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Volume 86 Issue 43 | pp. 44-48 | Meetings
Issue Date: October 27, 2008

Official Reports from the Philadelphia Meeting

Department: ACS News

The major actions taken by the American Chemical Society Board and Council during the national meeting in Philadelphia were reported in C&EN, Sept. 15, page 48. Following is the first installment of official committee reports from that meeting. Remaining reports will be published in the Nov. 3 issue.

Reports of Society Committees

Budget & Finance

The Society Committee on Budget & Finance met on Saturday, Aug. 16, to review the society’s probable financial results for 2008. The society is projected to end the year with a net contribution from operations of $9.1 million, or $24,000 favorable to the 2008 approved budget.

The society is also projected to end the year in compliance with the board-established financial guidelines, with the possible exception of the fund balance ratio. As a result of adverse capital market conditions in the first half of the year, the society risks falling below the lower level of the fund balance ratio range of 40 to 70%. Year-end compliance will be highly dependent upon improvement in the capital markets.

The committee considered a new program funding request for the ACS Leadership Development System for 2009-11 and recommended that the ACS Board approve the proposal as requested. In addition, the committee considered a program funding reauthorization request for the ACS Green Chemistry Institute for 2009 and recommended that the ACS Board approve the reauthorization request.

The committee received a report from the Program Review Advisory Group on its 2008 activities, which included a review of society programs in two areas: “Scientific Advancement” and “Advocacy.” In addition, the committee received a report from the Budget & Finance Subcommittee on Communications and a written status report on the implementation of the “ACS Communications Strategic Plan.”—Dennis Chamot, Chair

Education

The Society Committee on Education (SOCED) discussed the newly created Board-Presidential Task Force on Education, established by the ACS Board of Directors at its June meeting. The task force will address the question, “What can a society with 160,000 members uniquely do that can have a transformative effect on education in the U.S.?”

Committee discussions addressed the charge to the task force, the composition of this group, and the guiding questions that will focus the work of the task force. SOCED voted to approve a draft policy statement, “Teaching of Evolution: Fact & Theory,” to replace the society’s current statement on evolution, which will expire at the end of 2008.

The committee will work with the International Activities Committee and the Committee on Science to revise the ACS Statement on Visa Restrictions & Scientific Progress. SOCED received an update on the evolving Education Division strategic plan. The division has developed objectives in support of its five goals and will be drafting metrics to accompany the final plan. The committee discussed ways to encourage people to go into teaching.—Bryan Balazs, Chair

Board Committee Reports

Grants & Awards

The Board Committee on Grants & Awards met in Philadelphia on Aug. 14. The committee forwarded nomination candidates to the ACS Board of Directors for the 2009 Perkin and Othmer Gold Medals.

The final report was presented by the 2008 Awards Review Committee (ARC). ARC reviewed each of the five national analytical and the three national polymer awards. ARC recommended retaining the eight awards. It was agreed that a canvassing committee is needed to solicit more nominations for the ACS Award in Chromatography. In addition, it was suggested that former award winners be involved in the nomination process for the sake of maintaining the value of the award.

The committee also received an update from the cochair of the ACS Presidential Task Force on the ACS Fellows Program, who reported that the task force submitted a program funding request to the ACS Committee on Budget & Finance that will be reviewed during this national meeting.

The Subcommittee on Canvassing & Selection reported on efforts to revise the letters that go to canvassing and selection committee members.

The committee chair reported that ACS has received a second $100,000 grant from the Astellas USA Foundation to fund a second year of the Astellas USA Foundation Awards.

The committee ratified an interim action taken since the June 6 meeting allowing Theodore Brown to nominate a team consisting of two people for the 2010 ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry.

Staff reviewed nomination activity; discussed gender, industrial, and international statistics with the committee; presented the annual data summary for the ACS Petroleum Research Fund (PRF) and an update on the PRF Program Committee meeting; and recapped PRF proposal writing workshop held in August.

The Division of Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering has indicated an interest in taking the lead on drafting the nomination materials for the National Materials Advancement Award.

The chair updated the committee on a request from the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation to make slight changes in the language for their two awards.

The committee voted to allow a team of two people to receive the 2009 Ahmed Zewail Award in Ultrafast Science & Technology and agreed to review, at a future meeting, the nomination guidelines for the National Awards program.—Eric C. Bigham, Chair

Professional & Member Relations

The committee received an update on the activities of the International Strategy Implementation Task Force and was briefed regarding a proposal to enter into an international alliance with the Royal Society of Chemistry.

P&MR received an interim report from the Electronic Dissemination of Meeting Content Task Force. The task force’s charge is to identify issues that hinder ACS’s ability to repurpose national meeting content and to develop recommendations to remove or mitigate these obstacles. The task force shared some preliminary views on proposed goals, deliverables, perceived barriers, and key policy recommendations.

The committee received a report from the Focused Interest Group (FIG) Task Force. The task force believes the optimal home for FIGs to form and thrive is within the Member Network. It believes that FIG members will want to communicate member-to-member in real time, form and join groups dynamically, and communicate easily and effectively within groups. It urged the society to add the necessary functionalities to the Member Network in order to permit FIG members to accomplish these desires.

P&MR received an update on the recent activities of its Diversity Partner (DP) Subcommittee and, acting under delegated authority, approved the following recommendations from the DP Subcommittee and designated them as “Diversity Partners” for the approved three-year pilot (2009-11): Thomas H. Epps (African American community), Guang Cao (Asian American community), Shanadeen Begay (Native American community), and Javier Macossay-Torres (Hispanic community).—Kent J. Voorhees, Chair

Public Affairs & Public Relations

The Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations (PA&PR) met on Aug. 14 in Philadelphia.

The chair informed members of a proposed U.S. patent policy statement prepared by the Committee on Patents & Related Matters. Although received after the committee’s agenda had been finalized, the chair asked members to review the statement and to submit their vote via a ballot distributed with the statement.

The chair highlighted progress toward attainment of the 2008 PA&PR goals and their alignment with the ACS Strategic Plan Goals for 2008. The chair also reminded committee members of several PA&PR-related national meeting activities, including the PA&PR breakfast with representatives of committees involved with drafting ACS policies, the meeting of the Task Force on Enhancing Innovation & Competitiveness, the government affairs volunteer reception, ACS TV, the Legislative Action Network (LAN), and ACS Chemistry for Life brand booths, and urged committee members to spend time in one of the booths.

The chair updated members on the Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions podcasts, governance advocacy activities, including ACS President Bruce E. Bursten’s LAN recruitment e-mail to ACS members, information on the relative balance between individual investigator grants and multi-investigator grants from the National Science Foundation, and the new ACS advocacy training video for members available at www.acs.org/policy.

The committee received several updates from ACS staff on:

■ The new Office of Public Affairs, which combines ACS’s communications and government affairs functions under one umbrella and seeks to harness the talents, energies, and capabilities of both functions to leverage synergies for the benefit of ACS and its members.

■ The product “Communicating Chemistry to the Public,” which explains the basis for ACS’s efforts to communicate chemistry to the public, the 1937 ACS National Charter, Board Regulation III, and the “ACS Strategic Plan for 2008 and Beyond.”

■ State Government Affairs Pilot Program, which gave an overview of implementation activities and highlighted goals and metrics, key factors in shaping the program, key strategic partnerships, and a state-by-state progress report. A key focus of the program is to make it sustainable for the long term, as well as reproducible by other local sections in other states.

A detailed overview was given of how ACS staff review tens of thousands of technical abstracts and journal galleys “mining” for gems of research of major interest to the public. Once these gems are mined, ACS staff polishes them into concise and understandable stories that are then successfully “pitched” to media and published for public consumption. Finally, the committee received a presentation on the development of a variety of ACS podcasts and how they are being distributed publicly.

Committee members offered suggestions, questions and comments on each of the presentations.—Bonnie A. Charpentier, Chair

Council Committee Reports

Committees

The committee on Committees (ConC) announced that its annual training session for new committee chairs will be held as part of the ACS Leadership Institute, Jan. 23-25, 2009, in Fort Worth, Texas.

ConC received reports from its Subcommittees or Task Forces on Diversity, Industrial Chemists Pipeline, Leadership Development, Webpage, Admissions, Senior Chemists Committee, and Clinical Chemistry.

The committee also received updates from the Council Policy Committee-ConC Task Force on Noncouncilor Reimbursement and the Joint Board-ConC Action Enablement Team, which is charged with examining the reporting alignment of ACS Council-related committees based on the committees’ original and current charters and scopes of activity.

Performance reviews for the Committees on Chemistry & Public Affairs and Patents & Related Matters were completed, and council approved ConC’s recommendation for continuation of these committees, subject to concurrence by the board of directors.

ConC voted to form a task force for a probationary period of three years to develop a proposal for a prospective Senior Chemists Committee. During those three years, ConC will provide guidance to the task force to create a charter, metrics, and expectations.

The committee has begun developing its recommendations for 2009 committee chairs, members, associates, and consultant appointments for consideration by the president-elect and the chair of the board.

Finally, on behalf of the council, ConC recognized 31 councilors who will have served the statutory limit or otherwise completed their service on ACS governance committees at the end of 2008; 13 committee chairs who will have served the statutory limit on the committees they chair; and 36 councilors observing 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, or 45 years as a councilor.—Peter K. Dorhout, Chair

Nominations & Elections

The committee is working on a petition to shorten the timeline for national elections and may have it ready for council consideration at the 237th national meeting next spring.

After careful deliberation, the committee voted to include points addressing campaigning by incumbents in “ACS Guidelines on Campaigning and Communication.” The updated guidelines will be posted on the N&E webpage.

N&E is aware that the Council Policy Committee is considering electronic voting at council meetings, and the committee strongly endorses this alternative method.

Ballots for the 2008 fall national election will be mailed on Sept. 29 with a voting deadline six weeks later on Nov. 7. Members will again have the option to vote electronically or by the traditional paper ballot. To encourage voter participation, the committee will send two e-mail reminders during the voting period to all eligible voters who have not yet voted.

N&E requests all councilors to encourage fellow members to participate in the upcoming election. All ACS members will vote for president-elect, councilors will vote for the directors-at-large, and members of the appropriate district will vote for district directors.

In its executive session, the Committee on Nominations & Elections developed slates of potential nominees for president-elect 2010 and directors of Districts I and V for 2010-12, as well as a slate of potential candidates for directors-at-large for 2010-12. The pertinent biographical information will appear in the council agenda book for the 237th ACS national meeting in Salt Lake City.—Barbara A. Sawrey, Chair

Standing Committees

Constitution & Bylaws

The Petition on Society Affiliate Dues was presented to council for action at this meeting and was approved. The amendments to the ACS Bylaws offered by this petition will become effective five months after confirmation by the board of directors.

New petitions to amend the constitution or the bylaws must be received by the executive director by Dec. 3 to be included in the council agenda for the spring 2009 meeting in Salt Lake City. The Committee on Constitution & Bylaws (C&B) welcomes the opportunity to provide assistance in the preparation of new petitions, if requested, prior to their formal submission.

The committee, acting for the council, has approved bylaw amendments and issued new certified bylaws to four local sections and one division. C&B currently has under review bylaw amendments for four other local sections and one division.

C&B urges local sections and divisions to request a preliminary review of their proposed amendments prior to a vote by their members. Local sections and divisions planning to revise their bylaws should obtain an electronic copy of their current certified bylaws from the committee’s staff liaison at bylaws@acs.org.—Ray A. Dickie, Chair

Divisional Activities

The Multidisciplinary Program Planning Group confirmed the themes for the 2010 national meetings: “Chemistry for a Sustainable World” (spring, San Francisco) and “Chemistry of Preventing & Combating Disease” (fall, Boston). Members developed tentative themes for the 2011 and 2012 meetings that will be communicated to the divisions for feedback.

The Division Enhancement Subcommittee selected 18 proposals from 14 divisions totaling $131,700 for Innovative Project Grant Awards. Starting in 2009, there will be two solicitations for innovative program proposals, one before each national meeting.

We congratulate the Divisions of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry, Chemical Technicians, and Chemical Education for their selection as ChemLuminary Awardees for Outstanding Performance by a Division.

The Divisional Activities Committee (DAC) presented to council a new version of the division allocation formula that is intended to improve program quality by creating incentives for collaborative programming. Total amounts allocated to divisions or local sections will not change. DAC recommended and council approved the revised allocation formula.

DAC will monitor the effect of the changes and take action as appropriate. DAC and others wish to create incentives for divisions to assist with regional meeting programming and to repurpose national meeting content. DAC will work with the cognizant groups to incorporate such future revisions and will bring them to council possibly as soon as Salt Lake City.

DAC recommended and council approved the formation of the probationary Division of Catalysis Science & Technology.—Kevin J. Edgar, Chair

Economic & Professional Affairs

The Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs (CEPA) is working with the ACS Board of Directors and other committees to ensure that our members remain competitive and productive in today’s uncertain economic times.

In New Orleans it was reported that the platform used for the ACS Leadership Development system was being expanded to deliver a set of online career management and development courses, cobranded between ACS and Harvard Business Publishing. Offerings include 42 courses in career management and business skills such as finance and marketing. They are now available to members and may be accessed at www.acs.org/professionaldevelopment.

The debut of the ACS Careers in Industry Forum was announced and will feature monthly one-hour teleconference discussions by industry leaders on trends affecting industrial careers. To register for the September conference, go to www.acs.org/careers.

The Committee on Professional & Member Relations asked CEPA to take the lead in developing ACS programs to help our membership cope with and prosper in an environment of increasing globalization. In response, CEPA formed an internal task force to research in detail what our members need and will be reaching out to other committees and divisions of the society for input.

CEPA also reviewed priorities for its own 2008-11 strategic plan, and in accordance with the committee mission and the ACS Strategic Plan, developed metrics to measure effectiveness. The committee formally approved questionnaires for the 2008 New Graduate Survey and the 2009 Comprehensive Salary & Employment Survey, and revisions to our “What a Chemist Should Know” brochures. The committee approved the application of one new career consultant.

The ACS Career Fair continued to serve members with 1,277 candidates, 515 available positions, and 84 employers. CEPA organized or cosponsored several symposia, including one on use of new technologies in finding employment. In addition, 32 workshops and hundreds of mock interviews and résumé reviews were conducted. CEPA and the Career Fair expect to be just as active at the ACS national meeting in Salt Lake City.—Martin L. Gorbaty, Chair

Local Section Activities

The Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC) presented the 2007 Awards for Outstanding Performance by Local Sections at the 10th Annual ChemLuminary Awards ceremony. The “Outstanding Performance” awards went to New York (very large), Delaware (large), Detroit (medium-large), Midland (medium), Illinois Heartland (medium-small), and Pensacola (small).

The award for “Best Activity or Program Stimulating Membership Involvement” was presented to the Richland Local Section. The award for “Most Innovative New Activity or Program” was given to the Rochester Local Section. The award for “Best Activity Involving a Local Section-Division Interaction” was presented to the North Jersey Local Section and the Division of Polymer Chemistry.

LSAC is pleased to be partnering with ACS President-Elect Tom Lane to encourage local sections to partner with community groups to put a human face on chemistry. A minigrant program will be established later this fall for this purpose.

LSAC is pleased to announce that as a result of the Science Café minigrant program, more than 60 local sections have integrated science cafés into their section programming during 2008. LSAC plans to extend the Science Café minigrant program for 2009.

LSAC has formed a content working group to identify specific methods to expand access to local section content, including technical, general science, and career development content, through online dissemination. In addition, the group will look at increasing the quality and sources of local section content.

LSAC is launching a pilot program with the ACS Board Oversight Group on Leadership Development to host leadership development courses in local sections during the fall of this year and during the launch of the Leadership Development System in the spring of 2009. Finally, the 2009 ACS Leadership Institute will take place on Jan. 23-25, in Fort Worth, Texas. All incoming local section chairs-elect are strongly encouraged to attend this valuable conference.—Wayne E. Jones Jr., Chair

Meetings & Expositions

The Committee on Meetings & Expositions reports that the 236th ACS national meeting in Philadelphia hosted 13,800 attendees. We were delighted to announce that the Philadelphia Exposition was the largest in the history of our meetings, with 511 booths.

M&E, in accordance with the board-approved long-range financial plan for the national meeting, has moved to recommend to the board of directors that the 2009 registration fees be raised by $10. This increase is based on the ratio of the Consumer Price Index of the prior two years.

Looking ahead to the spring national meeting in Salt Lake City, the Committee on Meetings & Expositions has decided to open the Exposition Hall in Salt Lake City on Sunday from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, with a welcome reception open to all attendees. This event will follow the Keynote Presidential Event related to the theme of “Nanoscience.”

M&E has set the sites and dates for the 2018 national meetings. Therefore, M&E recommends to the board of directors that the spring national meeting be held in New Orleans, March 18-22, 2018, and that the fall national meeting be held in Boston, Aug. 19-23, 2018.

M&E will continue to work on new initiatives to “green” the national meeting. One of the new efforts for this meeting is that all directional and technical programming signage are printed on 100% recyclable paper. As we move forward, we are working with hotels, convention centers, and service providers to increase our sustainability thrusts, with intentions such as badge-recycling programs and requiring a minimum percentage of clean-air shuttle buses.

M&E, with the consent of the other committees that review programming, will go forward to create an accurate record of technical presentations at national meetings and has asked staff to work with Chemical Abstract Services to remove abstracts of presentations (oral or poster) that were not delivered.

At the ChemLuminary Awards Banquet, M&E presented its first award for 2007 Outstanding Regional Meeting to the Central Regional Meeting.—Willem R. Leenstra, Chair

Membership Affairs

The Petition on Membership Categories & Requirements, passed by the council in New Orleans, will be presented to the ACS membership for ratification this fall.

Because of the extent and complexity of the changes being proposed in the petition, the Membership Affairs Committee (MAC) again invited discussion of and questions about the petition as the topic of its open meeting. On the subject of student affiliates becoming members of ACS, MAC and the Society Committee on Education are collaborating to determine the smoothest transition based on the outcome of the ratification.

MAC is pleased to report that the society’s Member-Get-a-Member (MGM) program is on track to have its best year ever. In 2007, the number of paid new members nominated by current ACS members was 1,559. This year, the society already has 988 paid new member applications. Please remember to use the MGM application to nominate a member and you’ll receive a woven periodic table throw as a free gift.

Nearly 15,000 of your colleagues have already registered for the ACS Network. If you have not already done so, please join at www.acs.org/ACSNetwork.

MAC is also pleased to announce that an affinity partnership contract has been signed to offer ACS members discounts of up to 26% on domestic and international shipments sent via FedEx and up to 20% on printing and copy services at FedEx Office. Advertisement of this new affinity partner benefit will begin this fall.—D. Richard Cobb, Chair

Other Committees

Ethics

The Committee on Ethics met in Philadelphia for the sixth time at an ACS national meeting. The committee is completing its first three years, during which time it has made significant progress in addressing its charge and the strategic goals it set last year.

The committee this year has focused its efforts on developing and disseminating resources to inform ethical decision-making and to foster ethics training. Committee members have written or collected case studies about ambiguous situations. These have been used as the basis for symposia or workshops at regional meetings that have engaged members, particularly students, in discussions that will inform their future actions. By the end of the year, the committee will have offered programs at three regional meetings in 2008, and at least two are planned in 2009. Also this year, the committee started a website and has begun to populate it with links to relevant documents and resources.

During this meeting, the committee refined its communication plan. Next steps will be to direct attention to increasing ethical awareness by engaging with local sections and divisions. The committee will be in touch with them in the next few months regarding ways to partner in programming and resources. Also, an experiment will be conducted using the new ACS member network to obtain broad input on timely ethical issues of interest to members. Plans for future national meetings include a symposium on plagiarism at the spring meeting in Salt Lake City.

The committee is encouraged by signs that it is becoming known both within and outside ACS. Within the last six months, the committee was invited to participate in a university program on publishing, to contribute to an ethics blog, and to consult on scientific information and integrity issues in the ACS public policy arena. The committee is gratified by these signs, seeing that ACS is beginning to “take the lead on ethics.” Please visit us at www.acs.org/ethics.—Margaret A. Cavanaugh, Chair

Nomenclature, Terminology & Symbols

Goals for the upcoming year for the Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology & Symbols (NOM) are communicating the redefinition of the kilogram, removal of the mole as a fundamental International Standard unit, and the establishment of Avogadro’s number/constant as a number without units.

These fundamental changes in chemistry are being driven directly from the International Bureau of Weights & Measures’ (near Paris) effort to define all International Standard base units by an unvarying physical property of nature. The committee is enhancing its interaction with the educational division.

Also in line with the ACS national spring meeting in 2009, NOM is partnering with the Division of Chemical Education and the Division of Chemical Information in offering a nanoterminology symposium.—Paul J. Karol, Chair

Project SEED

Over the past four decades, Project SEED has maintained an exceptional record of positive impact on young people by offering summer research opportunities for high school students from economically disadvantaged families. The program has provided more than 8,500 chemistry research experiences to high school students and has had a significant impact on their lives.

This year, the committee approved projects that placed nearly 400 high school students in more than 100 laboratories doing meaningful chemistry research. In addition, the committee awarded 28 college scholarships to former SEED students. This program is possible by contributions from industry, academia, local sections, ACS friends and members, the ACS Petroleum Research Fund, and the Project SEED Endowment.

In Philadelphia, Project SEED celebrated its 40th Anniversary with the following presidential events: the workshop “Cutting-Edge Research with High School Students”; the symposium “Crossing Generations & Energizing Minds”; and a reception to honor mentors and coordinators. The Committee on Minority Affairs luncheon honored the Project SEED anniversary, and ACS recognized donors who have provided contributions of $50,000 or more, as well as longtime mentors and coordinators. At Sci-Mix, more than 100 SEED students presented posters of their research.

The committee voted to increase stipends by $500 to $3,000 for SEED I and $3,500 for SEED II, effective in 2009. At the ChemLuminary event, the Pittsburgh Local Section was recognized as the 2007 Outstanding Project SEED Program.

The committee encourages all members to continue using the dues check-off option on their ACS membership renewal to support this remarkable program.—J. Philip Bays, Chair

Technician Affairs

The Committee on Technician Affairs (CTA) uses ACS governance channels and society resources to speak for 300,000+ chemical technicians and related professionals employed in the U.S. CTA’s goals are as follows:

■ To raise public awareness of the value of technicians

■ To make technicians relevant to ACS

■ To make ACS relevant to technicians

CTA will be celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2009, and special events are being planned for the 2009 ACS national meetings.

In 2009, CTA will be awarding the fifth set of Chemistry-Based Technology Student Awards. The awards program recognizes chemical technology students who exhibit outstanding academic performance.

CTA continues its work with Equipping the 2015 Chemical Technology Workforce. This initiative will award up to six $500 minigrants in 2009. The minigrants are supporting collaborations among industry, academia, and workforce organizations. Details are available on the CTA website, www.acs.org and click on “Governance.”

To help support ACS’s goal to “be the preeminent global scientific community that engages members and other scientific professionals,” CTA will be promoting the ChemTechStandards resource package. This collection of resources will help develop and strengthen partnerships between industry and academia.

CTA will be cosponsoring the Applied Chemical Technology Professional Summit, sponsored by the Division of Chemical Technicians (TECH). This summit will address how technicians, industry, and ACS can best serve each other, leveraging CTA’s governance work with TECH’s responsibilities to the membership.

CTA continues to seek opportunities to collaborate with other stakeholders as it strives to advance the chemical enterprise and all of its practitioners.—V. Michael Mautino, Chair

 
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