C&EN In Chicago | April 2, 2007 Issue - Vol. 85 Issue 14 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 85 Issue 14 | p. 5 | Editor's Page
Issue Date: April 2, 2007

C&EN In Chicago

Department: Editor's Page
Credit: Lisa Jarvis/C&EN
Credit: Lisa Jarvis/C&EN

C&EN'S CONTINGENT to the 233rd ACS national meeting began arriving in Chicago on Wednesday, March 21, to attend various ACS governance functions dealing with the magazine and the ACS Web Presence Initiative (WPI).

One such function was the meeting of C&EN's editorial board, which met, as it does at every national meeting, early on Friday morning. The editorial board has seven members, including its chair, Grace Baysinger, who is also chair of the Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications; ACS President Catherine T. Hunt; ACS Board of Directors Chair Judith L. Benham; and four other members. The editorial board monitors C&EN's performance. The ACS bylaws stipulate that C&EN's editor-in-chief report to the board on the editorial and financial health of the magazine at every ACS national meeting.

WPI continues to receive strong support from cognizant ACS governance bodies, specifically the Society Committee on Budget & Finance and the ACS Board of Directors. WPI, under the leadership of ACS Web Strategy Director Melody Voith, is on track to launch a reinvented ACS website at the end of September. WPI Release 1.0 will deliver a website to ACS members that emphasizes "findability" of content. Subsequent releases in 2008 and 2009 will continue to dramatically improve the usability and functionality of the society's website.

As I write this in my hotel room on Tuesday morning, the meeting's technical program is well under way. C&EN editors and reporters are attending symposia throughout the week. The first stories from the meeting will have appeared this week as Latest News on C&EN Online. Longer reports from the technical sessions will appear in the next several issues of C&EN.

Other C&EN staff members, led by C&EN Marketing Director Elise Swinehart, are working at the C&EN/Publications Division booth in the Exposition at McCormick Place. A highlight of their efforts occurs at the booth later today when 2007 Priestley Medal winner George Whitesides autographs copies of the March 26 issue of C&EN, which contains his Priestley Medal address and a captivating profile of this dynamic chemist by Senior Editor Celia Arnaud.

The major theme of this national meeting is sustainability, which forms the basis of more than 30 technical symposia. ACS President Hunt sponsored several Presidential Symposia on sustainability, including the kickoff event on Sunday afternoon, "Sustainability: A World View!" which I was privileged to participate in as the moderator. Five panelists—Ronald G. Prinn, director of the Center for Global Change Science at MIT; David Goldston, scholar in residence at Princeton University; George M. Gray, assistant administrator for R&D at EPA; Philip G. Lewis, vice president of environmental, health, safety, and sustainable development at Rohm and Haas; and John C. Warner, director of the Center for Green Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell—brought a range of perspectives on sustainability to the discussion (see page 12).

Lewis, for example, said that "the definition of sustainable development should be clear, but it is not. There is no way for the consumer to know when a product comes from a sustainable supply chain. There is no universal formula to measure sustainability." Lewis said that neither consumers nor investors, whose behavior drives business decisions, currently factor sustainability into their decision-making. He and Goldston conceded that there is no magic formula for changing that situation.

For the third ACS national meeting in a row, C&EN is posting a daily blog on C&EN Online. If you haven't done so, I urge you to log on and check out the blog. Many of C&EN's reporters in Chicago are contributing interesting tidbits about the meeting to the blog—the sights, sounds, and people that make up the meeting.

Thanks for reading.


Views expressed on this page are those of the author and not necessarily those of ACS.

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