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Serving ACS members through the society’s divisions

by Rodney Bennett, Chair, ACS Committee on Divisional Activities
August 30, 2018 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 96, Issue 35

Photo of Rodney Bennett.
Credit: Picture People Studios
Rodney Bennett

Greetings from the ACS Committee on Divisional Activities (DAC)! We want to update you on the new and continuing efforts for, and from, the American Chemical Society divisions. Over the past year, the ACS divisions have continued to expand their efforts to ensure that all current and potential members are being well served. I am happy to ­report that the state of the ACS divisions is strong, sound, and growing.

It would be impossible to envision an ACS without the excellent technical programming efforts from the divisions. These efforts are focused not only on the national meetings, which are a major effort, but also on technical programming for the regional meetings, international meetings, and specialty group meetings held throughout the year.

All divisions are open and ready to help you find your fit and interests.

The ACS divisions continue to be a major source of authors and reviewers for our ACS publications. Through ongoing technical excellence in presentations as well as publications, the ACS divisions continue to be the authority and repository of chemical scientific information. The divisions have expanded their efforts to provide cutting-edge scientific presentations at meetings through oral presentations, expanded poster presentations, and continued web-based presentations and training.

If you are not a member of at least one ACS division, please consider getting involved today. All divisions are open and ready to help you find your fit and interests. With our 32 divisions, ACS has a place for everyone. Please remember to look into the specialty subdivisions that many of our divisions have to offer.

In a continuing effort to allow new ACS members to find their home within the divisions, DAC now provides up to three free division memberships to new ACS members. In the recent past, we had an inaugural program offering one free division membership. It became clear that many new members were not certain which division would provide them with the best match for their interests and efforts. Thus, we are offering three division memberships. Please check out the division website pages on, and contact ACS if you have questions regarding the scope and activities of any of the ACS divisions.

The ACS Network offers a new collaboration and networking tool for division programming chairs to learn about ­upcoming topics within all the divisions. This effort will help to enhance the succesful collaborative programming that has been seen through the Multidisciplinary Programming Planning Group.

DAC initiated Division Row, a poster session held during Sci-Mix to highlight outstanding programs of divisions, at the 2018 ACS national meeting in New Orleans. The idea behind Division Row is to provide divisions with an opportunity to meet large numbers of young, prospective members who represent the future of their divisions. The response from the divisions was excellent, and we encourage all divisions to participate in this event at each of the national meetings. This is an opportunity for divisions to highlight the many ways they connect chemists to the people and information needed to advance their fields.

The Innovative Project Grants (IPGs) continue to be a major focus for DAC. This funding to support the divisions allows for new and truly innovative ­projects that often form the basis of new avenues of research and interaction for division members. These often have an outreach component that allows the ACS divisions to work with other organizations and specialty interest groups to provide ongoing educational opportunities for their current and potential members. IPG submissions in support of international activities should be considered.


If your division has not been submitting proposals for IPGs in the past, please consider submitting proposals for the upcoming year. See the DAC website for more information.

In addition to the IPGs, DAC continues to encourage all ACS divisions to participate in the ACS-sponsored strategic ­planning program, which helps divisions identify their mission, vision, and goals. Many divisions have participated in this program and are already reaping the ­benefits. If your division has not participated in the ACS-sponsored strategic planning program, please consider it. We can be stronger when we all are pulling in the same direction. Efforts of each division may differ, but the core values and goals of each division should align with the overall ACS core values and goals.

It has been an honor and a pleasure serving as chair of DAC for the past several years. I am delighted to hand over the responsibilities to James Takacs in 2019. DAC will remain strong and supportive of all divisions in his capable hands.

Views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of C&EN or ACS.


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