Plastics, Basically

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The fascinating world of plastics, including recent breakthroughs that could have a revolutionary impact on climate change

About this Event

Over the past decades, plastics have become cheaper, stronger and more durable. So successful have these advancements been that, regrettably, 80 to 90 per cent of plastics end up in landfills. Nonetheless, plastics hold the key to our future health and welfare.

Join Dr. Steven Holdcroft as he walks us through the fascinating world of plastics and recent breakthroughs that promise to facilitate a revolutionary impact on the global energy sector, the hydrogen economy, greenhouse gas reduction and, ultimately, climate change.

About Steven Holdcroft

Dr. Steven Holdcroft, PhD, FCIC, is a Professor of Chemistry, Canada Research Chair, former Departmental Chair and President of the Canadian Society for Chemistry. He researches materials for electrochemical energy conversion and storage. He is the author of 300 peer-reviewed articles, several book chapters and numerous patents, and is the recipient of SFU’s Excellence in Teaching Award. With three former students, he co-founded Vancouver-based Ionomr Innovations Inc., an SFU spin-out commercializing materials for clean energy. For services to the community, Dr. Holdcroft has received the Macromolecular Science and Engineering Division Award of the Chemical Institute of Canada, and the Canadian Society for Chemistry’s Rio Tinto Alcan Award. In 2018, he was the recipient of SFU’s Outstanding Alumni Award for Academic Achievement.

About the Series

The President’s Faculty Lecture Series shines a light on the research excellence at Simon Fraser University. Hosted by SFU president Joy Johnson, these free public lectures celebrate cutting-edge research and faculty that engage with communities and mobilize knowledge to make real-world impacts.

Examining the themes of resilience and recovery from a variety of disciplines, each short lecture in the 2020-2021 series will be followed by a conversation between our presenter, president Joy Johnson, and the audience.

Learn about all of the upcoming lectures in the series here.




Closed captioning will be available for this event.

Registration and password

A password to access this webinar will be sent to all registrants via email in the days and hours preceding the event.

Technology requirements

This workshop will be presented in a participatory webinar format. To engage fully you will need:

  • A laptop, computer, or smartphone
  • A webcam
  • A microphone
  • Speakers or headphones

Protecting your privacy

To ensure that we are using online meeting technology in a privacy-conscious way, we are following best practices for this online event series:

  • We will only circulate the meeting link to those who are registered for the event
  • We will password protect the meeting
  • We will enable end-to-end encryption
  • We will not use attention tracking
  • We will ask that participants use their first and last name as their display name on the webinar, so we can check incoming participants against the event registration list

To protect your own privacy we suggest that:

  • You use a unique email address to log into the webinar. This is so that the webinar platform can’t cross-reference your profile with the rest of your digital profiles under your email address.
  • We suggest you do not use your Facebook profile to log into the webinar. This is so that the webinar platform can’t cross-reference you with your Facebook account.
  • We remind you that whatever you say in the webinar is public and recorded, so please do not share sensitive information about yourself or others, and do not say anything you do not wish to enter the public domain.

To protect the privacy of others we ask that:

  • You do not record or photograph yourself, other participants, or the hosts during the webinar, unless permission is requested and given.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments regarding this event’s accessibility or privacy, feel free to connect with us at


Commitment to community guidelines and social accountability

All participants are asked to participate as socially accountable community members. We ask that you provide your full name as your display name during the online meeting and that you review our community guidelines ahead of your participation in the event. This is to ensure the safety of our guests and speakers as well as foster honest and accountable dialogue between people in this space. Thank you for respecting our community guidelines!

  • Above all, there will be zero tolerance for those who promote violence against others on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, or different ability. Anyone who incites harm towards other participants (be it through the chat, video or audio functions) will be removed at the discretion of our technical team and moderator.
  • Be as present as possible (put away phone, close/mute tabs).
  • Thoughtful questions are welcome in the chat throughout the session. If your question is for a particular speaker, type “@name” at the beginning.
  • Don’t assume pronouns/gender/knowledge based on someone’s name or video image. We can refer to people using the usernames they provide!
  • Step up, step back: if you’ve asked a question or shared a comment, ensure that new voices are heard before you contribute again.
  • Practice self-care: if you need to get up or take a break, please feel free.
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