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Official Reports from the Boston Meeting

November 5, 2007 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 85, Issue 45

The major actions taken by the American Chemical Society Board and Council during the national meeting in Boston were reported in C&EN, Sept. 24, pages 112—113. Other committees' reports were published Oct. 29, pages 34—39.

Council Committees

Elected Committees


The Committee on Committees (ConC) announced that its annual training session for new committee chairs will be held as part of the ACS Leaders Conference, Jan. 25—27, 2008, in Dallas.

ConC received reports from its subcommittees or task forces on leadership development, industry pipeline, diversity, councilor preference form, Web page, committees' financial issues, and chair/staff liaison evaluations. The committee also received and is reviewing the final report containing the recommendations from a summit on ACS committee structure held in July. The summit was part of the Governance Review Task Force.

A performance review for the Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology & Symbols was completed. Council approved ConC's recommendation for continuation of this committee.

ConC informed council that the board of directors had approved its recommendation for a change in status for the Committee on Chemists with Disabilities from an "Other" committee of the board to a "Joint Board-Council" committee. ConC recommended that council also support the change in status, and council approved.

The committee recommended that council approve the request of the Committee on Project SEED to change the wording of its acronym from "Summer Educational Experience for the Disadvantaged" to "Summer Experiences for the Economically Disadvantaged." SEED's duties would also be expanded to include "assist the development office in solicitation of funding for student stipends from corporations, foundations, and individual ACS members." Council approved these changes.

ConC approved and recommended for adoption by the Council Policy Committee—pending approval by the board of directors—a policy on travel reimbursement for noncouncilor members of committees under the purview of the council: Society, Elected, Standing, Other, and Joint Board-Council Committees.

The committee has begun developing its recommendations for 2008 committee chairs, members, associates, and consultant appointments for consideration by the president-elect and the chair of the board.

Finally, on behalf of the council, ConC recognized 38 councilors who will have served the statutory limit or otherwise completed their service on ACS governance committees at the end of 2007; seven committee chairs who will have served the statutory limit on the committee they chair; and 35 councilors observing 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, or 40 years as a councilor.—Neil D. Jespersen, Chair

Nominations & Elections

Between now and the 235th ACS national meeting, the Committee on Nominations & Elections (N&E) plans to address recurring issues of the campaign guidelines and the election schedule. The committee will report progress to the council at its next meeting.

Ballots for the 2007 fall national election will be mailed on Sept. 24, with the voting deadline six weeks later, on Nov. 2. Members have the option to vote electronically or by the traditional paper ballot. To encourage voter participation, the committee again plans to send two e-mail reminders to all eligible members during the voting period.

N&E requests all councilors to encourage fellow members to participate in the upcoming election.

In other N&E business, the committee supports the principle of establishing procedures in the event of a tie in councilor elections, but it feels that the "Petition on Local Section & Division Election Procedures" needs clarification.

Procedures for submission of electronic signatures for petition candidates will be incorporated into N&E operational guidelines and will be available to all members on by Jan. 1, 2008.

This past spring, N&E hosted three telephone conference calls to discuss election procedures. N&E received excellent input from those who participated and plan to host additional conference calls in early 2008. Various scenarios relative to the election timeline and procedures will be developed and serve as the basis for discussion.

In its executive session, N&E developed slates of potential nominees for 2009 president-elect and directors of Districts III and VI for 2009—11, as well as a slate of potential candidates for directors-at-large for 2009—11. The pertinent biographical information will appear in the council agenda book for the 235th ACS national meeting in New Orleans.—Barbara A. Sawrey, Chair

Standing Committees

The Committee on Constitution & Bylaws (C&B), acting for the council, has approved bylaw amendments and issued new certified bylaws to six local sections and eight divisions. The committee currently has bylaw amendments for nine local sections and divisions under review. Preliminary reports have been sent to 28 local sections and divisions, and C&B is awaiting response from these units.

C&B urges local sections and divisions to request a preliminary review of their proposed amendments prior to a vote by their members. Local sections and divisions planning to revise their bylaws should obtain an electronic copy of their current certified bylaws from the committee's staff liaison.

One petition was presented to council for action at this meeting: the "Petition on Local Section Affiliations," which passed. Three petitions were presented for consideration: the "Petition on Membership Categories & Requirements," the "Petition on Election Procedures for President-Elect & District Director," and the "Petition on Local Section & Division Election Procedures," for which C&B submitted preliminary reports. On Aug. 19, the committee continued its discussion of proposed amendments and issues regarding these petitions. The committee will issue its final reports when the petitions are presented for action at the New Orleans meeting.

New petitions to amend the constitution or bylaws must be received by the executive director of the society by Dec. 19 to be included in the council agenda for the spring 2008 meeting in New Orleans. C&B welcomes the opportunity to provide assistance in the preparation of new petitions, if requested, prior to their formal submission.—Ray A. Dickie, Chair

Divisional Activities

The Divisional Activities Committee (DAC) received a petition for probationary division status from the Catalysis Secretariat. DAC reviewed the petition and discussed the requirements for probationary division status with the petitioners. DAC will immediately canvass the divisions for their input and expect to make a recommendation for action to council in 2008.

The Subcommittee on Divisional Enhancement evaluated 26 applications received from 18 divisions for innovative project grants. Fifteen divisions will receive grants totaling $114,000. The divisions will be informed of the results immediately after this meeting. Fifty sessions on the theme "Biotechnology for Health & Wellness," involving 18 divisions, were presented in Boston.

As promised, DAC is transferring responsibility for organizing thematic programming to a group largely composed of division programming experts. Representatives from several relevant governance groups met to bring this concept to reality in the form of a new Multidisciplinary Program Planning Group. The group determined preliminary themes for 2009 national meetings: "Nanoscience" for Salt Lake City, and "Globalization in Chemistry" for Washington, D.C.

DAC revised the division funding formula to improve clarity and simplicity and to reward collaborative programming. DAC will present this proposal to council for consideration in New Orleans.

The following divisions were presented with 2007 ChemLuminary Awards for innovative and outstanding service to their members: Chemical Information, Chemical Technicians, Fuel Chemistry, and Polymer Chemistry.

The award for an outstanding collaborative effort between a division and a local section was presented to the Division of Chemical Technicians and the Midland Local Section.—Kevin J. Edgar, Chair

Economic & Professional Affairs

At the ACS National Meeting in Boston, the Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs (CEPA) reviewed the draft of the ACS 2008 Strategic Plan and approved revised versions of the committee's online career advice booklets, including "Résumé Preparation," "Interviewing Skills," and "Job Search Strategies." The committee approved the applications of two new career consultants.

In addition, the committee approved formalized recertification criteria for career presenters and consultants and established two awards for exemplary volunteer service to the careers program. These awards are presented annually at the fall national meeting.

At the public policy roundtable in San Francisco, issues of health care and health insurance were identified as the top concerns of the ACS members present. In response, CEPA proposes to develop a public policy statement on the issue. A formal letter notifying the Public Affairs & Public Relations Committee of this proposal will be sent in the coming weeks.

E-pamphlets titled "Proper Use of Sources," "What a Chemist Should Know When Undergoing a Career Transition," and "What a Chemist Should Know before Becoming an Entrepreneur" were approved for posting on the ACS Careers website,

CEPA, the Department of Career Management & Development, and C&EN have brought together all of the career resources of the society into one easily accessible Web page: ACS Careers. CEPA invites you to visit the site and explore all the programs, products, and services the society provides, beginning on Sept. 30.

It is clear from recent ACS Starting Salary Surveys and other outside studies that there has been a paradigm shift in the way chemists search for and obtain jobs. The shift is clearly toward electronic means. For small companies, it is the number one way. CEPA has recognized from both ChemJobs and Situations Wanted user survey data that print ads in the Situations Wanted are virtually ineffective relative to ChemJobs at finding jobs for members. It was also recognized that the ChemJobs navigation system could be significantly improved.

Therefore, CEPA voted unanimously to recommend to the board that regulation I(4) be modified to eliminate free Situations Wanted ads for unemployed members. Funds now used to support these ads will be reallocated toward improving the ACS Careers job bank. CEPA believes this change will improve our members' chances of finding permanent employment. More details about this change will be communicated in an upcoming ACS Comment in C&EN.

The revised version of the Academic Professional Guidelines was presented to council for consideration. CEPA invites comments and suggestions. Those should be sent to Bruce Millar,, by Nov. 30. These guidelines will be presented for council approval in the spring of 2008 in New Orleans.

The ChemJobs Career Fair continued to serve our members with 1,526 candidates, 913 available positions, and 126 employers. CEPA organized or cosponsored five symposia, 30 workshops, and hundreds of mock interviews and résumé reviews. CEPA and the ChemJobs Career Fair expect to be equally active at the New Orleans national meeting.—Martin Gorbaty, Chair

Local Section Activities

The Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC) presented the 2006 Awards for Outstanding Performance by Local Sections at the 9th Annual ChemLuminary Awards ceremony. The Outstanding Performance awards went to North Jersey (very large), Minnesota (large), Indiana (medium-large), Midland (medium), Illinois Heartland and Savannah River (tie medium-small), and Pensacola (small) Local Sections.

The award for Best Activity or Program Stimulating Membership Involvement was presented to the Georgia Section. The award for Most Innovative New Activity or Program was given to the Northeastern Section. The award for Best Activity Involving a Local Section-Division Interaction was presented to the Midland Section and the Division of Chemical Technicians.

LSAC is pleased to announce that as a result of the Science Café minigrant program, 59 local sections integrated science cafés into their section programming during 2007. Science cafés involve a lively conversation with a scientist about current science topics. The cafés are open to everyone and take place in casual settings like pubs, bookstores, and coffeehouses. LSAC plans to extend the Science Café minigrant program for 2008.

A tool kit to help local sections garner publicity for National Chemistry Week was unveiled at this meeting. The NCW Toolkit contains a collection of print and electronic advertisements, templates, and tips and tactics to maximize media exposure for local section NCW celebrations. It can be found at

The ACS Leaders Conference will take place on Jan. 25—27, 2008, in Dallas. All incoming local section chairs-elect are strongly encouraged to attend this valuable conference.—Will E. Lynch, Chair

Meetings & Expositions

The Committee on Meetings & Expositions (M&E) reported that the 234th ACS national meeting in Boston hosted 15,551 attendees. This included 8,874 chemical scientists, 3,534 students, 1,691 exhibitors, 851 exhibition visitors, and 601 guests. The exposition had a total of 509 booth equivalents under the umbrella of 335 companies.


In keeping with the objective of the National Meeting Long-Range Financial Plan, previously approved by the ACS Board of Directors and Council, M&E approved an increase of $10 for the 2008 national meetings advanced-registration fee.

After having received feedback about the Chicago meeting from members, the committee conducted a survey of more than 3,000 randomly selected attendees after the Chicago meeting. The survey received a 33% response rate. Based on the results of this survey, a decision was made by the committee to move the 2011 Chicago meeting to Denver. This action was approved by the board of directors.

In addition, the 2012 fall national meeting originally scheduled for New York City will need to be relocated because of construction delays for the convention center. M&E has voted to move this meeting to Philadelphia and to change the dates from Sept. 9-13 to Aug. 19-23, 2012. M&E will be seeking the board of directors' approval at its December meeting.

As previously announced, ACS and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) will be cohosting their spring meetings in New Orleans in April 2008. The collaborative efforts between both groups have produced a showcase event titled "Present & Future Challenges in Energy & the Environment: Linking Technology, Policy & Economics." In addition, more than 40 jointly sponsored symposia appear in the call for papers.

M&E has agreed on a policy regarding withdrawals of paper from national meetings. Starting with the Boston meeting, all papers officially withdrawn from the meeting will be eliminated from the CAS database.—Willem Leenstra, Chair

Membership Affairs

The Committee on Membership Affairs (MAC) reviewed the successes of the ACS membership recruitment, retention, and recognition efforts. As of July 31, total membership was 158,578—ahead by 1,100 compared with the same date last year. In addition, student membership is up, and the number of unpaid members is down. All indications are that ACS will have another successful year increasing society membership.

Acting on the recommendation of MAC's Subcommittee on Categories & Dues, MAC voted unanimously in favor of increasing the dues for society affiliates from the present 75 to 100% of the member dues, as the approximately 1,300 society affiliates enjoy most of the benefits and privileges of society membership except voting for and holding a national office. Work will begin on drafting a petition to reflect this proposed bylaw change prior to the New Orleans meeting.

MAC also reviewed the petitions up for consideration at this meeting and took the following actions:

• Voted unanimously to endorse the "Petition on Election Procedures" for president-elect and district director.

• Took no position on the "Petition on Local Section & Division Election Procedures."

• Unanimously endorsed the MAC-initiated "Petition on Membership Categories & Requirements."

The committee also reviewed the draft ACS Strategic Plan. MAC voted unanimously in favor of the following motion:

"It is the sense of MAC that the Draft ACS Strategic Plan for 2008 and Beyond is overly complex and contains an unworkable number of strategies. We believe it is in the best interest of the ACS and the chemical enterprise that the strategic plan be focused on no more than two or three critical priorities and include a mission statement that clearly delineates the areas in which ACS will act."—Joseph R. Peterson, Chair


The Committee on Ethics (CE) cosponsored three symposia in Boston on ethics-related topics and has plans for more in the future, including at the New Orleans meeting in spring 2008. The committee also held a strategic planning retreat in July, looking toward planning for the next three years.

The committee's primary long-term goal is that ethics and ethical conduct permeate the culture of chemistry and that ACS be recognized as a leader in promoting scientific and professional ethics. To move toward this goal and to carry out the committee's mission in the next few years, CE will focus on "encouraging chemical professionals to access dynamic resources to address ethical issues and to foster ethics training for future generations." To accomplish this purpose, the Committee on Ethics will work to:

• Develop and update a website and implement technology to support and enhance our activities.

• Increase ethics awareness among ACS members by reviewing and disseminating information and developing programs relevant to ethical issues in the chemical sciences.

• Identify existing ethics materials and develop new content for use in educational programs at meetings and on the Web.

• Choose a "timely ethical issue" at each CE meeting and develop a white paper or symposium on that issue for a subsequent ACS meeting.-Margaret A. Cavanaugh, Chair

Nomenclature, Terminology& Symbols

The Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology & Symbols discussed a proposal to change the definitions of the kilogram, ampere, kelvin, and mole. This is a recommendation from the International Bureau of Weights & Measures to redefine four of the International System (SI) units, which would result in changes to fundamental constants.

Specifically, the proposal seeks to redefine the kilogram, ampere, kelvin, and mole so that these units are linked to exact values of fundamental constants. The end result would mean that six of the seven units of SI would be defined in terms of true invariants of nature (time and space).

A half-day symposium on this topic will be hosted by the Division of Chemical Information at the forthcoming New Orleans ACS national meeting in April 2008. The committee's review of this proposal and recommendations will be presented at this symposium.

The committee also discussed a proposal to address nanotechnology terminology. The committee is researching the use of Wiki technology to establish nano terminology. Key resources are being identified and an action plan is in development.—Paul J. Karol, Chair

Project SEED

Project SEED offers summer research opportunities for high school students from economically disadvantaged families. Since 1968, the program has had a significant impact on the lives of more than 8,400 students and their families.

In 2007, Project SEED placed 320 economically disadvantaged high school students in 100 academic, government, and industrial laboratories to work under the supervision of research scientists on projects that provide exposure to chemistry. Project SEED also awarded 37 college scholarships for the 2007-08 academic year.

A survey of the 2002-06 Project SEED students shows that, of 140 respondents, 100% are in college and approximately 70% are pursuing careers in chemically related and other sciences. ACS Project SEED is identified as one the best national programs in the Bayer "Compendium of Best Practice K-12 STEM Education Programs." Project SEED is made possible by contributions from industry, academia, local sections, ACS friends and members, the ACS Petroleum Research Fund, and the Project SEED Endowment.

At the Boston meeting, the Project SEED Committee approved activities to celebrate the program's 40th anniversary at the spring and fall meetings in 2008. It also approved a revision of the selection criteria for the Project SEED ChemLuminary Award, intended to encourage local sections with small but very effective SEED programs to self-nominate and receive recognition. The Trenton Section was recognized with the 2006 award for the Outstanding Project SEED Program.

The committee encourages all members to continue using the dues check-off option on their ACS membership renewal to support this remarkable program.—J. Philip Bays, Chair

Technician Affairs

The Committee on Technician Affairs (CTA), in collaboration with several other ACS units, is accepting proposals for $500 Equipping the 2015 Chemical Technology Workforce minigrants. The minigrants support activities that bring industry, academia, and the community together to advance technician education and/or career development. The deadline for proposals is Sept. 26, 2007; for more details, or to learn about previous winners, visit

In support of students who are preparing to become chemical technicians, CTA continues to sponsor the ACS Chemistry-Based Technology Student Award. Not only does the award help winners demonstrate their value to future employers, but presentation of the award has also inspired students to work to their full potential.

This fall, CTA will be encouraging educators to bring their students to ACS national and regional meetings. Participation in the meetings is a valuable growth opportunity for students, both as chemical professionals and ACS members.

CTA continues its work with the Joint Subcommittee on Diversity. At the ACS fall 2007 national meeting, CTA Chair V. Michael Mautino presented "Invisible Professionals in an Invisible Science: Careers of Chemical Technicians" during the "Many Faces of Chemistry: Careers in Chemistry" symposium, which was sponsored by the Women Chemists Committee and the Joint Subcommittee on Diversity.

CTA has voted to support the proposed ACS diversity statement, which will provide a basis for an ACS policy regarding diversity. CTA also voted to support the Petition on Membership Categories and Requirements, which will end the segregation of membership categories by academic degree.

CTA supports diversity in the career choices of chemical professionals. Through its three goals—raising public awareness of the value of technicians, making technicians relevant to ACS, and making ACS relevant to technicians—CTA hopes to advance all practitioners of applied chemistry, who make up the backbone of the chemical enterprise. CTA welcomes feedback and opportunities for collaboration. Please e-mail or call (202) 872-6108. —V. Michael Mautino, Chair


ACS Podcast

ACS has launched a weekly podcast that aims to make cutting-edge scientific discoveries available to a broad public audience at no charge. The podcast, titled "Science Elements," is available on iTunes and at pressroom. Each podcast describes research reported in ACS journals, in C&EN, or at an ACS national meeting.


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