Issue Date: July 23, 2012
Official Reports From The ACS National Meeting In San Diego
Committee reports from the spring national meeting—which was held in San Diego in March—appear below. The major actions taken by the ACS Board and Council during the meeting were reported previously in C&EN (April 2, page 5).
Reports of Society Committees
BUDGET & FINANCE
The Society Committee on Budget & Finance (B&F) met on March 24 to review the society’s 2011 financial performance. The society ended 2011 with a net contribution from operations of $20.9 million on revenues of $472.0 million and expenses of $451.1 million. This was $7.7 million favorable to the approved budget. After including the results of the Member Insurance Program, the society’s overall net contribution for 2011 was $19.0 million, which was $6.2 million favorable to the approved budget. In addition, the society ended the year in compliance with four of the five Board-established financial guidelines. The reserve adequacy guideline, measured by the fund balance ratio, was not met. This ratio worsened in 2011, primarily as a result of an accounting charge related to the society’s postretirement benefit plans.
In other actions, the committee elected Robert Lichter as vice chair and voted to recommend to Council that dues for 2013 be set at the fully escalated dues rate of $151. In addition, the committee received a report from its Subcommittee on Communications. The Subcommittee on Financial Impacts of Constitution & Bylaw Amendments reported on one petition slated for Council action, the “Petition on Market Data Collection,”at this meeting. There were also two petitions slated for Council consideration at this meeting, the “Petition on Candidate Comment in C&EN” and the “Petition on International Chemical Sciences Chapters Funds.” The Subcommittee on Program Funding Requests provided an update on the schedule and process to be followed for the 2013 New Program Funding and Program Funding Reauthorization Requests. Lastly, the Program Review Advisory Group provided an update on its planned activities in 2012.—
The Society Committee on Education (SOCED) supported the recommendation of the Division of Chemical Education/SOCED Task Force for the Exploration of a Chemistry Teachers Association to create a stand-alone association housed within ACS. This association would be supported by professional staff and governed by a volunteer board of association members. SOCED voted to adopt the recommendations of the Task Force on Two-Year College Activities to pursue excellence in two-year programs through increased use of the “ACS Guidelines for Chemistry in Two-Year Programs”; by appointing an advisory board for the Office of Two-Year Colleges; and by continuing to consider a recognition process for two-year colleges. SOCED released the newly approved “ACS Guidelines & Recommendations for the Teaching of High-School Chemistry.” The committee received an update on the 44th International Chemistry Olympiad that will be held July 21–30 in Washington, D.C. Dow Chemical is sponsoring this prestigious event.—Mary K. Carroll, Chair
Reports of Board Committees
GRANTS & AWARDS
The Committee on Grants & Awards (G&A) met virtually on March 12 and voted to recommend to the Board a screened list of five nominees for the 2013 Priestley Medal, a screened list of three nominees for the 2013 Charles Lathrop Parsons Award, and five nominees for the 2013 Award for Volunteer Service to the ACS.
The chair of the Fellows Oversight Committee reviewed the 2012 schedule and the selection process with the committee, and also shared the results from a survey of the 2009–11 ACS Fellows. The survey was conducted in an effort to understand the professional impact of the ACS Fellows designation on the recipients; to gauge satisfaction with the ceremony and reception; and to determine what other events or activities the fellows want.
The chair of the 2012 Awards Review Committee reported that it will review 18 of the national awards this year to ensure that the awards program continues to meet the objectives of the society.
The co-chair of the ACS AWIS/AWARDS Task Force reported that the it is working on a strategy to raise awareness among ACS technical divisions on implicit associations and the statistics related to the low number of women nominees and recipients for ACS national awards.
The Subcommittee on Nominations & Selection reported that it has reviewed the National Awards Online Nominator survey results. The committee voted to change the word limits for all national awards: “Effective for the 2014 ACS national awards, nominations will require one recommendation letter of 750 words or less and one support letter of 400 words or less. A second support letter of 400 words or less is optional.”
The chair of the G&A Working Group to Establish Selection Criteria for an Award to Recognize Entrepreneurs reported that the working group had been formed and was scheduled to hold its first meeting in mid-April.
Staff reviewed the status of the national award endowments, including the 2011 actual revenues and expenses as well as the 2012 projections. Staff noted that seven of the endowments did not generate sufficient income to cover the 2011 award expenses; however, temporarily restricted net assets were available to cover the 2011 expenses. The 2012 projections show possible shortfalls in four of the award endowments, but temporarily restricted net assets will be more than sufficient to cover the projected deficits.
Staff reviewed gender statistics from ACS PRF grants. Staff also reviewed a list of eight individuals who will be awarded Herman Frasch grantees, as well as three alternates.—Kent J. Voorhees, Chair
PROFESSIONAL & MEMBER RELATIONS
The Committee on Professional & Member Relations (P&MR) held a virtual meeting on March 16 and reviewed and accepted a list of P&MR priority issues for 2012, recognizing that new issues may come up during the year.
The committee voted to affirm two interim actions for issuing human rights letters for cases in Iran and Turkey.
Consistent with recommendations from four ACS divisions, P&MR voted against nominal cosponsorship of the Nature Inspires Chemistry Engineers international conference on Bioinspired & Biobased Chemistry & Materials in October in Nice, France.
The Subcommittee on International Strategy briefed and sought input from the committee on a petition for Council consideration regarding funding for international chemical science chapters. P&MR also was briefed on current efforts to rejuvenate the Iraq Chemical Society, including a January 2012 workshop in Jordan and the participation of Iraqi chemists at the ACS national meeting in March 2012.
The Web Strategy & Innovation Subcommittee presented data on usage of and user satisfaction with online ACS national meeting content from the 2011 national meetings. The committee also discussed updates regarding acs.org, the ACS Network, and 2012 hybrid meeting events.
The Professional Advancement Subcommittee provided a presentation on employment trends in the domestic chemical workforce, including the latest ACS data on unemployment, salaries, and trends in certain positions and sectors. A study to better understand job loss in chemistry is currently being scoped. The committee also received updates from the Leadership Advisory Board on leadership courses and the Leadership Institute and on the status of the ACS Entrepreneurship Initiative.—Peter K. Dorhout, Chair
PUBLIC AFFAIRS & PUBLIC RELATIONS
The Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations (PA&PR) met virtually on March 12.
The chair reviewed the committee’s duties and responsibilities to ensure that all committee members were fully informed and conversant with them. The chair updated the committee on the Program Review Advisory Group (PRAG) review of government relations activities within the ACS Office of Public Affairs (OPA), highlighted San Diego national meeting activities related to the committee’s jurisdiction, and called attention to key governance-related advocacy activities conducted since the December committee meeting.
PA&PR reviewed results of its outreach to local sections regarding establishment of new public relations committees. As a result of the outreach, the potential exists to create several new local section PR committees. The chair asked staff to follow up and offer the potential chairs Sparkle PR training this spring.
The committee completed the annual prioritization of the society’s public policy statements. On the basis of survey input received from both PA&PR members and OPA staff, policy statements were put into four tiers. After discussion, the committee agreed to some final modification on statement placement and voted to approve the advocacy priorities for 2012.
PA&PR was updated on the implementation of the PRAG recommendations for the National Historic Chemical Landmark (NHCL) program. Major parts of the improvement plan are focused on increasing the use of landmark resources by teachers, students, and members of the public who are interested in science; increasing ACS member awareness of the scientific and historical contributions honored by the landmark program; and more closely aligning the landmark nomination, selection, and designation procedures to support greater public outreach. As a result of the improvements, 2011 Web analytics indicate that the NHCL Webpage is now among the most highly visited of any ACS Webpage.
The committee reviewed the outlook for fiscal year 2013 federal funding for R&D and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. Although the President’s FY2013 budget request contains solid funding for federal R&D and STEM education, it is questionable whether those levels will be adopted given the looming challenges resulting from the Budget Control Act of 2011. The Act requires Congress to cut the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion dollars over the next 10 years. If Congress fails to act by Jan. 2, 2013, automatic across-the-board cuts in discretionary spending of $500 billion for defense accounts and $700 billion for non-defense accounts will be implemented. ACS is working with sister scientific societies and other organizations to explain to members of Congress how investment in federal R&D and STEM education is critical to the economic growth and strength of the US economy.
The committee was updated on steps being implemented to make local section government affairs committees and the Act4Chemistry legislative action network more effective advocacy tools. A new Act4Chemnistry operating system, expected to be fully implemented in May 2012, will provide new ways to determine issues of importance to members, how members are using social media outlets for communication, and how to better reach policy makers. Based on success with the state government affairs program where members organize along state geographic lines versus the local section level, an experiment is being undertaken in Georgia, Maryland, and Tennessee, to align state and federal government affairs under a state “umbrella” in an effort to foster greater member recruitment and involvement. Early results indicate initial success in using this new approach.
The chair reviewed plans for the April 24-25 ACS Public Service Award Ceremony and Legislative Summit fly-in. OPA staff reviewed logistics for both the ceremony and the summit.
The committee was updated on the success of the Sparkle PR training program that has provided training to 47 local section PR chairs since being resurrected in October 2010. The April 2012 session was expected to train 25 additional PR chairs. The committee reviewed detailed metrics demonstrating the value of Sparkle training in terms of increasing news coverage and community activities.
The committee received a presentation describing the capabilities, operations, and accomplishments of OPA’s digital services team. The team produced 325 videos, comprising more than 3,500 minutes of completed video in 2011, and collaborated with 14 ACS governance and staff units.—Kathleen Schulz, Chair
Reports of Other Board Standing and Joint Board-Council Committees
CHEMICAL ABSTRACTS SERVICE (Joint with Council)
The Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service (CCAS) met in executive session on March 23. CAS management reported on a number of developments since the fall ACS meeting, including database growth. The CAS Registry, the world’s authority for substance information, now includes information on approximately 65 million unique organic and inorganic substances, with 9.3 million new substances added in 2011. CAS databases also lead other sources in reaction information with the addition of 8.7 million reactions in 2011, bringing the total to more than 40 million single- and multi-step reactions in a single collection. In addition, SciFinder now provides access to more than 3 million experimental procedures from all ACS journals, three Taylor & Francis journals, and patents from the U.S., Europe, Germany, Japan, and the World Intellectual Property Organization.
Enhancements from three SciFinder releases were highlighted for committee members, noting significant new features and functionality focusing on relevance, workflow, and convenience. Committee members were pleased to learn that an April release was expected to include substance searching by experimental and predicted property values; “Reference and Substance Quick Views,” which allows scientists to easily view key information (such as indexed substances and ACS journal table-of-contents graphics) in context as they review answer sets; and CAS Registry Number conversion, which converts a CAS Registry Number to a graphic substance representation, thereby saving SciFinder users time when drawing structures.
CAS has made significant reinvestments in its infrastructure to increase overall search capacity in support of expanded access and unlimited SciFinder use programs worldwide. Offering unlimited use in academic markets meets CAS’ mission to provide access to the world’s disclosed chemical information, and academic customers are now realizing the benefits of the SciFinder Academic Unlimited Access Program. CAS management discussed the challenge of principled pricing for unlimited use and sought input from committee members.
In November 2011, CAS began offering complimentary access to unemployed scientists who had used SciFinder under “enterprise wide programs” when they were employed. More than 100 unemployed scientists now use SciFinder to stay current in their research areas and to explore potential employment opportunities.
The 2012 SciFinder Future Leaders in Chemistry Program (formerly the SciFinder Academic Exchange Program) provides an opportunity for 15 Ph.D. chemistry students from around the world to visit CAS this fall to share insights, interact with global peers, and learn from CAS scientists. CAS will also provide for these students to attend the fall ACS meeting in Philadelphia.
CAS management reported that CAS joined with its partner FIZ Karlsruhe to launch an alpha version of the new STN platform to global advisory council members at the end of 2011. A beta release of the new platform will be available to STN fixed fee customers at the end of 2012.
CCAS continues to fulfill its responsibilities in a purposeful manner, serving as a channel for the flow of information between society members (and users of CAS services), the ACS Governing Board for Publishing, and CAS management, and assuring that each party’s needs are researched, recognized, and represented. The CCAS web site can be found on the ACS Member Network, where anyone can post feedback and questions for CCAS members to provide input to CAS management.—Spiro D. Alexandratos, Chair
CHEMICAL SAFETY (Joint with Council)
At the Council meeting during the fall 2011 ACS national meeting in Denver, Nancy B. Jackson, who was ACS president at the time, held an open discussion on how the society can best cultivate a culture of safety in U.S. universities and colleges. More than 40 Councilors expressed opinions and ideas. At San Diego’s meeting the Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS) began reviewing these comments to identify ideas that could become active projects to help strengthen safety cultures. You can share your ideas with CCS at email@example.com.
In October 2011, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board released its report on a university laboratory incident. One of the board’s recommendations called upon ACS to develop good practice guidance that identifies and describes methodologies to assess and control hazards that can be used successfully in the academic research laboratory. In response to this charge we formed the Hazard Analysis & Risk Assessment Task Force. Its chair has organized a team composed of experts in risk assessment and researchers in the academic community.
At its recent meeting CCS approved the Safety Culture Task Force report entitled “Creating Safety Cultures in Academic Institutions.” This report describes essential elements of a strong safety culture and provides recommendations for strengthening an institution’s safety culture. This document can be accessed at www.acs.org/safety .
To promote the report, the Division of Chemical Health & Safety and our committee will host a symposium at the Philadelphia national meeting. The symposium will feature speakers describing approaches for building safety cultures, as well as panel discussions with audience participation. We invite you to join us to learn about ways to strengthen your organization’s safety culture.—Robert H. Hill Jr., Chair
CHEMISTRY & PUBLIC AFFAIRS (Joint with Council)
The Committee on Chemistry & Public Affairs (CCPA) provides advice and recommends ACS action on public policy matters involving chemical sciences and technologies. CCPA also encourages and facilitates ACS member participation in government relations.
In San Diego, CCPA selected two congressional fellows from ACS member applicants to work in a congressional office during 2011–12. These fellows bring informed scientific perspectives to issues on the congressional agenda. The committee also selected a science policy fellow to work in the ACS Office of Public Affairs (OPA). Recent graduates, as well as more seasoned, mid-career applicants, are encouraged to apply for these fellowships. CCPA also received written reports from the 2011-12 ACS Congressional Fellows, Emily Grumbling, who is serving in the office of Representative Diana DeGette, and Christopher Avery, who is working in the office of Senator Christopher Coons.
CCPA partnered with the Division of Small Chemical Businesses to sponsor a panel discussion, “Making a Science Fellowship Part of Your Career Path,” which featured four current and former public policy fellows who spoke about their experiences and the impact of those fellowships on their careers.
John Miller, team lead for the Chemical Transformations team in the Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences, shared an overview of his program’s priorities and budget outlook for 2012 and 2013. The committee also took advantage of the ACS presidential keynote address to hear Subra Suresh, director of the National Science Foundation, speak about NSF challenges and opportunities.
CCPA supported a letter formally endorsing President Obama’s 2013 budget funding proposal for several federal research agencies. The letter was forwarded to the ACS Board of Directors for official approval. CCPA also received a legislative update from OPA.—Connie J. Murphy, Chair
CHEMISTS WITH DISABILITIES (Joint with Council)
The Committee on Chemists With Disabilities (CWD) and ACS Digital Services, a unit within the Office of Public Affairs, created and produced an entry for a “What Can YOU Do?” video contest hosted by the Campaign for Disability Employment. Entries were intended to reflect the diversity of skills that people with disabilities offer, challenge misconceptions about disability and employment, and/or highlight employers’ inclusive employment programs and practices.
CWD refocused its subcommittee structure to concentrate on more specific projects—instead of broader project types—such as collaborating with other ACS governance committees and with external agencies, sponsoring a student travel award, writing articles for C&EN regarding the abilities and contributions of chemists with disabilities, and digitizing CWD publications.
CWD received the “Salutes to Excellence Award” from the Committee on Community Activities for supporting National Chemistry Week and improving the public perception of chemistry by translating ACS’s “Celebrating Chemistry”publication into Braille in multiple languages.—
COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES (Joint with Council)
The Committee on Community Activities (CCA) supported the National Science Foundation-funded International Year of Chemistry initiative by organizing and staffing the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering, which attracted more than 27,000 attendees. CCA conducted a chemistry demonstration show and assisted with a breakfast for volunteers and hands-on activities for festival attendees.
CCA also conducted an outreach workshop for ACS student members entitled “Chemists Celebrate Earth Day Outreach Ideas.” This workshop was a part of the undergraduate program at the San Diego national meeting and was attended by undergraduate students and their faculty advisers. More than 90 people participated.
Participants in the Chemists Celebrate Earth Day event on April 22 planned to focus on the theme of “Rethinking Recycling—It’s Easy to Be Green!” They planned to help members of the public explore ways to be environmentally conscious by using renewable materials and to explain how these steps relate to green chemistry.
National Chemistry Week (NCW) is Oct. 21–27. ACS is poised to celebrate 25 years of NCW this fall with the theme “Nanotechnology: The Smallest BIG Idea in Science.” The committee encourages all local sections to plan an event that will recognize NCW coordinators for their dedication to the program.
CCA presented a Salutes to Excellenceplaque to the Committee on Chemists with Disabilities for transcription of the fourth quarter “Celebrating Chemistry” publication into Braille. This allowed the outreach publication to be accessible to the blind and visually impaired.—
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT (Joint with Council)
The Committee on Environmental Improvement (CEI) continues to support local sections’ efforts that combine chemistry and sustainability. The committee awarded Local Section Sustainability Activity Grants to the Pittsburgh Section and the Chemical Society of Washington. Additionally, they identified the Brazosport, Nashville, and Syracuse local sections as finalists for the 2012 ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding Sustainability Activities and identified the winner to be recognized at the fall meeting.
The committee also continues to work on projects to highlight sustainability in the classroom. At the San Diego national meeting, the committee presented the third annual awards for sustainability in the chemistry curriculum at a symposium in the Division of Chemical Education, hosted an environmental movie as part of the undergraduate program, and jointly sponsored a panel of student participants in International Year of Chemistry activities with the Society Committee on Education. A grant made by the committee to York College will continue the effort to send undergraduate chemistry majors to international climate negotiations as student reporters.
In the area of public policy, CEI scoped out 2012 projects related to the ACS Public Policy Priorities and explored updates to retiring policy statements on endocrine disruption, on inherently safer technologies, and on energy policy. CEI also hosted a panel to review technical and policy questions related to drinking water as a first step in considering whether the ACS Board should adopt a statement on this topic.—Laura Pence, Chair
INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES (Joint with Council)
For its meeting in San Diego, the Committee on International Activities (IAC) welcomed the leadership of a number of partner societies including the Brazilian Chemical Society, Canadian Society for Chemistry, International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry, the German Chemical Society, the Hungarian Chemical Society, the Mexican Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry and received reports of their international interests and priorities. The committee also welcomed representatives of the ACS International Chemical Sciences Chapters in Hungary and Shanghai. With support from the U.S. Department of State, IAC had the pleasure of working with the ACS Immediate Past President in hosting a delegation of Iraqi chemists who are actively engaged in reestablishing the Iraqi Chemical Society.
After preliminary work in January and February, IAC held a retreat in San Diego on March 23 to develop and ratify an operational plan to advance its six strategic priorities:
1. fostering collaborations driven by solutions to global challenges (energy, climate science, environment, sustainability)
2. extending international chemistry education and training
3. engaging developing countries in cooperation with partner societies
4. assuring support of human rights and scientific mobility
5. supporting the development of an ACS International Center
6. sustaining momentum of the International Year of Chemistry beyond 2011
In furtherance of IAC Goals 1, 2 and 6, the committee proposed and will explore organizing a joint U.S./ Japan workshop on the topic of new sensor technology that can be used in the field to generate data about nuclear contamination in various types of food. The workshop will also explore creating concomitant K-12 curricular materials for students to understand how to gather and interpret information related to food contamination.
For IAC Goals 2 and 3, the committee will work to develop a status and readiness analysis of countries and regions for specific initiatives, such as education and training, and regional symposia.
For Goal 4, IAC will continue to create and identify seminars, symposia, and curricula for science and human rights inclusion at appropriate levels (K–12, undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, and professional).
For Goal 5, the committee established an advisory committee to help in the development of the ACS International Center, providing input for development of its website, feedback during the beta test, and next stages of implementation.
Finally, for IAC Goal 6, IAC will review, evaluate and capture lessons learned from successful International Year of Chemistry activities and identify experiments for the future.—Judith L. Benham, Chair
PATENTS & RELATED MATTERS (Joint with Council)
The Committee on Patents & Related Matters (CPRM) continues to focus on three main areas. First, CPRM provides ACS members and the general public with information about patents and other intellectual property issues. Second, the committee proposes nominations of notable inventors for external national awards recognizing the innovations and inventions of chemists. Finally, CPRM monitors legislative and regulatory developments influencing intellectual property in ways that impact the chemical enterprise.
Over the past year, CPRM has worked to help reform the patent system. This has culminated with the recent passage of the America Invents Act. CPRM is monitoring the implementation of the most significant patent reform in 50 years. The committee is planning several new initiatives to help inform ACS members about the implications of patent reform on the chemical enterprise. CPRM has partnered with the Chemistry & the Law Division of ACS to provide patent-related programming at national and regional meetings.
In addition, CPRM has created numerous educational materials, many of which provide guidance regarding second careers in the area of intellectual property. These materials are available on the committee’s new website.
CPRM has recommended nominees for the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the National Medal of Technology & Innovation, and the National Women’s Hall of Fame. CPRM welcomes suggestions for deserving chemists and chemical engineers. If you are interested in working with us, please contact us.—James L. Chao, Chair
PROFESSIONAL TRAINING (Joint with Council)
At the March 2012 meeting, the Committee on Professional Training (CPT) evaluated periodic reports and updates from 49 approved college and university chemistry programs, met in conference with six programs applying for ACS approval, and discussed progress reports from two applicants. The committee also reviewed an appeal of a “withhold approval” action and a report from one program that is on probationary status. The total number of colleges and universities offering ACS-approved bachelor’s degree programs in chemistry is currently 667.
The committee held a lunch meeting with 22 chairs of Ph.D.-granting chemistry departments to improve CPT’s dialog with those institutions about the ACS approval program and to discuss a variety of issues in the broad context of the preparation of undergraduates. Plans were finalized for an outreach meeting with the volunteers who make site visits to programs applying for ACS approval. This meeting will be held at the ACS national meeting in Philadelphia in August 2012. These meetings represent one part of CPT’s ongoing efforts to hear the concerns of members of the academic community and to update them on emerging trends in education that are identified through CPT’s surveys and program review activities. The committee developed plans for a symposium on the “Evolution of the ACS Approval Process” to be held at the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education on July 29 through Aug. 2.
The committee approved an updated version of the supplement on chemical information skills, which will be available on the CPT web pages at www.acs.org/cpt. A statement on CPT’s international involvement in chemistry education was also approved and will be posted on the CPT web pages. The committee finished development of a customer and user survey to obtain feedback on the “ACS Directory of Graduate Research” that will be used to inform the future direction of this resource.
Final plans were approved for a survey that will attempt to measure the impact of the revisions to the ACS guidelines on bachelor’s degree programs in chemistry, which date from 2008. The results of this survey will be used by the committee as it begins its discussions of the next edition of the ACS guidelines at a retreat meeting in June 2012. The committee welcomes input from the chemistry community on the guidelines for bachelor’s degree programs. Comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.—Anne B. McCoy, Chair
PUBLICATIONS (Joint with Council)
The committee elected Stephanie L. Brock as vice chair, and she will serve in that capacity for the period of March 23 to Dec. 31.
The committee accepted the editorial monitoring reports and recommendations for ACS Chemical Biology and Journal of Chemical Theory & Computation. The committee deliberated the reappointment of editors of these journals and submitted recommendations to the ACS Board of Directors. ACS Chemical Neuroscience, Biochemistry, Chemistry of Materials, Crystal Growth & Design, Journal of Chemical Information & Modeling, Molecular Pharmaceutics, and Organic Letters will be monitored next.
An overview of the ACS Publications Division included a report on operational highlights, financial stability, new content and services, creative collaboration, transformative technology, and community outreach. The new web content and delivery platform for C&EN Online was fully implemented with the Oct. 31, 2011, issue. Among the important new features of the system are the ability for readers to comment on all C&EN articles and streamlined delivery of the SCENE newsfeeds to journals. Work on C&EN Production Automation Program 2.0 has now begun. This effort will include migrating C&EN Online content from 2004 through 2009 to the web platform, an improved search function, and initiation of single article sales to enable Google discoverability.
The Conference of Editors of ACS Publications was held in January. The agenda and an overview of the proceedings was shared with the committee. Topics included updates on operational issues and technology innovations across all aspects of the society’s publishing activities.—Ned D. Heindel, Chair
SCIENCE (Joint with Council)
The ACS Committee on Science (ComSci) met on March 24 in San Diego to discuss specific ways to advance its recently approved strategic plan. The committee launched a new initiative that will feature panels of Nobel Laureates and nationally recognized young researchers from academia and industry sharing their vision on the emerging frontiers of chemical science. The first forum in this series featured three Nobel Laureates at the national meeting in San Diego discussing interdisciplinary scientific frontiers and the critical role of entrepreneurship. The second forum in August at the Philadelphia national meeting will feature nationally recognized young scientists.
ComSci also continued its work to develop new platforms to better prepare chemists for 21st century careers, with emphasis on new career pathways such as technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. ComSci worked with several other units to organize the first-of-its-kind business-plan competition at an ACS national meeting, which featured entrepreneurs presenting promising chemistry based innovations. A second business plan competition is planned for Philadelphia.
The committee also discussed the culmination of its alternative energy systems project, which has focused on national meeting programming in four areas: hydrogen, solar, biofuels, and nuclear energy. With the successful session in San Diego on sustainable biofuels, special sessions now have been held in all four areas. ComSci is currently working to distill the key points from these sessions into findings and recommendations. ComSci also has been working to include its findings in these areas in special issues of the ACS Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research journal. The first special issue on nuclear fuel was published in January.
Finally, following approval by the ACS Board of Directors, ComSci submitted a nomination of a chemical scientist for the 2012 Presidential National Medal of Science to the White House on March 30.—Sadiq Shah, Chair
Reports of Council Committees
The Committee on Committees (ConC) held its annual New Chairs Training Conference in Ft. Worth, Texas, on Jan. 20–22 for nine new chairs and their staff liaisons as part of the ACS Leadership Institute.
ConC has begun developing its recommendations for 2013 committee chair appointments for consideration by the President-Elect and the chair of the Board of Directors, and continues to focus efforts to identify members with the requisite skills and expertise, using information from the online preference forms provided by Councilors and other ACS members.
ConC will bring a specific recommendation to Council in Philadelphia that Council approve the establishment of a Senior Chemists Committee as a joint board-council committee.
ConC’s recommendation for the continuation of the Committee on Chemists with Disabilities and the Committee on Professional Training will appear on the Council agenda for the fall national meeting in Philadelphia. In San Diego, Council approved ConC’s recommendation to continue the Committee on Project SEED.
The online preference form was expected to be available starting in mid-May. Members of ACS committees who are finishing a term or who have reached the statutory limit on a committee are strongly encouraged to complete the online form to reaffirm their interest and commitment to service in the society. The system can be used throughout the year to update contact and biographical information.—Dawn A. Brooks, Chair
NOMINATIONS & ELECTIONS
The Committee on Nominations & Elections (N&E) is responsible for annually reviewing the distribution of member population within the six electoral districts to assure that the districts have equitable representation. According to Bylaw V, Section 4(a), the year-end member population of each electoral district must be within 10% of the average number of members residing in each district. The 2011 year-end report showed that District III was out of compliance. N&E has established a task force to review and propose revisions to the Membership Affairs Committee and the Local Section Activities Committee to bring the membership back into compliance among the electoral districts.
N&E continues to remind all divisions and local sections that their elections must be conducted in compliance with their bylaws and with ACS Bylaws.
The committee developed slates of potential candidates for the Council Policy Committee and the Committee on Committees for 2013–15 terms.
N&E does not support the “Petition on Candidate Comments in C&EN” currently under consideration. N&E believes the item is not appropriate for the bylaws, rather, it should be a guideline; that guidelines should be put in place by N&E; and that a six-month moratorium restricting comments in C&EN and other ACS venues is too long, as this could interfere with the normal business of the society. N&E continues to work on election guidelines, and is considering a shorter time period for this moratorium.
N&E is in the process of examining several preferential voting methods to enable the election process to be more consistent across all ACS elections. The progress on this project will be shared at the fall Council meeting.
We continue to consider possible improvements to the nomination, campaigning, and election processes, and have formed two new task forces on these matters.
N&E continues to solicit names of qualified individuals for President-Elect and Directors for future consideration. Please submit suggestions to email@example.com.—Jack Breazeale Jr., Chair
CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS
In 2011, the Committee on Constitution & Bylaws (C&B) certified a record 28 bylaws for ACS technical divisions and local sections. Since the beginning of 2012, C&B has already certified seven bylaws. And since the fall 2011 ACS national meeting in Denver, C&B has submitted detailed bylaw reviews to one division and nine local sections. All certified bylaws and the status report on bylaw reviews are available at www.acs.org/bulletin5. At the same address, the ACS Governing Documents (Bulletin 5) were updated effective Jan. 1. For the first time, the Table of Contents was hyperlinked.
The certification process for bylaws is not complete until the division or local section submits the required information and vote outcome to C&B, which certifies all unit bylaws, acting for the Council. If the bylaws include words such as “mail” and “envelope,” the division or local section may not conduct electronic balloting. Please contact C&B at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to update your bylaws.
Two petitions were approved by Council at the San Diego national meeting: the “Petition on Market Data Collection” and the “Petition to Amend Recorded Vote Request Procedure.” Two additional petitions were up for consideration and will be up for action at the fall 2012 meeting in Philadelphia: the “Petition on Candidate Comment in C&EN” and the “Petition on International Chemical Sciences Chapters Funds.” Comments on these latter two petitions were due by April 27 to email@example.com.
New petitions to amend the Constitution or Bylaws had to be received by the society’s Executive Director by May 2 to be included in the Council agenda for consideration in Philadelphia.
If you are a Councilor and interested in making an impact on the society’s governing documents and unit bylaws, you should consider membership on C&B. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.—Harmon B. Abrahamson, Chair
The Divisional Activities Committee (DAC) and the Committee on Meetings & Expositions (M&E) are creating a working group to address policies dealing with remote access to live sessions originating from ACS national meetings. The working group will also review the need for additional policies regulating the capture and subsequent distribution of content delivered initially at our national meetings.
DAC approved 10 Innovative Project Grants (IPGs) totaling $60,700. DAC planned to alert all divisions that submitted proposals as to their outcomes shortly after the San Diego national meeting concluded. The committee will consider another set of IPG proposals at the fall 2012 Philadelphia national meeting.
Operating as a DAC subcommittee, the Multidisciplinary Program Planning Group proposed to the divisions the following themes for the 2015 national meetings:
• For the spring meeting in Denver, “Chemical Resources: Extraction, Refining and Conservation”
• For the fall meeting in Boston, “A History of Innovation: From Discovery to Application.”
ECONOMIC & PROFESSIONAL AFFAIRS
The unemployment rate for ACS chemists continues to rise, even as the U.S. unemployment rate has started to decline.
As you may have read in the March 26, 2012, edition of C&EN, the unemployment rate for ACS chemists as of March 1, 2011, was 4.6%. This is by far the highest rate since ACS started tracking unemployment in 1972. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an even higher value of 6.1% for the overall 2011 average unemployment rate for U.S. chemists and materials scientists. The Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs (CEPA) is understandably distressed, as I am sure all of you are.
Historically, employment recovery in the chemical sciences lags recovery in overall employment by one or more years, so it is not unexpected to see our unemployment rate continue to climb when the U.S. rate starts to decline. However, CEPA continues to hear about experienced chemists settling for lower paying positions to make ends meet; new graduates having trouble finding their first position; and postdoctoral positions disappearing.
In response to this news, CEPA included questions about underemployment in the 2012 Comprehensive Salary Survey, which is currently in the field. Preliminary results will be reported at the fall ACS national meeting in Philadelphia.
In an effort to create greater awareness of career options, CEPA worked with ACS staff and the Graduate Education Advisory Board to create an expanded suite of workshops detailing career pathways in industry, higher education, government, and entrepreneurship. These workshops were piloted at the San Diego national meeting, and will be available later this year for national, regional, and local events.
In addition, publication of a monthly Career Tips column in C&EN began in the April 2 issue, focusing on practical tips to aid job seekers. Furthermore, several employment-related articles in C&EN can now be found on a single web-page .
CEPA, Corporation Associates, and the ACS Board completed the appointment process for the Entrepreneurial Initiative Advisory Board (EIAB). The EIAB met to finalize access levels and offerings for the Entrepreneurial Resources Center.
The EIAB received 50 applications for the first Entrepreneurial Training Program , and scholarship recipients were informed by e-mail on April 6. The deadline for applications for entry into the Entrepreneurial Resources Center and the second class of scholarships for the entrepreneurial training program was June 3.
Revisions to the Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct were presented to Council for approval. The motion passed and the revised document was forwarded to the Board for action at the upcoming June meeting.
Statistics for the ACS Career Fair and the Virtual Career Fair at the San Diego national meeting are shown in the table below.
The number of employers attending the on-site event was down from number of employers at the fall 2011 national meeting in Denver; however, San Diego has traditionally been lower than average. The addition of the virtual component granted access to more than 2,600 additional people and more than 14 additional employers.—Lisa M. Balbes, Chair
LOCAL SECTION ACTIVITIES
The Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC) recognized local sections celebrating major anniversaries in 2012. The complete list of 2012 anniversaries can be found at www.acs.org/getinvolved. LSAC thanks the 174 out of 187 local sections that have completed their 2011 annual reports. More than 1,200 events, meetings, and activities were described, and 740 were self-nominated for ChemLuminary Awards.
Survey results for FORMS—the online program that divisions and local sections use to submit their annual administration and financial reports—and the multiple enhancements made to the system showed the overall satisfaction with FORMS increased from 34% to 76%. LSAC has been involved in the improvement initiative, and is pleased to see such dramatic improvement in user satisfaction.
LSAC continues to be concerned by the distant relationship between R1 university chemistry faculty and departments and their local sections. We encourage the development of joint events that will benefit both groups.
The committee reviewed the current formula for determining allocation of a share of ACS membership dues to local sections. LSAC will present a new formula for 2013 to Council at the fall national meeting in Philadelphia for action. A minor change for local sections is expected.
LSAC awarded 29 Innovative Project Grants and 16 mini-grants to engage local sections in member retention efforts. More information about all LSAC grants and those of other committees is available at www.acs.org/getinvolved.
LSAC is pleased to recognize the 13 grants by Corporation Associates to local sections to enhance industry-section relations.
Local sections are encouraged to use the Online Speaker Directory. Career Counselors, ACS Webinar Series participants, and interesting speakers whom you have heard may be nominated for the directory by e-mailing email@example.com.—Lee H. Latimer, Chair
MEETINGS & EXPOSITIONS
The Committee on Meetings & Expositions (M&E) reports that the final number of attendees for the ACS national meeting in San Diego was 16,934. The exposition had 408 booths with 268 exhibiting companies. The registration revenue budget for the meeting was exceeded and the revenue budget for the exposition was met.
M&E released its first report on sustainability for the two national meetings held in 2011. The report was constructed using the Global Reporting Initiatives guidelines, an industry standard for tracking sustainability efforts. ACS is the first organization to successfully complete this GRI Event Sector Supplement.
M&E is working to establish parameters that will allow ACS to evaluate cities that are chosen for future national meetings. Data from surveys on cities we have already used along with information about attendee preferences, financial result metrics, and convention infrastructure will be combined to develop a working algorithm for site decisions.
A question was raised with M&E about providing WiFi access inside the technical session rooms. After exploring the possibilities, M&E decided against routinely making WiFi available in technical session rooms at this time for three reasons: the high cost, nearly $500,000 per year; the lack of significant benefits to the technical program; and concerns about inappropriate use of internet access relative to intellectual property. Post-meeting surveys will seek additional input on the necessity for WiFi in the session rooms. The committee will continue to provide free WiFi in public areas of the convention center, the hotels, and in guest rooms to attendees who stay in the ACS hotel block.
M&E will establish a joint working group with the Divisional Activities Committee to identify and address issues of mutual concern including electronic meeting content, remote access to live sessions originating at national meetings, and the possible use of a presentation management system.
A number of international attendees face the situation that the early registration period expires before their travel visas are approved. As a pilot program, M&E will offer early registration rates to those who can document visa delays.—Dee Ann Casteel, Chair
The Membership Affairs Committee (MAC) is pleased to report that the society has reached an all-time record of more 164,000 members. To reach this total, more than 24,000 new members were elected into the society, replacing the 23,145 who resigned, did not renew, or for other reasons dropped from ACS membership.
As part of ongoing efforts to better serve members, the committee received a report on focus groups drawn from ACS members and non-members at universities in four U.S. cities. Information is also being gathered from the ACS Member Services call center staff in an attempt to address any recurring questions, comments, or concerns. The committee is also exploring flexible dues options such as quarterly payments or automatic renewal, and discussing an international affiliates program recommended by the Board of Directors Financial Planning Conference.
The committee was pleased to learn that the new ACS publications member benefits (Member Universal Access, Member Articles on Command, Member E-Passport, and Member E-Subscriptions) introduced in January 2012 have been well received. Free access to 25 articles from all ACS journals, ACS Symposium Series e-books, and C&EN Archives are now available during each 12-month membership term.
Finally, the “Petition on Market Data Collection,” created by MAC, was passed by the ACS Council at the national meeting in San Diego. The new bylaw language provides for the society to collect data through limited market testing as the foundation for informing decisions about dues pricing. Historically, dues pricing decisions have been made without the benefit of advance testing.—Wayne E. Jones, Chair
The Committee on Ethics met at the national meeting in San Diego on March 25 and had an extended discussion about achieving and sustaining its ongoing goals to continually aggregate, facilitate, and encourage the society’s ethics programming, education, and awareness. To be effective, the committee needs to hear from you, the society’s members, regarding your needs and interests in these areas.
The committee met with the members of the Iraqi chemical society rejuvenation team and representatives from the U.S. Department of State, ACS Office of International Activities, and the Non-Governmental Organization known as CRDF Global. The members of the Iraqi delegation are reestablishing an association of professional chemists subsequent to the extensive changes that have swept their country. The delegates indicated that both scientific and general “human” ethics are critical and central components.
The committee has made public its resource site on the ACS Member Network. The site includes indexed summaries of approximately 130 ethics case studies from the National Academy of Engineering’s Online Ethics Center.
The Committee on Ethics website currently includes some 15 ethics-related case studies. These case studies include material relating to chemical health and safety, interpersonal dynamics, collecting and managing data, safety and comportment, cheating, dishonesty, and plagiarism. The committee welcomes suggestions for and contributions of additional case studies.—Gregory M. Ferrence, Chair
NOMENCLATURE, TERMINOLOGY & SYMBOLS
An executive meeting of Nomenclature, Terminology & Symbols (NTS) took place on March 26 at the San Diego national meeting, with 19 persons attending.
A draft of a new operations manual for NTS was reviewed, with attention to its relationship to the ACS Strategic Plan for 2012 & Beyond.
NTS members who are also members of related organizations (IEEE’s Standards Coordinating Committee 14 (SSC14) and International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry groups) gave reports of ongoing work in those organizations of particular relevance to NTS. A PowerPoint presentation on IEEE SCC14 committee activities is available at the NTS workplace on the ACS Network.
The NTS chair discussed with ACS journal editors the issue of proper nomenclature usage in society journals. The discussion explored ways to increase the likelihood that authors and journals will put more emphasis on recommended, unambiguous nomenclature.
The chair also reported that, at its October 2011 meeting, the international body concerned with International System of Units (SI) base units accepted the idea of “explicit constant” definitions of these units but postponed adoption of the actual redefinitions until 2015 (or later). Some national and international chemistry organizations have expressed opposition to the proposals developed last year. NTS plans to develop short but accurate explanations of SI base units for different age and educational levels.
NTS considered a list of ACS and international organizations with which we should develop interactions. A list of such groups will be sent to NTS members who will select a short list to focus on at the next committee meeting.—Peter F. Rusch, Chair
The Project SEED program helps high school students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds explore the world of chemistry through laboratory research experiences. Each Project SEED student works with a mentor scientist to perform research and to learn about careers and educational opportunities in chemistry and chemistry-related fields. Students in the program gain experience in advanced chemical research and acquire important skills necessary to succeed beyond high school. To date, nearly 10,000 research experiences have been provided to SEED students.
Results of the 2011 exit survey indicate that the program continues to serve low-income students well. As a result of their research experiences, 213 out of 412 students indicated they were planning to major in chemistry or other STEM disciplines.
The committee evaluated the 2012 research projects that will place about 548 students in more than 125 academic, government, and industrial laboratories to conduct meaningful chemistry research. The estimated program cost, which is devoted exclusively to student stipends, will be approximately $1,427,000. In addition, the committee will award 29 college scholarships to former SEED students for their freshman year studying chemistry. An additional three CIBA scholarships will be awarded to previous SEED scholarship recipients annually, bringing the total CIBA scholars to 11 students.
The committee greatly appreciates the generous contributions it has received from industry, academia, local sections, ACS friends and members, and the Project SEED Endowment.
The committee encourages all ACS members to support Project SEED by using the dues check-off option on the ACS membership renewal form.—Sandra J. Bonetti, Chair
The Committee on Technician Affairs (CTA) uses ACS governance channels and society resources to speak for applied chemical technology professionals. CTA’s goals are to raise public awareness of the value of technicians, to make technicians relevant to ACS, and to make ACS relevant to technicians.
CTA hosted the National Chemical Technician Award (NCTA) banquet on March 25 at the ACS national meeting in San Diego. This year’s award winner is Kathy S. Collins, senior technician at Chevron Phillips. She is the 24th recipient of this annual award, which is presented in recognition of outstanding technical and communication skills, safety, reliability, leadership, teamwork, publications, and presentations. The NCTA is co-sponsored by CTA and the former Division of Chemical Technicians (TECH).
CTA served as a co-sponsor of the Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Division’s “Symposium in Honor of Mark Vineyard: Industrial & Engineering Applied Chemical Technology Fellow,” which was held on March 27 in San Diego.
CTA’s Education Subcommittee discussed plans to develop new online course content and to catalog and tag the wealth of educational resources that have already been developed for technicians by ACS and other professional societies. The Recognition & Career Programming Subcommittee reviewed the call for nominations for the NCTA and discussed procedures for streamlining the award review and selection process.
CTA voted to sponsor an annual ChemLuminary Award for the Best Technician Related Event or Program sponsored by a local section or division. The award will be presented for the first time in August 2014 for a 2013 event or program. Coincidentally, the award will be presented during the 50-year anniversary of the CTA in the ACS.—Mary K. Moore, Chair
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