Judith C. Giordan, vice president and managing director of ecosVC, and John C. Warner, cofounder of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, and now senior vice president for chemistry and distinguished research fellow for green chemistry and sustainability at Zymergen, were selected as candidates for 2022 American Chemical Society president-elect during the ACS Council meeting, which was held virtually on March 24. Councilors took this and several other actions during the four-hour meeting, which typically takes place in person at ACS meetings.
The virtual format of the upcoming ACS Spring 2021 meeting, which will be held April 5–16, provided the council meeting and the committee meetings leading up to it with the flexibility to be held separately from the ACS meeting. All ACS governance meetings have been taking place virtually since last year due to the safety precautions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
High school teacher: $29
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Unemployed member: $0
Other actions taken by the council include passing, with an overwhelming majority, a motion to continue the Committee on Ethics, which provides chemists with resources on ethical decision making; a petition that standardizes the allotment of funding that ACS technical divisions receive from the society; and a petition that allows the Committee on Local Section Activities to appoint an interim executive committee in the event that an existing executive committee becomes inactive.
After a lengthy discussion, the council narrowly passed a petition to simplify committee structures so that all council-related committees will be classified as “society committees” and have common characteristics, such as size and term lengths. The petition also imposes a term limit in which members can serve a maximum of two successive 3-year terms on the same committee. An amendment to the petition noted that service could be extended if there is a compelling need for ongoing expertise on the committee.
The council also approved a schedule of membership dues that includes new categories with limited society benefits, such as contributing members, who pay half of the full dues, and community associates, who pay no dues. The regular dues were reduced to $160 per year. Proponents of the petition said this change could potentially engage many more people with the society, helping to advance ACS’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Others questioned how these new dues categories would impact society finances and urged caution. The motion passed with an overwhelming majority. The new membership categories will be available starting Jan. 1, 2022.
The ACS Board approved the council’s actions during a virtual meeting on March 26. Elections for the 2022 ACS President and other board positions are tentatively scheduled to open Sept. 27, 2021, and close Oct. 22, 2021.
In other society news, the Committee on Budget and Finance reported that in 2020, total revenues were $618.4 million, up $23.1 million (3.9%) over 2019. Net contributions from operations totaled $61.0 million, which is $21.3 million higher than in 2019. Expenses totaled $557.4 million, which was $1.8 million (0.3%) higher than in 2019.
The Committee on Meetings and Expositions reported that, as of March 24, more than 8,700 abstracts have been accepted for ACS Spring 2021, and more than 5,600 people have registered for the meeting.
The meeting will kick off on Monday, April 5 with an opening session highlighting the meeting theme of “Macromolecular Chemistry: The Second Century.” Speakers include Takuzo Aida of the University of Tokyo, Kristi S. Anseth of the University of Colorado, and Anthony J. Ryan of the University of Sheffield. César de la Fuente of the University of Pennsylvania will deliver the Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecture on Friday, April 9. And Omar M. Yaghi of the University of California, Berkeley, will deliver the Fred Kavli Innovations in Chemistry Lecture.
The ACS Board will sponsor a keynote session on the “Future of Science in the US: National Science Board’s Vision 2030” on April 14. The moderated session will explore changes needed to ensure US preeminence in science.
After ACS Spring 2021 concludes on April 16, some sessions will be available on demand for two additional weeks. To register for the meeting, visit https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/meetings/acs-meetings/registration.html.
This story was updated on March 30, 2021, to include John C. Warner's current title and affiliation at Zymergen and to indicate that he is cofounder, not founder, of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry. A second correction clarifies that it is the Committee on Local Section Activities, not local sections, that can appoint an interim executive committee.