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Volume 86 Issue 44 | pp. 37-41 | Meetings
Issue Date: November 3, 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 last installment of official committee reports from that meeting. The first group was published in the Oct. 27 issue.

Board Committee Reports

Other Board Standing and Joint Board-Council Committees

Chemical Abstracts Service

The committee met in executive session on Aug. 15 and in open session with the Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications and the Division of Chemical Information on Aug. 18. Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) management reported on a number of new CAplus and Registry content developments including record timeliness of Asian patent coverage and a significant increase in the number of experimental and predicted physical properties.

The Web version of SciFinder was discussed along with an announcement that SciFinder provides the largest collection of disclosed chemical synthesis information, with more than 29 million preparations including single- and multistep reactions.

During the committee session, Sabine Brünger-Weilandt, the president and chief executive officer of FIZ-Karlsruhe, gave an overview of the STN Partnership and the FIZ-Karlsruhe business. FIZ-Karlsruhe is a nonprofit service institution within the German government, and their task is to make science and technology information publicly available worldwide and to provide related services. CAS and FIZ-Karlsruhe are partners for STN International. In related discussion, committee members learned about new enhancements to the STN family of products.

The committee continues to fulfill its responsibilities to provide a conduit for communication from members to CAS management. Members relay questions, concerns, and suggestions from colleagues, as well as from their own academic or industrial perspective. CAS management reports on the response and progress to committee feedback at each meeting.—Patricia L. Dedert, Chair

Chemical Safety

At its meeting in Philadelphia, the Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS) reviewed the progress of 2008 activities, which mainly focused on organization. CCS discussed final changes to the “Operations Manual,” a document designed to familiarize committee members as well as the society with CCS’s work and what is expected of members, associates, consultants, and liaisons.

A number of new appointments were made, including recording secretary and liaisons to Occupational Safety & Health Administration (for the Process Safety Alliance), to the Women Chemists Committee, to the Academy of Hazardous Material Managers, to the Local Section Activities Committee (LSAC), and to the International Activities Committee (IAC). The LSAC appointment is in support of the ACS partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency on the School Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3). The committee serves as the ACS representative on the SC3 campaign and will continue to assist ACS members who would like to help their local school districts with chemical management and disposal.

CCS has numerous publications in print and works continuously to keep these updated. The committee discussed final edits to two publications to be released this year, “Chemical Safety for Small Chemical Businesses” and an add-on to “Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories,” which consisted of a narrated PowerPoint CD on eye protection.

In late June, the committee completed a two-year process of developing a list of chemicals that should not be in secondary school inventories. This list, along with recommendations on safe use of chemicals in secondary schools, has been published in the document titled “Reducing Risks to Students and Educators from Hazardous Chemicals in a Secondary School Chemical Inventory.” This new resource is available at the committee website, membership.acs.org/c/ccs. The committee also continues to monitor current studies on nanotechnology safety.

The committee also reviewed the “ACS Strategic Plan 2008 and Beyond” for additional projects within the overall scope of the society’s strategic thrusts.—Russell W. Phifer, Chair

Chemistry & Public Affairs

The Committee on Chemistry & Public Affairs (CCPA) advises and recommends ACS action on public policy matters involving the chemical sciences and technologies. This spring, CCPA partnered with the Divisional Activities Committee to invite divisions’ comments on the ACS research funding policy statements to better engage the expertise of ACS members.

At the Philadelphia meeting, CCPA members continued the effort by speaking at the Division of Polymer Chemistry, the Division of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, and the Division of Chemical Education meetings about the areas of research funding important to division members.

In March, CCPA members visited members of Congress to advocate for increased science and technology support. Our message focused on the America Competes Act, passed last year, which authorizes doubling research funding at the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the National Institute of Standards & Technology. CCPA members visited more than 20 congressional offices, joining forces with more than 200 scientists from other scientific organizations, universities, and business groups to highlight the importance of research funding to our nation’s future competitiveness.

Annually, we select two congressional fellows from ACS member applicants to work in a congressional office for one year. These fellows bring informed scientific perspectives to the issues on the congressional agenda. Recent graduates as well as more seasoned midcareer applicants are encouraged to apply.

Additionally, CCPA is working to involve the local sections more in advocacy at the state level, working with the government affairs staff to recruit a government affairs committee for each local section, and supporting a pilot program to rejuvenate advocacy efforts focusing on science education at the state level.—Kristin M. Omberg, Chair

Chemists with Disabilities

The Committee on Chemists with Disabilities (CWD) met at the 236th ACS national meeting in Philadelphia on Monday, Aug. 18, and set up a working group to develop a “CWD User’s Manual” as a guide to new committee members.

The details of the planned reprint of “Teaching Chemistry to Students with Disabilities: A Manual for High Schools, Colleges & Graduate Programs” were finalized and a public book release luncheon is planned for the spring meeting in Salt Lake City. The committee is developing ideas to contribute to a symposium as part of the Joint Subcommittee on Diversity in support of the thematic program at the fall 2009 meeting in Washington, D.C.

As part of the committee’s ongoing efforts to improve ACS programs for chemists with disabilities, the committee reviewed its collaborations with other committees including Chemical Safety, Meetings & Expositions, Community Activities, Women Chemists, and Economic & Professional Affairs.—James M. Landis Jr., Chair

Community Activities

The Committee on Community Activities (CCA) is thrilled to report another successful Chemists Celebrate Earth Day celebration. This year’s theme was “Streaming Chemistry,” which focused on bodies of water.

More than 130 local sections participated along with numerous student affiliate chapters and high school chemistry clubs. The K–12 students’ illustrated haiku contest received hundreds of entries. Winners were awarded cash prizes for their creativity and artistry with the year’s theme. The celebration reached more than 13 million people through various media outlets. Developments are under way for the 2009 theme, “Air—The Sky’s the Limit.” In addition, CCA is exploring ways to integrate sustainability into its Earth Day theme topics.

On Tuesday evening, CCA presented ChemLuminary Awards to local sections that have demonstrated exemplary performance in the development and implementation of activities conducted safely in support of National Chemistry Week (NCW). Additionally, for the first time, local sections were recognized with a ChemLuminary for their outstanding Chemists Celebrate Earth Day activities.

Local sections recognized for the excellent achievements were Cincinnati, Delaware, Erie, Florida, Illinois Heartland, Kalamazoo, Midland, Puerto Rico, and Virginia.

NCW will be celebrated on Oct. 19–25 with its theme, “Having a Ball with Chemistry!” The theme will focus on the chemistry of sports. The free publication Celebrating Chemistry, which is geared toward elementary school children, features hands-on activities and articles. The American Chemistry Council will partner to provide resources and help promote NCW to its member companies. CCA approved the 2010 theme title, “Behind the Scenes with Chemistry,” which will focus on the chemistry behind movies and television shows.

To finish off the year, CCA will host a “webinar” for first-year community outreach coordinators. Selected local sections will be asked to collect postevent data as part of evaluating the efficacy of public outreach efforts.—Ingrid Montes, Chair

Corporation Associates

The Committee on Corporation Associates (CCA) advises and influences ACS to ensure that its products and services are of value to industrial members and their companies.

The Educational Outreach Subcommittee reviewed CCA activities with the Undergraduate Student Roundtable and the Graduate Student Roundtable, activities with the Division of Chemical Technicians and the Committee on Technician Affairs, mentoring programs from the Committee on Minority Affairs, and the Preparing for Life after Graduate School program.

The subcommittee suggested the collection of a list of best mentoring and outreach programs at CCA member institutions to promote chemistry to the general public using short videos of chemists in industry and collaborating with the Department of Career Management & Development and the Office of Continuing Education on programs for midcareer chemists.

The Awards/Finance & Grants Subcommittee reported that CCA received one funding proposal totaling $10,000. Funding was provided for the the ACS Undergraduate Office ($5,000 for the CCA Undergraduate Roundtable with an additional $15 for each additional student after 100 students for up to $8,250). The Programs Subcommittee was disbanded in favor of programming through the Public Policy and Educational Outreach Subcommittees.

The Public Policy Subcommittee will coordinate with the Committee on Chemistry & Public Affairs on a statement for the reauthorization of the Toxic Substances Control Act and will coordinate with other scientific societies, such as the Council for Chemical Research, on identifying all chemical research in the various federal agencies. The subcommittee will also host a Science & the Congress briefing in November on the innovation pipeline, which will be coordinated with CCA fly-in congressional visits in support of 2009 science funding legislation.

CCA will be meeting on Oct. 10–11 in Washington, D.C., to formulate its strategic plan for 2009–10, evaluate its ongoing activities, and initiate new activities. CCA approved the Global Innovations Imperatives (Gii)-Water Advisory Group.

Staff reported on the Department of Industry Member Programs’ activities since the New Orleans meeting. The report covered Heroes of Chemistry and Regional Industrial Innovation Awards programs; the ACS/Pharma Leaders Meeting (October 2008); Gii programming in New Delhi, Philadelphia, and Shanghai; and activities in industrial biotechnology. —Roslyn L. White, Chair

Environmental Improvement

The Committee on Environmental Improvement (CEI) has engaged with the board of directors to lay out an imperative for ACS leadership in sustainability within the context of ACS strategic goal three on empowering chemists to address global challenges.

CEI worked with the ACS Green Chemistry Institute (GCI), the Committee on Science, and others to delineate principles, policies, and programs in this area. The committee is now addressing the board request to refine the proposal and more clearly define activities and outcomes.

At the spring meeting, CEI and the Committee on Corporation Associates led a symposium and workshop to identify incentives and barriers to the industrial adoption of sustainable chemistry. The project was an opportunity to cooperate with GCI, several ACS technical divisions, and several units of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. CEI now is working to disseminate the outcomes of the discussion and update the ACS public policy statement on sustainability.

CEI worked with the Local Section Activities Committee to host a successful Science Café at the Philadelphia meeting highlighting issues related to drinking water. CEI also continues work with the Society Committee on Education to include sustainable chemistry concepts more completely in curricular materials for undergraduates and graduate students.

In other public policy activities, CEI is working on a statement draft on endocrine disruptors and with the Committee on Chemistry & Public Affairs to update the ACS position on energy.—Charles E. Kolb Jr., Chair

International Activities

The International Activities Committee (IAC) was established in 1962 in recognition of the need for ACS to cooperate with scientists internationally and to highlight the application of chemistry to the worldwide needs of humanity.

At its meeting in Philadelphia, IAC approved a new charter in culmination of its April 2008 summit in New Orleans and an earlier IAC report on reforming its mission, goals, and structure to explore opportunities to refine its alignment with the 2008 ACS Strategic Plan and the international interests of the ACS Board of Directors.

The new IAC Charter, quoted below, reflects committee interests in developing mechanisms to activate its collective expertise and networks to use chemistry to solve global challenges. It also helps the society be more welcoming to international members and appropriately extend its international networks and its global partnerships and alliances for the benefit of society members.

The International Activities Committee is a resource for proactively advocating, catalyzing, initiating, and implementing ACS international activities, conferences, and initiatives pertaining to education and research & development of broad scientific understanding, appreciation of chemistry, and promotion of the image of chemistry. This will happen in collaboration with other national and international organizations.

Specifically, the committee will

Study ongoing initiatives and inform ACS entities on effective practices and projects related to international activities;

Proactively advise and make recommendations to the board on the science and engineering policies that transcend national boundaries;

Ensure implementation of board policies and activities pertaining to global strategies;

Catalyze, support, and maintain liaisons and collaborations between national and international science and engineering organizations in concert with other efforts within the ACS structure;

Enable ACS to advocate for scientific freedom and human rights as they relate to practitioners of chemical and related sciences; and

Identify ways in which ACS can raise the profile of, and meaningfully and appropriately be more welcoming to, the global community of chemical scientists and engineers.

IAC also heard and approved ACS Strategic Plan-driven charters and operational priorities from its new subcommittees: Subcommittee I: Americas, Africa, and the Middle East; Subcommittee II: Europe; Subcommittee III: Asia Pacific Rim; and Subcommittee IV: Scientific Freedom/Human Rights.

IAC reaffirmed its support of the principles embodied in the Malta series and looks forward to receiving information on plans for Malta 4, which has been scheduled for November 2009 in Jordan.

Our IAC luncheon speaker was Sharon Shoemaker of the University of California, Davis; she presented on and challenged IAC to think about its role in sustainability, energy, and food.

IAC welcomed visiting international dignitaries from the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry, the German Chemical Society, and the European Association for Chemical & Molecular Sciences. IAC Philadelphia meeting participants also heard updates on its recently catalyzed activities in Asia, Latin America, and Europe, including a new 2008 ACS International Research Experience for Undergraduates program; in a partnership with PITTCON, plans to help organize an IAC-facilitated delegation of analytical chemists from southern Mexico and Central America to attend PITTCON 2009 in Chicago; the ACS Transatlantic Frontiers of Chemistry Symposium this summer in the U.K.; outcomes from ACS-contributed technical content to the 2008 Latin American Federation of Chemical Associations Congress in Puerto Rico; and plans for the International Year of Chemistry in 2011.

IAC received a report on an ACS Visa Policy Statement expiring in 2008 and agreed to establish a working group on the topic in collaboration with the Society Committee on Education. Finally, IAC discussed and implemented 2007 CPC guidelines on optimizing its liaison relationships with other ACS committees.–Nina I. McClelland, Chair

Minority Affairs

During its meeting in Philadelphia, the Committee on Minority Affairs (CMA) restated its mission: To increase the participation of minority chemical scientists and influence policy on behalf of minorities in the ACS and the chemical enterprise.

CMA worked to align its strategic plan with the ACS 2008 Strategic Plan, focusing on goal two, as related to involving all members and scientific professionals in advancing science education and research.

CMA collaborated with the Joint Subcommittee on Diversity in providing nominees for the Diversity Partner Program pilot developed by the respective subcommittee of the ACS Board Committee on Professional & Member Relations (P&MR). The selected candidates include representatives from four communities: African American, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian. CMA will support the work of the Diversity Partners as they develop and implement the program.

CMA received a record number of nominations for the Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences for 2008. To date, four awards have been presented at the spring regional meetings and three more are planned for the fall.

CMA also hosted the reception and luncheon in Philadelphia honoring the 40th Anniversary of Project SEED, with sellout attendance of more than 220 including more than 100 Project SEED students, ACS Scholars, coordinators, mentors, and major supporters.

For the 2009 spring meeting, CMA plans a symposium on Educational Innovations for Two-Year Colleges.–Linette M. Watkins, Chair; Maria G. V. Rosenthal, Acting Chair

Patents & Related Matters

The Committee on Patents & Related Matters (CPRM) focuses its efforts in three main areas: providing ACS members and the general public with information about patents and other intellectual property issues important within the chemical enterprise, nominating notable chemist-inventors for national awards that recognize the innovations and contributions of chemists to society, and monitoring legislative and regulatory developments influencing intellectual property in ways that impact the chemical enterprise.

At this meeting, CPRM discussed proposed legislative and regulatory changes to the U.S. patent system and the potential effects such matters might have on industry and academia as well as on ACS. CPRM also continued its work on several new educational tools to assist and inform members on patent issues and other intellectual property matters important to a successful career in the chemical enterprise. Many of these tools are now available on the committee’s expanded website, membership.acs.org/C/CPRM.

Finally, CPRM continued its work with respect to nominating deserving scientists for inclusion in the National Inventors Hall of Fame and for the National Medal of Technology & Innovation. —Andrew G. Gilicinski, Chair

Planning

The committee focused on supporting the ongoing implementation of the “ACS Strategic Plan for 2008 and Beyond” and preparing for the plan’s annual revision. Representatives of the Council Policy Committee, Divisional Activities Committee, and Local Section Activities Committee provided reports on their activities to engage their important communities.

The committee continued its engagement with other ACS committees through consideration of the broad range of strategies and metrics developed in support of the plan and began a process for selecting top priorities to recommend to the board. Committee members took time to carefully review each of the goals and the strategies and metrics proposed to support them.

To ensure that the plan remains responsive to emerging trends, an environmental scan was undertaken this summer, and an interim report was reviewed in Philadelphia. The committee has also taken into consideration its continued role in shaping the plan and the creation of initiatives that support it.

To reinforce strategic goal number four, “ACS will be a leader in communicating to the general public the nature and value of chemistry and related sciences,” the committee suggests a key message: “I am proud to be a chemist because I improve people’s lives through chemistry.” This should provide a gateway to discussions on how chemistry and chemists improve our daily lives. The meeting concluded with a review of the progress the society has made in 2008 operations so far this year.—Judith L. Benham, Chair

Professional Training

At the August 2008 meeting, the Committee on Professional Training (CPT) discussed three updates and two site visit reports. With the approval of two new schools, the total number of colleges and universities offering ACS-approved bachelor’s degree programs in chemistry is now 647.

The committee devoted a substantial portion of its August meeting to refining the policies for evaluating chemistry programs under the newly adopted ACS Guidelines. Departments interested in obtaining ACS approval will be able to begin this process under the new guidelines beginning on Oct. 1. The committee also updated the content of several topical and disciplinary supplements to support the new guidelines, and they will be published on the ACS website later this fall.

As part of CPT’s efforts to encourage diversity within the chemistry profession, a joint subcommittee of CPT and the Committee on Minority Affairs will hold a workshop in September with Tribal Colleges and Native American-serving institutions that will include participants from 25 colleges and universities and ACS President Bruce E. Bursten. Another workshop will be held in November with Hispanic-serving institutions that will include more than 40 participants. The structure of these workshops will parallel that of CPT’s 2004 workshop with Historically Black Colleges & Universities and other African American-serving institutions.

The committee has published a report on its Survey of Ph.D. Programs in Chemistry in the latest CPT Newsletter, which compares the current characteristics of Ph.D. programs with those of a decade ago. A similar survey of master’s degree programs is under way.—William F. Polik, Chair

Publications

The committee discussed its strategic plan, which has two focal points: regularly monitoring the quality of ACS journals to help ensure that they remain among the most important information resources for scientific communities worldwide, and expanding communication with ACS members about the committee’s activities, C&EN procedures, and scholarly communication issues.

ACS Chemical Biology, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, and Nano Letters were monitored. The next publications to be monitored are Crystal Growth & Design and the Journal of Physical Chemistry A, B, and C. Editor-in-chief reappointments for several journals were recommended.

The Sales & Marketing Group is working closely with the Publications Editorial Development unit to launch the new journal, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, in early 2009 as well as to revitalize the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), including the launch of the new JACS Beta site and the redesign of the JACS cover and Web presence in 2009.

C&EN continues to fulfill its mission of providing readers with news, events, and trends in the chemical enterprise. A C&EN special issue on sustainability appeared in the Aug. 18 issue. Reader satisfaction survey results remain high, with 93% reporting high satisfaction in 2008, versus 91% in 2007.

The Subcommittee on Copyright presented an update on cases and legislation affecting copyright and intellectual property. The ACS Publications Division has instituted a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Policy Addendum to the ACS Copyright Form. The revised NIH Addendum pubs.acs.org/copyright/nih/nih_addendum.pdfDownload The PDF and additional information pubs.acs.org/copyright/nih are available on the ACS Publications website.—John N. Russell Jr., Chair

Public Relations & Communications

The Committee on Public Relations & Communications (CPRC) participated in a pilot workshop for the ACS Communications Strategic Plan, which will introduce phase one of the plan to ACS members later this year and next year at the Salt Lake City meeting.

Specifically, the workshop discusses the new look and feel of society materials and the new tagline, “Chemistry for Life.” CPRC responded favorably to the workshop and to new graphic designs introduced with the tagline for local section newsletters and other society materials. They asked that templates using the new look also be developed for local section websites.

In the area of local section public relations, the committee had discussions with the chair of the Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations and with the director of the Office of Public Affairs. One idea that emerged was possibly closer collaboration at the local section level between committees focused on public relations and those working on government affairs. CPRC is also looking at opportunities to partner with the Committee on Chemistry & Public Affairs. More thought will be given to tools, training, and other areas where leveraging of resources could be mutually beneficial.

CPRC presented public relations awards to the Kentucky Lake Local Section for outstanding new efforts and to the Illinois Heartland Local Section for excellent ongoing programs. In addition, Mickey Sarquis was honored with the committee’s 2008 Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach.

In Salt Lake City, CPRC will partner with the Chemical Education Division to present the symposium “Outstanding Outreach is Elemental.”—Russell W. Johnson, Chair

Science

The Committee on Science (ComSci) received an invitation from the ACS president and board chair to become more involved in activities supporting goal three of the ACS strategic plan, which states “ACS will be a global leader in enlisting the world’s scientific professionals to address, through chemistry, the challenges facing our world.”

Specifically, ComSci was invited to focus on the issue of sustainability. The committee was asked to think about what it could do on this subject, working with others inside and perhaps outside of the society, that would permit ACS to make a unique and important contribution on global sustainability matters. ComSci will develop a proposal responding to this request and submit it no later than Dec. 1 to the board for its consideration.

The committee was briefed on the recent activities of the International Strategy Implementation Task Force. The sense of the committee was that Member Network success will hinge on rapidly increasing the number of participants within the network and quickly adding the more advanced functionalities users expect and value.

The committee was briefed by members of the Presidential Task Force on ACS Fellows. Although the committee supports generally the concept of an ACS Fellows Program, it has some concerns about the definition and development of the program.

At the 2009 Salt Lake City national meeting, ComSci will present a full-day program, along with a lunchtime session, on the subject of chemical synthetic biology.—Carolyn Ribes, Chair

Women Chemists

At the meeting in Philadelphia, the Women Chemists Committee (WCC) focused on its goal of attracting women into the chemical sciences through several established student award programs.

The committee recognized the five recipients of the Merck Index Women in Chemistry 2008 scholarships, seven WCC/Eli Lilly & Co. Travel awardees, and the 2008 Overcoming Challenges Award winner. WCC was also delighted to announce the inaugural recipient of the scholarship in memory of Priscilla Carney Jones. Additional committee programming included a very successful technical session, “Chemist & Consumer: Women in the Pharmaceutical Industry.”

WCC would like to thank the Philadelphia Section for its collaboration on a very successful local section WCC networking event, which celebrated the memory of past section chair Deb Kilmartin. This event was also cosponsored by the Chemical Heritage Foundation to launch its new oral history project on women in chemistry, for which they are actively seeking suggestions for eminent women chemists to interview.

With increased focus at the local and regional levels, WCC is able to reach more members and increase the relevance of the society for them. There are now more than 30 local section WCCs, and the number of WCC activities at regional meetings continues to grow. To facilitate this growth, the committee has developed a framework for planning WCC events, including presentations on mentoring and networking. These and other resources are available to all members on the WCC website and information will be included in the regional meeting planning kits.—Amber S. Hinkle, Chair

Younger Chemists

The Younger Chemists Committee (YCC) continues to promote its vision to lead younger chemists into successful careers and active roles in ACS and the profession. Our mission is to advocate for and provide resources to early-career chemists and professionals in the chemical sciences and related fields.

YCC continues to develop programming of interest to younger chemists. In Philadelphia, programs included “Getting Your First Industrial Job,” “From Test-Tube to Start-Up Companies,” and “Opportunities and Challenges for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty.” These were recorded so that the content could be repurposed on the ACS website for our constituents. YCC also hosted the 6th Annual YCC Fun Run presented by ACS Publications at Fairmont Park and raised $1,500 for the ACS Scholars program. Looking forward to Salt Lake City, we are planning symposia on graduate school challenges, alternative careers in chemistry, and the chemistry of cooking.

YCC is always looking for new ways to get younger chemists involved in ACS. We accomplished this in 2008 through outreach activities, which include involvement with the Graduate Education Advisory Board, committee and divisional liaisons, and our Leadership Development Workshop. In addition, we facilitate online communication with our members by using tools such as Facebook, MySpace, Google groups, discussion threads, and blogs. More information can be found on the YCC website, www.acsycc.org.—Michael Hurrey, Chair

 
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