USGBC Greenbuild 2010 Speaker Arlene Blum

Arlene Blum

Arlene Blum, Ph.D., biophysical chemist, author, and mountaineer, is a founder and executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute (GSP). Uniting government, industry, scientists, and citizen’s groups, GSP works to change policy to reduce the use of toxic chemicals that may cause reproductive, neurological, endocrine, and other health impairments. Blum's past research contributed to removing cancer-causing Tris flame retardants from children's sleepwear. She said that her work reducing the use of toxic flame retardants in buildings has been a bigger challenge than leading the first American ascent of Annapurna, one of the world’s most dangerous mountains.

At UC Berkeley, Blum is a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Chemistry, and has previously taught at Stanford University and Wellesley College. She is also a member of the advisory board for Environmental Building News. Among her awards, Blum won a Gold Medal from the Society of Women Geographers, and was selected as one of the National Women’s History Project’s 100 “Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet.” She also won the Purpose Prize, awarded to people over 60 making extraordinary contributions in their encore careers.