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ACS News

ACS Fall 2023 board and council summary

Lots of discussion and decisions made for the future of ACS in San Francisco

by Emily Abbott, ACS staff
August 18, 2023

In conjunction with ACS Fall 2023, the board of directors met in an executive session on Aug. 11 and 12, and ACS councilors convened on Aug. 16. A number of actions and votes took place during these sessions.

At the board of directors meeting, six ACS journal editors were reappointed; three new editors were named; approval was granted for the ACS Prism Award, which will recognize a public figure or prominent leader in their field who has a background in chemistry but is working in a different field or not a practicing chemist; and the 2024 Perkin medal nominee was approved. Also during that session, the board heard feedback that will allow members to more effectively elevate their voices to board members.

Just a few days later in a hybrid council meeting, councilors approved adding international representation to the board of directors. One director at large seat will convert into that role, so there will be five rather than six directors at large. At the next board meeting in October, the majority of the board must vote to adopt the change. If that passes, then two-thirds of voting ACS membership will need to approve before the ACS Constitution is amended and the structure of the board changes.

Also during council, CEO Albert G. Horvath honored the memory of the recently appointed C&EN editor in chief, who unexpectedly died on his way to ACS Fall 2023. Horvath indicated a strong interest in recruiting and engaging more ACS members, and he proclaimed a commitment to recruiting and retaining talented staff in the post-pandemic era. He indicated the society is in a strong financial position.

The Council Policy Committee (CPC) voted to replace the councilor travel expense program with a councilor attendance incentive allotment, effective Jan. 1, 2024. Rather than individuals submitting for individual reimbursement to ACS staff, local sections and divisions that opt in will receive a $2,000 per participating councilor payment per meeting. CPC is also moving responsibilities of non-councilor reimbursement to the Committees on Committees (ConC) and recommended the name of the program change to the Volunteer Committee Reimbursement Program.

A number of committee elections took place during council. Newly elected members of CPC are Martha G. Hollomon, Elizabeth M. Howson, Jeanette M. Van Emon, and Lydia E. M. Hines, who will all serve a three-year term. James C. Carver was elected to a one-year term to fill a vacancy. ConC will welcome Anna G. Cavinato, Andrea B. Twiss-Brooks, Thomas R. Gilbert, Jeanne R. Berk, and W. Matthew Reichert for three-year terms. Joining the Committee on Nominations and Elections for three-year terms are Linette M. Watkins, Arlene A. Garrison, Zaida C. Morales Martinez, Amber F. Charlebois, and Jetty L. Duffy-Matzner. Kevin J. Edgar will join for a one-year term to fill a vacancy.

Council approved the creation of the Singapore International Chemical Science Chapter, bringing the total number of ACS international chemical science chapters to 27.

ACS president Judith C. Giordan led a special discussion on equitable governance for the future. Councilors shared ideas, and relevant ACS units will receive input. To share further input, please contact

Several resolutions were passed: In memory of deceased Past President Ned D. Heindel; in memory of deceased Past President Paul H. L. Walter; in memory of deceased Councilors; in appreciation of the California and Silicon Valley Sections, host Sections for the fall 2023 ACS meeting, the Divisional program chairs, symposium organizers, and ACS staff for the planning and execution of the meeting; in appreciation of the outgoing Chair of Council, Judith C. Giordan.


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