sustainability had emerged, but only as an exploration of the possibility of materials depletion in the face of predicted population growth. Today, sustainability implies a global economic and social system that both satisfies human needs and does not despoil the earth. What has been our role in this increasingly important arena of human concern and what should it be? Our report card is impressive. Improvements in processing, in materials substitution, in design to minimize materials usage, and in recycling of metals and polymers have all been remarkable. However, we are faced with twin dreadnoughts of change in the next decades: technological ascendency of developing nations and rising world population. Add to these the need to reduce the effluence of greenhouse gases and we must anticipate formidable technological upheaval throughout the materials cycle. Our professional societies need to step forward and play larger and significantly more visible roles in this arena. Working individually and in concert with others, the societies must broadcast our achievements, identify future areas for activity, support industrial road-mapping efforts, and join with all who will participate in clarifying the flow of materials throughout their life cycles.

Source: L. H. Schwartz. "Sustainability: The Materials Role". Met. Trans. A. Vol. 30, No. 4. April, 1999. P. 895-908
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