December 2018: Red Carpet Walk Towards a Better World


I’m so honored Governor Jerry Brown and his wife Anne Gust inducted me into the California Hall of Fame last Tuesday–my most glamorous evening ever! You can see some fun photos below, watch the induction ceremony video here, and read a press release here. My part of the ceremony begins at about 40 minutes.

From left: Nancy McFadden’s brother, Robert Redford, Fernando Valenzuela, Ann Gust, Jerry Brown, me, Thomas Keller, Ed Lee’s daughter, Belva Davis, & Joan Baez. (Photo by Robert Durell, courtesy California Museum.)

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Green Science Policy Institute and my Hall of Fame recognition shows the success of our model of using good science to reduce toxics for a healthier world. Please consider making a gift to our Institute during our 2018 end-of-year funding campaign.

I was so happy to share the evening with my daughter Annalise and to meet other award winners: singer and activist Joan Baez, famed actor Robert Redford, noted journalist Belva Davis, chef Thomas Keller, and renowned LA Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela. The governor presented each of us with a gorgeous “Spirit of California” gold medal.

Amazing to be with Robert Redford, Thomas Keller and Joan Baez!

Joan Baez was inducted first and shared her very moving poem about wildfires and climate change. I suddenly realized this was my moment to share our Institute’s message with luminaries in the audience including Gavin Newsom, the new governor sitting in the front row. With nothing prepared, I racked my brain and then said: “Our planet is being cut by two blades of a scissors. One blade is global climate change which is leading to fires, droughts, devastation. And the second blade is the toxic chemicals in our everyday products that can cause cancer, neurological defects in our children, and infertility…I think these problems are solvable. We can reduce global climate change. We can reduce toxics, and I am so honored to have this opportunity to speak and bring this idea to a wider audience….”

Annalise and I with my 1970s mountain gear on left & Six Classes on right

You might like to visit the California Museum exhibit of the life achievements of each of the honorees. Mine includes a mannequin wearing my heavy climbing gear from the 1970’s (I found this when I cleaned my garage!) as well as the Six Classes of chemical of concern and our scientific papers that have succeeded in reducing toxics.

Also, please consider participating in our Flame Retardant Dilemma and Beyond one day symposium, February 15, 2019, at the U. of California, Berkeley. More information and registration here.

We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.
Arlene and the Green Science Policy team

PS: Please do consider supporting our Institute’s work for a healthier world for us and future generations. Check out our accomplishments below and donate online or make your check payable to Green Science Policy Institute, and mail to Green Science Policy Institute, P.O. Box 9127, Berkeley, CA 94709.

Some Green Science Policy Accomplishments of the Last Decade

Our scientific publications and policy work contributed to toxic flame retardants no longer being needed in our nation’s furniture and baby products – healthier homes for all!


Working with colleagues, we have prevented over 10 candle standards that would have led to billions of pounds of unnecessary and harmful flame retardants in TV cases and other electronics enclosures worldwide.


We launched the Six Classes video series and website. These compelling short videos educate decision-makers and consumers about avoiding entire classes of chemicals that harm human and environmental health.


Our paper on fluorinated chemicals in fast food packaging received the third highest media impact score of any paper in the journal ES&T Letters. Many fast food and packaging companies are moving away from the use of these chemicals.


We hosted six annual Six Classes Toxics Reduction Retreats. Participants from business, government, academia, and NGOs developed coordinated strategies to limit the most common toxics in everyday products and building materials.


Our recent work contributed to bipartisan legislation to allow U.S. commercial airports to use firefighting foams without highly fluorinated chemicals. This will help prevent drinking water contamination in communities near airports.

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