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Chemists Rally in Anaheim

Cheerleaders provide unexpected pep at society's spring national meeting

March 29, 2004 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 82, Issue 13

It is the most unlikely of combinations in Anaheim, Calif., this week, March 28 to April 1. Nearly 12,000 ACS members and an apparently equally large number of junior high and high school cheerleaders have hit town at the same time. The Anaheim Convention Center and local hotels are big enough to hold both groups, so, as the ACS Board met on Sunday morning in the Hilton Anaheim, thousands of peppy voices cheered loud enough to be heard in the halls and meeting rooms nearby.

It appears that both chemists and cheerleaders have hearty appetites, so lines for meals at restaurants near the convention center have been pretty long. But lines for registration at the ACS meeting have been short. That's because nearly 80% of the 11,975 registrants, as of March 27, registered online. Presidential events kicked off at 9 AM on Sunday with a symposium on recruiting faculty in the chemical sciences. This symposium introduced the ACS Academic Employment Initiative, a major focus of ACS President Charles P. Casey.

"Big Promise from 'Small' Science: How Nanotechnology Will Change Our Lives" was the title of an afternoon symposium that featured talks from experts in the area followed by a panel discussion. A National Research Council report, "Beyond the Molecular Frontier: Challenges for Chemistry & Chemical Engineering," was the subject of an evening symposium.

A town meeting to introduce proposed candidates for ACS president-elect 2005 was held Sunday evening. The four candidates chosen by the Committee on Nominations & Elections are on schedule to make presentations to the ACS Council on Wednesday, but they were able to make more detailed presentations and answer questions at the town meeting.

The ACS Exposition--which runs March 29 through March 31 at 1 PM--is the largest ever at a West Coast meeting. Technical programming is in full swing with 84 concurrent technical sessions dealing with all facets of the chemical sciences.

Governance watchers had a preview of what the ACS Council will hear at its meeting on March 31. ACS is on track to increase full-member dues to $123 for 2005, for example, and the final decision on that will be made at the council meeting.

The ACS Committee on Budget & Finance reported to the board an upturn in the society's financial status in 2003. After including favorable financial results from the Member Insurance Program and the results of programmatic belt-tightening, along with some good investment results, at the year-end there was a $925,000 net addition to the society's unrestricted net assets. This figure is nearly $2.1 million better than had been budgeted.



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