Glorious weather greeted the more than 12,400 attendees of the American Chemical Society Fall 2019 National Meeting and Exposition in San Diego on Aug. 25–29. In total, 9,594 papers were presented in programming by 29 technical divisions and 7 committees highlighting the meeting’s theme of “Chemistry and Water.”
▸ Attendance: ~12,400
▸ Papers presented: 9,594
▸ Exhibiting companies: 266
▸ Job seekers at the ACS Career Fair: 239
▸ Employers at the ACS Career Fair: 31
The opening session featured talks by Vicki Grassian of the University of California San Diego on water’s effect on chemistry, William Alley of the National Ground Water Association on our growing dependence on groundwater, Andrew Kricun of New Jersey’s Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority on environmental stewardship, and Bego Gerber of Chemists Without Borders on global humanitarian opportunities.
During the ACS Board of Directors regular session, former ACS president Allison A. Campbell and director-at-large Wayne E. Jones Jr., who are cochairs of the Next Generation Professional Development Task Force, moderated a panel discussion on how to develop critical leadership skills.
Celebrations abounded at the national meeting, including symposia and events honoring the International Year of the Periodic Table. In addition, the society’s core value of diversity, inclusion, and respect was exhibited through a broad range of diversity programming, as well as the distribution of pronoun pins, availability of gender-neutral bathrooms, and signs raising awareness about where to report instances of harassment during the meeting.
Thomas Markland of Stanford University presented the Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecture, titled “Harnessing the Quantum Mechanics of the Hydrogen Bond: from Atmospheric Science to Enzyme Catalysis.” And Nobel laureate Frances Arnold of the California Institute of Technology presented the Fred Kavli Innovations in Chemistry Lecture, titled “Innovation by Evolution: Bringing New Chemistry to Life.”
During the ACS Board’s executive session, the board voted, among other actions, to approve an advance member registration for 2020 national meetings of $505, an amount equal to the 2019 fee adjusted for inflation only.
The ACS Council had a relatively light agenda during the council meeting. The Committee on Budget and Finance reported that as of July 31, 2019, ACS’s total revenues were right on budget at $338.2 million. Year-to-date total expenses were at $308.1 million, and net contribution from operations was at $30.1 million.
The council voted to approve the continuation of the Committees on International Activities and Professional Training. It also voted to approve the Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct and passed a motion to transfer the Pittsburgh Local Section from District II to District III. Finally, the council voted to approve the formation of the Georgia International Chemical Sciences Chapter.