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Official Reports from the December ACS Board Meeting

January 26, 2004 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 82, Issue 4

The major actions taken by the ACS Board of Directors at its Dec. 4–7, 2003, meeting in Arlington, Va., were summarized in the Dec. 15, 2003, issue of C&EN (page 8).



The Society Committee on Budget & Finance met on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 5 and 6, to review the 2003 probable fiscal results compared to budget; took action on the 2004 proposed operating and capital budgets; and recommended that the board of directors approve an advance member registration fee of $285 for national meetings held in 2004. In an action relating to the 2004 proposed budget, the committee reviewed and approved for recommendation to the board of directors a $500,000 reauthorization of the Matching Gifts Fund.--JAMES D. BURKE, CHAIR



The proposed ACS Petroleum Research Fund (PRF) grants budget for 2004 is $19.6 million. Acting under delegated authority, the ACS Board Committee on Grants & Awards (G&A) voted to fund ACS-PRF grants of $7.4 million from the 2004 budget contingent upon the determination that the distribution from ACS-PRF is sufficient to allow for such funding, to fund grants for the ACS-PRF Summer School and Undergraduate Faculty Sabbatical pilot programs totaling $640,000, and to fund one grant totaling $40,000 from the Green Chemistry Institute-ACS-PRF Programming Initiative allocation.

G&A voted to invite the current sponsors of nine national awards to renew their sponsorships, to accept an offer from the ACS Division of Nuclear Chemistry & Technology to continue to sponsor the Glenn T. Seaborg Award for Nuclear Chemistry & Technology for 2005, and to recommend to the ACS Board of Directors to change the name of the Gabor A. Somorjai Endowment Fund to the Gabor A. & Judith K. Somorjai Endowment Fund.

G&A will form a subcommittee to establish guidelines for a regular, periodic review of ACS national awards.

Contact Lawrence A. Funke at for more information about the ACS-PRF Program or K. Michael Shea at for more information concerning the ACS National Awards Program.--C. GORDON MCCARTY, CHAIR


In actions related to B.S. and M.S. chemical professionals, the committee discussed the need to publicize current ACS programs, products, and services offered to this group. Opportunities for improved communications were reviewed and include a proposed website targeted to these members. The site is organized into four key member benefits including scientific and technical information, careers, networking, and personal financial benefits.

The committee reviewed a letter from the Minorities in Academe Implementation Project team requesting that diversity awareness and inclusiveness training be included in the next available leadership training conference for local section and division chairs. The committee voted to write to various governance groups charged with leadership development activities, encouraging them to include activities designed to generate awareness of and to develop skills in the areas of diversity and inclusion.

The Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs (CEPA) developed a white paper on the dispersion of chemistry as a discipline. This document highlights the changes that have occurred in what chemical professionals do and in the occupational categories used by the government agencies to describe them. The apparent decrease in number of chemical professionals is not from job loss but from system redefinition. To address the impacts, implications, challenges, and opportunities resulting from these changes for chemistry and for our members, the committee voted to recommend to the ACS Board of Directors that a joint board-council task force be established in 2004 to review the CEPA white paper "The Dispersion of Chemistry as a Discipline," to identify related challenges and opportunities for ACS and its members, and to make recommendations by the spring of 2005.

In support of the committee's strategic communication focus, it reviewed the<br > e-mail and e-learning value propositions. E-mail can be used as an effective, contemporary tool to enhance member communication, particularly to increase member awareness and use of ACS-provided programs. The committee strongly believes that this greater awareness and use will increase the perceived value of membership. In partnership with staff and appropriate governance groups, the committee plans to solicit members' indication of their preferences for reception of e-mail-delivered communication, and to explore and develop opportunities for the more widespread use of e-learning by the society as a member benefit. Plans for implementation will begin in early 2004.

The committee examined the most recent membership statistics. The current membership retention rate of better than 92% exceeds the median industry standard of 88%. As of Nov. 30, 2003, the total membership was 158,737, about 1,500 less than Nov. 30, 2002. In order to actively involve individuals in the continued growth and health of the society, staff utilize member-get-a-member and referral development programs to identify potential new members.

For more information, contact the staff liaison, Denise L. Creech, at d_creech@acs. org.--ANNE T. O'BRIEN, CHAIR


The Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations considered three new National Historic Chemical Landmarks. The landmarks recognize the development of the Beckman pH meter and durable-press and flame-retardant cotton at the Southern Regional Research Center, and the work of Carl and Gerty Cori on the biochemical process by which the body converts glucose to glycogen and back again. The committee voted to recommend that the board of directors approve the designation of these three landmarks.

Given that the term of the current National Science Foundation director will end in August 2004, the committee discussed possible candidates for this position. After discussing the criteria for appointment and suggestions from the White House on an appropriate number of names to submit, the committee recommended and the board of directors approved the submission by ACS of five candidates to the White House for the NSF director position.

The committee also discussed the criteria and possible candidates for the ACS Public Service Award. Following a discussion on the need to explore a new related award to recognize outstanding public service at the state and community levels, the committee recommended that the board of directors approve the nominations of three individuals to receive the 2004 ACS Public Service Award.

The committee also voted to recommend that the board of directors renew the expiring ACS policy statement on the "Federal Government Role in 21st Century Environmental Protection," which remains a useful general statement about the importance of federal incentives for sustainability and green chemistry.--JAMES P. SHOFFNER, CHAIR

MEDI Honors Lipinski

Christopher A. Lipinski, now retired from Pfizer Global R&D's Groton Laboratories, will receive the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry's (MEDI) biennial award. The prize is presented in even-numbered years to a scientist whose research has had a significant effect on medicinal chemistry.

Lipinski is well known for research into the relationship between the physicochemical properties of drugs and their gastrointestinal absorption. He has also developed what is known as Lipinski's Rule of Five, which allows medicinal chemists to predict the likelihood of good oral absorption for a drug candidate based on a number of simple properties. The rules are now an important factor when pharmaceutical companies screen compound libraries or select lead structures for optimization.

Lipinski received a B.S. in chemistry from San Francisco State College in 1965 and a Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry in 1968 from the University of California, Berkeley. After a National Institute of General Medical Sciences postdoctoral fellowship at California Institute of Technology, he started at Pfizer in 1970. There, Lipinski supervised medicinal chemistry drug discovery laboratories for 20 years and helped discover a number of clinical candidates for gastrointestinal disorders and diabetes. In 1990, Lipinski established a highly automated laboratory that combined computations and experimental physical property measurements and provided experimental solubility measurements on medicinal compounds synthesized at Pfizer's Groton, Conn., site. Lipinski retired in June 2002, having spent 32 years at Pfizer and reaching the position of senior research fellow, the company's highest scientific position.

Lipinski is a member of MEDI, the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Society for Biomolecular Screening, and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He also serves on the editorial or advisory boards of several journals and has been an adjunct faculty member at Connecticut College, New London, since 1984.

The award will be presented at the 2004 National Medicinal Chemistry Symposium, which will take place from June 27 to July 1 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Pittcon Heritage Award Goes To Wilks

Paul A. Wilks Jr. will receive the third annual Pittcon Heritage Award, which recognizes individuals whose entrepreneurial careers have shaped the instrumentation community, promoted public understanding of modern instrumentation sciences, and highlighted the role of analytical chemistry in the world economy.

Wilks has had a long career developing and advancing spectroscopic instrumentation. He helped to commercially develop infrared absorption cells and applications of attenuated total reflection, now a widely used sampling method. He also played a leading role in the evolution of gas chromatography IR, including developing the first IR spectrophotometer dedicated to GC-IR work. His recognition of the importance of circular variable filters led to the development at Wilks Scientific of a series of small, portable gas analyzers adopted by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration to monitor toxic gases in the workplace. And his current company, Wilks Enterprise, makes mid-IR filtrometers for a variety of applications and inline mid-IR sensors.

The Heritage Award is jointly sponsored by the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry & Applied Spectroscopy (Pittcon) and the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and will be presented at Pittcon 2004 in Chicago in March.

Szostak Nets Harrison Howe Award

The ACS Rochester Section has selected Jack W. Szostak as the recipient of its 2003 Harrison Howe Award. Szostak holds a number of titles: He is a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Alex A. Rich Distinguished Investigator in Massachusetts General Hospital's department of molecular biology.

The Harrison Howe Award, given for outstanding contributions to research in chemistry defined in its broadest sense, was established in memory of Harrison E. Howe, one of the Rochester Section's founders, and consists of a plaque and an honorarium. The prize was awarded at a dinner and award ceremony at the University of Rochester Medical Center on Jan. 22.

Szostak has done work on the conception and development of combinatorial chemistry and in vitro directed evolution of RNA, providing insights into the origins of life; molecular evolution; and the biochemistry of RNA, DNA, and proteins. He received a B.S. in cell biology from McGill University in 1972 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Cornell University in 1977. After completing a postdoc at Cornell in 1979, he joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School as an assistant professor, becoming a full professor there in 1988.

Special Recognition

Donald Kelsey, a research chemist at Shell Chemical in Houston, was named 2003 Texas Inventor of the Year by the Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Texas for work in developing polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) polymers used in carpets and textiles. Kelsey helped invent a more stable composition for PTT and more efficient manufacturing processes; he holds 54 U.S. patents for his discoveries.

Larry L. Hench and Frank T. Filser will receive the 2004 International Ceramics Prize on May 10 from the World Academy of Ceramics. Hench, from Imperial College in London, is being honored for basic research into biomaterials, including development of "bioglasses." Filser, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, will receive the prize for technical advancements in the practical use of tetragonal stabilized zirconia ceramics.


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