Emeritus Fellow – Ken Racke

Dr. Ken Racke has been awarded the status of Emeritus Fellow in Division VI. This 2022 appointment reflects his standing as a scientist and continuing service to our division and to the Union.

Dr. Racke retired in 2021 from Corteva Agriscience (Dow Chemical) after a 33-year career as an environmental chemist, research leader, and global regulatory liaison. His project efforts were focused on evaluation of the environmental fate, ecological impacts, and human safety of new and existing agrochemicals, with a particular emphasis on advancement of green chemistry products with favorable environmental safety profiles. Dr. Racke’s project work included leadership of international teams of research scientists in cooperation with national regulatory authorities and international advisory bodies to authorize product approvals and renewals, identify best management practices for use, and establish maximum residue level standards in food.

Dr. Racke’s formative encounters with IUPAC came in presenting a poster as part of the 6th IUPAC International Congress of Crop Protection Chemistry in Ottawa, Canada, during 1986, and in providing an invited lecture for a Division VI-sponsored agrochemical workshop in Bangkok, Thailand, during 1992. Through these career-altering experiences, Dr. Racke readily became committed to the internationally inclusive and collegial work style of IUPAC, and he has remained active in IUPAC affairs during the intervening years. Dr. Racke’s participation with IUPAC has been centered in service to Division VI and has included membership or leadership for 12 project-related task groups, Presidency of Division VI (2004-2007), and Chairing (2002-2010) as well as membership (1993-Present) of the Advisory Committee on Crop Protection Chemistry and its predecessor, the Commission on Agrochemicals.

What Ken Racke found most rewarding during his years of volunteering with IUPAC were the international conferences, project-related workshops, and prestigious awards he cooperatively organized, all focused on advancing harmonized approaches to crop protection chemistry. He served as a driving force for the success of five IUPAC International Congresses of Pesticide Chemistry during the period 2002 to 2019. Dr. Racke was also instrumental in developing IUPAC collaboration with government agencies, universities, and the agrochemical industry for the organization of nine technology transfer workshops related to crop protection chemistry, held in scientifically emerging regions between 1996 and 2012. Finally, his instigation of the IUPAC Award for Advances in Harmonized Approaches to Crop Protection Chemistry has, since 2010, recognized and encouraged leaders from government, academia, and industry for their efforts supporting harmonized global regulation of agrochemicals.

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In India – Opening ceremony from an IUPAC-sponsored crop protection chemistry workshop held in New Delhi, India (Dr. Racke second from left). Photo from: Shakil, N.A. and Kumar, J. “Agrochemicals Protecting Crop, Health, and Natural Environment”, Chemistry International, vol. 30, no. 4, 2008, pp. 27-29.


In China – Conference held in Beijing, China (Dr. Racke fifth from right). Photo courtesy of Ken Racke. See also Chen, W., Unsworth, J., and Xiongkui, H. “Plant Protection Chemistry in China and the Asian Pacific Region”, Chemistry International, vol. 25, no. 5, 2013, pp. 27-29.


In Brazil – Members of Division VI Advisory Committee on Crop Protection Chemistry meet to debrief outcomes of an IUPAC-sponsored crop protection chemistry workshop in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Dr. Racke second from right in front row). Photo from: Racke, K. “Crop Protection Chemistry in Latin America”, Chemistry International, vol. 32, no. 5, 2010, pp. 26–30.