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ACS Comment: The power of ACS members: Working together to build a better world

by Judith C. Giordan, ACS president-elect
June 3, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 20


ACS president-elect Judith C. Giordan
Credit: Linda Wang
Judith C. Giordan

I have always believed in the power of chemists and chemistry for creating good. As chemists we work diligently to develop practical, sustainable, and safe solutions for many of the challenges facing humanity and the planet. I have also always believed that the American Chemical Society’s greatest strength is the myriad of viewpoints our members contribute to creating that good and to ACS: because diverse inputs provide the strong foundation needed for us to work together to develop scientific solutions for the greater good and to ensure that all chemists have the skills, networks, and resources to create positive global impacts while building meaningful careers and living fulfilling lives.

I am honored to be writing as ACS president-elect and giving you an update on the initiatives that were at the heart of my election campaign and are now underway. I’m also providing details on opportunities for you to get involved at the international, national, regional, and local levels of ACS. Please get involved—your voice, your energy, and your input matter!

Here are the initiatives underway thanks to the help and support from ACS governance, volunteers, and staff:

Increasing global trust in science. It is important to ensure that ACS members are a trusted voice for science and scientists around the globe and are equipped with the tools to advocate for this trust with all people—those trained in science and those who are not. As chemists we know that even the greatest of scientific innovations and potential solutions cannot achieve their higher purpose if society does not trust in the science and in the scientists telling the story.

I invite you to join ACS Board of Directors chair, Paul Jagodzinski, me, and others for the kickoff of the “Trust in Science and Scientists” event at ACS Fall 2022. Come and share tools and approaches for successfully listening to people’s issues and for advocating for their trust in science and scientists. Our aim is to get your input and build a plan for providing all members with advocacy tools. We will share this plan later in 2022 and start implementing it in 2023.

Boosting engagement of all ACS members. Any ACS member can participate in an ACS committee, division, or local section. I am delighted to be working with the ACS Committee on Committees and the Committee on Nominations and Elections to make volunteering for committees even easier for all our members across the globe. Applications to join 30-plus society committees are open until July 15. Want to learn more about what it is like being on a committee? Please watch the video and complete the committee preference form on the ACS website.

Building global market and societal value with chemistry. Join us for a new initiative, the Chemistry Virtual Value Chain (CVVC), starting in September. CVVC events aim to provide a “lens of the market” view of how chemistry delivers value within complex markets.

CVVCs will be interactive and allow global participants to engage through virtual platforms. The kickoff three-session event—scheduled for Sept. 15, 22, and 29—will focus on sustainable aviation fuel. The event will cover opportunities and challenges for building market-aligned sustainable value, discussions on current and future technical solutions, and the status of global supply and regulatory compliance. All sessions will include how to build a career in this area. This inaugural CVVC event is being developed and presented by the ACS Divisions of Energy and Fuels, Business Development and Management, Professional Relations, and Small Chemical Businesses. Mark your calendars to learn more about the speakers and how to register for free. We plan on hosting three more CVVC events in 2023.

Creating a regional neXus. The new president-elect-sponsored 2022 neXus Regional Meeting Grants are now open for applications. These grants offer regional-meeting planning teams a new funding mechanism, making it easier to bring together a diverse group of ACS members and others from academia, industry, the venture community, and government labs to interact, network, and maybe even find ways to collaborate on a regionally relevant market, workforce, or technical problem. Learn more and apply for a neXus Regional Meeting Grant on the ACS Regional Meeting web page.

Supporting local section member interactions. I am a former member of the ACS Speaker Service, and since my president-elect term started, I have been actively engaged with the Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC) and ACS staff to build a virtual Speaker Service and revised speaker directory. The aim of the virtual Speaker Service is to support all local sections and international chapters with cost-effective and easy access to a diverse group of global speakers who want to share their expertise and passion for chemistry on a wide variety of topics.

To ensure local input, LSAC leadership conducted a local section focus group in April, gaining insights on the desired features, format, and functionality to make this service and directory an invaluable ACS global resource. Next steps are to contact all sections and chapters for feedback and to sign up speakers. The target for the initial release of the directory is January 2023. Additional development will happen throughout 2023 to connect ACS groups with a diverse set of speakers able to present in person or virtually.

Please join in any or all of this work because we can accomplish more if we’re all in this together. Because together we can not only envision the world we want, together we can build that world.

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



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