Scientech Logo


...a club for people who never stop learning...

The Scientech Club provides a forum for weekly presentations and discussions in the fields of science and technology and other topics for the enlightenment of its membership.

Regular, one-hour Meetings are, with the exception of holidays, held every Monday at noon at The Northside Knights of Columbus, 2100 East 71st Street, Indianapolis. Club Members, as well as the general public, may attend our Regular Meetings for a nominal contribution to pay for the facility. For those who wish, a buffet lunch may be enjoyed before the meeting. Occasionally, instead of a presentation, members and their guests may take a tour to a place of interest, such as a plant or historical site.

The Scientech Club is associated with an outstanding local charitable Foundation, The Scientech Club Foundation, established by Scientech members to promote science education. Information about the foundation may be found under the heading Foundations above.

Club News ! !

Click HERE for information about supporting a Nepal Earthquake Relief effort led by Scientech member Jeff Rasley

Click HERE to visit the Club News page to view many early pictures of three very important former members of Scientech - Elwood Haynes, D.J.Angus, and R.B.Annis - as reported in the Indiana Historical Society's Destination Indiana web site and to to see brief biographical information on the following new members of Scientech who have joined the club since the last Roster was printed.

Thomas Brogan
Thomas Ertl
Jerome Karwowski
Robert Sanborn
Charles Solomon
John Volbers
John Williams

Also visit the Club Members Honors page (under the Club Information menu)to view the distinguished career of the late Dr. Jack Hall, twice recognized as a Sagamore of the Wabash

Vol 92 No 19 - May 18, 2015

Role of Innovation in Sustainability

Presented By: Ken Miller


Ken Miller

A good definition of "sustainability" is "making things last," according to Charles Holliday, former CEO of DuPont. It most concerns sustaining the health of the planet and providing a prosperous lifestyle for us humans.

But prosperity comes with cost to the planet due to the waste that is created by our consumer economy. The United Nations began setting goals in 1987 for sustainability in a comprehensive scale, including social environmental, economic, etc. A major challenge to reaching these sorts of goals is getting business on board.

Much of our waste is out of sight, and so out of mind. However, industries are beginning to recognize the long-term risks from degradation of the planet. A must-see on this topic is "Big History Project" by David Christian on YouTube. (Ed Note: You can access the actual Big History Project course at "Big History Project Course" if you like.)

The Industrial Revolution has brought on the Anthropocene Age in which human activity is affecting the Earth's ecosystem. It is expected that the 21st Century will see more extinctions of species than any other century in the history of life on Earth. Human population has increased by 27% from 5.5B to 7.7B from 1992 to 2012. But, plastic consumption has increased by 139% in that same period.

While energy supply is often linked to sustainability issues, there is a misconception in the sense that energy is virtually unlimited. The real concern is how to move from polluting sources of energy to nonpolluting sources while balancing the cost of that transformation to society and the economy.

Materials, unlike energy, are not unlimited. Some of the vital materials used in products like cell phones may run out within fifty years. However, if such materials can be recycled, then longevity of materials may be extended for greater sustainability. This will require us to move from a linear economy with waste products as the end of the line to a circular economy in which materials are recycled and reused.

In order to make that transition producers and consumers must view products differently. We will have to move away from consumers valuing ownership to recognizing that real value is use. Producers will need to recognize a moral responsibility for planetary stewardship.

Notes by Jeff Rasley