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A lighter touch

June 26, 2006 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 84, Issue 26

"Fiends in lab coats" (C&EN, feb. 13, page 92) was one of the best things I've read in quite a while. It was right-on, informative, nicely breezy, and really fun to read. Can we have more, please?

Sure, it's a tougher job to get a chuckle from a story about a new petroleum cracker coming on-line. Still, if you could forget every now and then that you're writing for the members of the largest professional society and the heads of Fortune 500 companies, and that the readers are actually people who could use an occasional respite from the daily grind, it would be a good thing. Perhaps more readers would greet the arrival of C&EN with anticipation, rather than the feeling it was one more package of facts to be plowed through.

I am aware that when they get a chance, some of your writers do indeed apply a lighter touch, and I am very grateful for that. More power to them! And thanks for taking this in the good-humored way it was meant.

Stephen J. Weininger
Worcester, Mass.

Dues Increase

ACS membership dues are slated to increase from $127 to $132 in 2007 consistent with council action this spring in Atlanta (C&EN, April 17, page 43). In addition, as authorized by the ACS Board of Directors, a $4.00 fee will be added to support increased funding for divisions and local sections. Reduced from $5.00 in 2006 and 50% of the $8.00 fee originally planned for 2007, this temporary special assessment started in 2004 following ACS Constitution and Bylaws amendments that increased division and local section allotments from member dues. The special assessment is slated to end with the 2007 dues cycle. The fee is prorated for membership categories paying less than full dues.

It is an opportunity for ACS members to use the transforming power of chemists to leave a national meeting city better than we found it!

Annual Report

The 2005 American Chemical Society Annual Report is now available online. To access it, visit the ACS home page at and click on the link to the Annual Report. For print copies, please send an e-mail including your name and mailing address to Doug Dollemore at


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