Letters to the editor
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I enjoyed much in the Oct. 29 issue of C&EN and am commenting on the editorial “Celebrating Chemistry” (page 4).
After the American Chemical Society started the tradition of sending annual “Happy Mole Day” greetings on Oct. 23 to raise awareness of the contributions of chemistry to society, my former coworker at Upjohn/Pharmacia/Pfizer Bruce Pearlman declared that pharmaceutical chemical production be celebrated annually on Oct. 26 as Kilomole Day. A kilomole of active pharmaceutical ingredient is a typical plant batch size. In the intervening years, we spread this annual celebration via email throughout our professional networks. To all of us, Kilomole Day honors the operators, technicians, analysts, process chemists, engineers, compliance personnel, materials planners, management, etc., who mass-produce medicines at minimal cost in a high state of purity with minimum environmental impact and make commercial availability of pharmaceuticals a reality.
This year our celebration was extra special since our “Happy Kilomole Day” email included the announcement that ACS accepted our Kalamazoo Local Section (KACS) nomination and designated the Upjohn steroid R&D program as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. Several celebration events are already planned for May 16–17 around the bronze plaque dedication ceremony at the downtown Kalamazoo Valley Museum. Our first news release to local, regional, and national news outlets is already published. See, for example, “Kalamazoo Valley Museum to Display American Chemical Society’s National Historical Landmark Plaque.”
It contains a link to the ACS website with full details on the National Historic Chemical Landmark program and a link to our KACS website’s “Events” page, which will be updated with event specifics as we finalize them. None of the events require an ACS membership, and most are expected to be totally free. We hope these events will be an even better way than our annual emails to reconnect with former coworkers and celebrate the past, present, and future chemical contributions from Kalamazoo County, Michigan.