We may assume that the functions required by commercial chemicals and materials are different from the functions required by organisms. Upon closer look, however, the overlap of common functions may surprise you–everything from non-stick coatings to lightweight polymeric materials. Not only have organisms solved for the same set of functions, but after 3.8 billion years of R&D, the solutions are often elegant and sustainable. Organisms, after all, have to manage chemical and material production, use, and disposal in the same place where their offspring need to survive and thrive. Mark Dorfman’s presentation will provide an overview of the key principles behind nature’s life-friendly chemistry and share examples of biomimetic inventions inspired by nature’s genius.
Mark Dorfman is a New York City-based Senior Principal and lead chemist at Biomimicry 3.8, where his work is centered on the premise that living organisms, by necessity, have developed sophisticated, highly effective, life-friendly chemistries that could inspire provocative, high-performing, sustainable technology for modern society. Mark seeks out and applies the design principles of nature's time-tested chemical strategies to the development of innovative solutions to the toxic chemical and material challenges facing the 21st century. Prior to Biomimicry 3.8, Mark worked in the non-profit sector researching and writing case-studies on industrial chemical pollution prevention and wastewater management practices that ultimately influenced the creation of federal and state pollution prevention policies.