Arlene Blum PhD, biophysical chemist, author, and mountaineer is a Visiting Scholar in Chemistry UC Berkeley and also executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute. The Institute brings government, industry, scientists and citizens groups together worldwide to support chemical policies to protect human health and the global environment. Her current “mountain,” which she considers her life’s most challenging and important, is to inform decision makers to reduce the use of harmful chemicals in consumer products.
Blum’s research and policy work has contributed to stopping the use toxic flame retardants in children's sleepwear and other products globally She currently teaches a class on chemistry and policy at U. C. Berkeley and has taught at Stanford University, and Wellesley College. She also serves on the boards of Environmental Building News, ISET, an organization dedicated to solving climate, water and disaster problems in South Asia; the Berkeley Himalayan Fair which she founded, the Plastic pollution Coalition and Healthy Child/Healthy World.
Blum led the first American and all-women’s ascent of Annapurna I, considered one of the world’s most dangerous and difficult mountains, co-led the first women’s team to climb Denali, completed the Great Himalayan Traverse across the mountain regions of Bhutan, Nepal, and India, and hiked the length of the European Alps with her baby daughter on her back. She is the author of Annapurna: A Woman’s Place and Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life.
Blum’s awards include selection by the UK Guardian as one of the world’s 100 most inspiring women in 2011 and National Women’s History Project selection as one of 100 “Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet,” selection as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, and election to the Hall of Mountaineering Excellence.