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Official Reports from the New Orleans Meeting

June 23, 2008 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 86, Issue 25

The major actions taken by the ACS Board and Council during the national meeting in New Orleans were reported in C&EN, May 5, page 50.

Reports of Society Committees


The Society Committee on Budget & Finance met on Saturday, April 5, to review the society's 2007 financial performance. The society ended 2007 with a net contribution from operations of $9.6 million on revenues of $444.2 million and expenses of $434.6 million. This result was $2.2 million favorable to the approved budget.

After including the results of the Member Insurance Program and New Ventures, the society's overall net contribution for 2007 was $10.7 million, which was $5.4 million favorable to the approved budget. In addition, the society ended the year in compliance with the board-established financial guidelines.

In other actions, the committee elected Bonnie A. Charpentier as vice chair and voted to recommend to council that dues for 2009 be set at the fully escalated rate of $140. Also, in response to a request from the Society Committee on Education, the committee voted to recommend to the ACS Board of Directors that it authorize the pursuit of the U.S. hosting the International Chemistry Olympiad in 2012.

In addition, the committee received reports on the society's Web Presence Initiative, the Program Review Advisory Group's planned activities in 2008, the preliminary assessment of the financial impact of a "Petition on Society Affiliate Dues," and the schedule and process for consideration of 2009 new program funding and program reauthorization requests. —Dennis Chamot, Chair


The Society Committee on Education (SOCED) received an update from ACS President Bruce Bursten on the presidential events taking place in New Orleans including a symposium on education. ACS President-Elect Tom Lane shared his insights gained in conversations with numerous teachers emphasizing five areas of need that emerged from these conversations: networks, content in context, support, courage, and time. SOCED approved a statement on computer simulations in academic laboratory courses, which will be forwarded to the Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations and the board of directors for consideration as an ACS policy statement.

The committee received an update on the developing Education Division Strategic Plan, one that will be aligned with the new ACS Strategic Plan. The committee provided feedback on the plan and voted to form a task force to write a "white paper" that will provide a vision for the future role of ACS in science education. SOCED formed two task forces to work on revisions to the current statements on evolution and visas, which will expire at the end of 2008.

The committee discussed ways to increase connections with two-year colleges. Suggestions included creating recognition programs, providing resources to facilitate student transfer, fostering the use of the guidelines, and expanding the number of student affiliates at two-year colleges. —Bryan Balazs, Chair

Board Committee Reports


The Committee on Grants & Awards (G&A) ratified the following interim action taken since the Dec. 6, 2007, meeting: approval of $312,114 in funding for the 2008 Petroleum Research Fund Supplement for Underrepresented Minority Research Program (SUMR).

The chair updated the committee on the Divisional Activities Committee's (DAC) efforts to create a Fellows Program. Bruce Bursten, ACS president, has expressed interest in this topic and would like to elevate a DAC working group to a presidential task force. Jan Hayes and Mike Brownfield have agreed to serve as cochairs of the presidential task force.

Eric Bigham updated the committee on the status of the Awards Review Committee. The following people have volunteered to serve on the committee: Marinda Wu, chair (G&A), Joe Calo (DAC), Bob Coraor (Committee on Corporation Associates), and Tom Gilbert (Council Policy Committee). Acting under delegated authority, the committee voted to continue ACS's relationship with the Astellas USA Foundation by submitting a new proposal by the April 15 deadline.

The Subcommittee on Canvassing & Selection reported on efforts to revise the letters that go to invited and seated Selection Committee members, include language regarding a statement on conflict-of-interest. The subcommittee discussed a draft letter and asked the committee to review it and provide comments/edits.

Acting under delegated authority, the committee voted to commend the Awards staff for their outstanding effort to communicate and interact with the 2007 award winners and for their organization and implementation of the 2007 ACS National Awards Banquet.

Acting under delegated authority, G&A voted to accept the recommendations of the ACS Petroleum Research Fund Advisory Board (January meeting) for funding grants totaling $6.1 million; to approve the establishment of the PRF Exceptional Innovation Program to stimulate breakthrough research in the petroleum and related energy fields; to approve the establishment of the PRF Strategic & Multidisciplinary Research Program; to approve a resolution honoring Edward Grabowski for his many years of service as both a member of the Petroleum Research Fund Advisory Board and the chair of the Petroleum Research Fund Advisory Board; to add the National Materials Advancement Award to the list of external awards for which ACS generates a nomination, provided a technical division or a committee can be found to identify the nominee and draft the nomination materials; to contact relevant technical divisions in an effort to identify sponsors on a regular basis for awards that need financial sponsors; to conceptually support amendment of the current PRF patent restriction and support further investigation of the restriction; and to approve a list of candidates to serve as chair of the PRF Advisory Board.

The committee also voted to approve a list of candidates to serve as members of the Program Committee of the PRF Advisory Board. —Eric C. Bigham, Chair


Acting under delegated authority, the Committee on Professional & Member Relations (P&MR) voted to approve a request for a nominal cosponsorship for a conference titled, "U.S./India Chemical Engineering Conference on Energy," to be held in Chandigarh, India, Dec. 28–29. The committee was advised of an approval by the Secretary's Office for a cooperative cosponsorship requested by the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers and the Materials Research Society. The event, "4th Annual Organic Microelectronics Workshop," will be held July 7–10 in San Francisco.

The committee ratified an interim vote in January endorsing the recommendations of Action Team H/J on focused interest groups and proposed the formation of a working group to develop, no later than Dec. 31, short- and long-term strategies to implement these recommendations. The Action Team was formed as part of the recent Governance Review effort.

P&MR created a task force that will facilitate, for those interested, the repurposing of presentations delivered at ACS national meetings to the Web. The task force charge is to identify the critical issues impeding ACS from repurposing national meeting content and, by Dec. 31, to submit recommendations to P&MR to overcome or mitigate these issues. The committee received an update from the Board Oversight Group on Leadership Development (BOG). The development phase for this project ends in December. Current focus for BOG is on submitting a funding request to permit the program to continue in 2009 and beyond. —Kent J. Voorhees, Chair


Bonnie Charpentier, Public Affairs & Public Relations (PA&PR) chair, opened the April 3 meeting with a reminder to committee members of the PA&PR breakfast for ACS policymaking committee chairs and staff liaisons to be held Monday, April 7, at 7 AM and also called attention to two advocacy symposia to be held on Monday and Tuesday at the national meeting. She also recounted a successful WebEx training session, encouraged by the committee, which was conducted for local section Government Affairs Committees in March 2007.

The chair updated committee members on the activities of the ACS Presidential Task Force on Enhancing Innovation & Competiveness; provided a review of governance-related advocacy activities since the committee's December 2007 meeting; provided a status update on the implementation of the state government affairs pilot program; provided a snapshot review of the communications and government affairs elements of the 2007 Member Satisfaction Survey; led a brief discussion of an endorsement letter the committee approved for ACS President Bruce Bursten to send to Ralph Cicerone, president, National Academy of Sciences, endorsing the "Science, Evolution, and Creationism" report; and presented a report on outreach to ACS policymaking committees asking for their input on the 2009–10 ACS Biennial Public Policy Priorities statement.

The committee reviewed the results of the 2008 prioritization of policy statements, which was based on survey results provided earlier by committee members as well as on results from the Office of Legislative & Government Affairs (OLGA) staff. The committee prioritized the statements into four tiers that will provide guidance to OLGA in conducting advocacy outreach.

The committee reviewed results of additional focus group research conducted on a suitable ACS tagline as part of the implementation of the Communications Strategic Plan. The research included input from ACS members and nonmembers both domestic and international. The results of the research were presented and discussed by the committee, and the committee voted to recommend to the ACS Board of Directors that they approve the use of the tagline "Chemistry for Life" on appropriate society materials.

The committee reviewed the proposed 2008 goals for the committee, and after discussion, generally agreed to a set of goals focused on the committee's jurisdiction that seek increased effectiveness of the society's advocacy and communications activities. The chair gave members until April 17 to make any final recommendations. The committee also agreed to propose to the Board Executive Committee that an internal ACS process be developed to address emerging issues of importance to science and the society, so that more timely responses can be formulated in the future.

The committee received a presentation from ACS Office of Communications and OLGA that highlighted notable activities from each area since the last committee meeting in December 2007. —Bonnie A. Charpentier, Chair


The Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service met in executive session on April 4 and met in open session jointly with the Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications and the Division of Chemical Information on April 7. Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) management reported on a number of new developments, including an announcement that CAS has begun to launch a Web version of SciFinder to commercial, academic, and government subscribers.

Additionally, committee members learned that CAS will work with Wikipedia to help provide accurate CAS Registry Numbers for current substances of widespread general public interest listed in the Wikiprojects-Chemicals section of the Wikipedia Chemistry Portal. The committee expressed strong support of these initiatives.

The main purpose of this committee is to serve as a communications channel between the ACS membership and the management of CAS. The members of the committee represent a broad spectrum of the users of chemical information from both industry and academia.

At each session, members express their concerns and suggestions, which are then tracked and evaluated following each meeting. CAS has addressed issues that academic members have reported with SciFinder Scholar. In response to a concern that CAS was not reaching the younger generation, CAS has placed a SciFinder video on "YouTube."

Most recently, the committee held an extensive roundtable discussion with an emphasis on Scholar. CAS management gave the committee an "insider look" at the technology and business issues surrounding this important service to the academic community. Among other matters, the committee discussed CAS's approach to reducing international piracy of Scholar services and the potential impact of such piracy on Scholar subscribers. —Patricia L. Dedert, Chair

CHEMICAL SAFETY (Joint with Council)

The Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS), at its recent meeting in New Orleans, set its agenda for 2008, which will focus on organization. CCS is in the process of finalizing an operations manual to familiarize committee members as well as the society with how we work and what is expected of members, associates, and consultants.

A number of new appointments were made, including recording secretary and liaisons to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (for the Process Safety Alliance), the Women Chemists Committee, and the Local Section Activities Committee. The latter appointment is in support of the ACS partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency on the School Chemical Cleanout Campaign.


CCS has numerous publications in print and works continuously to keep these updated. Among the new or revised publications to be completed this year are "Chemical Safety for Small Chemical Businesses" and an add-on to "Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories" consisting of a narrated PowerPoint CD on eye protection. The committee has several ongoing projects, including the development of a list of chemicals that should not be in secondary school inventories and a review of current nanotechnology safety principles.

The committee is also reviewing the ACS Strategic Plan for additional projects within the overall scope of the society's strategic thrusts. —Russell W. Phifer, Chair


The Committee on Chemists with Disabilities (CWD) met at the 235th ACS National Meeting in New Orleans, on Monday, April 7. CWD conducted a review of its Strategic Plan to make it consistent with ACS's new "Strategic Plan for 2008 and Beyond." As part of CWD's efforts to ensure accessibility, the committee established an ongoing budget line item to fund the addition of captioning and narration to ACS videos.

The committee will be working with the Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS) to ensure that their new training media are fully accessible. In collaboration with the Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs (CEPA), a new question of disability will be part of the 2009 Salary Survey, and members of CWD will be contributing to the ACS Career Consultants Program. The committee also discussed the reprinting of "Teaching Chemistry to Students with Disabilities: A Manual for High Schools, Colleges, and Graduate Programs," 4th Edition. —James M. Landis Jr., Chair


At the New Orleans national meeting, the Committee on Community Activities (CCA) partnered with the ACS Education Division and the Office of the President to host "Chemistry in Action: What Do You Know about H2O?" at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.

The event attracted more than 200 families from the local community. ACS President Bruce Bursten presented the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas with a "Salutes to Excellence" plaque for their support of the event.

Chemists Celebrate Earth Day (CCED) was celebrated on April 22 with its water-based theme, "Streaming Chemistry." More than 60,000 copies of the CCED edition of Celebrating Chemistry, the hands-on activity produced for elementary school children, were distributed through the nationwide ACS volunteer network. Mention of CCED appeared in several National Science Teachers Association and ACS publications.

More than 150 Chemists Celebrate Earth Day (CCED) local section coordinators registered to participate in CCED 2008. The CCED topic "Streaming Chemistry" will be celebrated with a community event, "Adopt-a-Stream"; a K–12 illustrated haiku contest; and a student affiliates community service contest. The 2009 theme is "Air—The Sky's the Limit!" and CCED 2010 will focus on plants and soil.

CCA continued to develop plans for the CCED and National Chemistry Week programs through 2010 and formed teams to plan the 2011 celebrations.

Upcoming National Chemistry Week dates and themes are Oct. 19–25, 2008: "Having a Ball with Chemistry," and Oct. 18–24, 2009: "Chemistry—It's Elemental." Upcoming Chemists Celebrate Earth Day (April 22) themes are 2008: "Streaming Chemistry" and 2009: "Air—The Sky's the Limit." —Ingrid Montes, Chair


The Committee on Corporation Associates (CCA) advises and influences ACS to ensure that its products and services are of value to industrial members and their companies.

The Educational Outreach Subcommittee suggested the continuation of graduate student roundtables by Corporation Associates (CA) at the ACS fall meetings and the undergraduate student roundtables at the ACS spring meetings. The subcommittee is considering collaborations with the Committee on Technician Affairs.

The Awards/Finance & Grants Subcommittee reported that CA received three funding proposals totaling $24,999. Funding was provided for the following: the Division of Chemical Technicians at $10,000 and the Graduate Student Symposium on Green Chemistry at $5,000.

The Programs Subcommittee provided details on CA's collaboration with the Society of Chemical Industry on Global Innovation Imperatives (Gii) as well as CA's activities with the Divisions of Polymer Chemistry and Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering to highlight past Heroes of Chemistry.

The subcommittee also suggested that luncheons for CA members with special invited speakers be reinitiated. The Public Policy Subcommittee provided a progress report on key innovation and competitiveness legislation, America COMPETES, ACS policy statements, ACS's consideration of agency statements, and the Science & the Congress December briefing.

Staff reported on the Department of Industry Member Programs activities since the Boston meeting. The report covered Heroes of Chemistry, the ACS/Pharma Leaders Meeting, Gii, Regional Industrial Innovation Awards, and activities in biotechnology. —Roslyn White, Chair


The Committee on Environmental Improvement (CEI) continues to focus on enhancing the sustainability of the chemical enterprise. The committee's activities have involved encouraging the integration of sustainability concepts and strategies into the practice of our science, assuring that sustainability is a central component of chemical education, and exploring how ACS can better "walk the talk" about sustainability in our own operations. CEI continues to engage with the planning committee to raise the profile of these issues in the ACS Strategic Plan.

In New Orleans, CEI collaborated with the Committee on Corporation Associates, the Green Chemistry Institute, the Division of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry, and several units of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) to host a well-attended workshop on barriers to the adoption of sustainable technologies.

The event focused on identifying and assessing nontechnical barriers to and potential incentives for the widespread adoption of sustainable practices in the chemical process and related industries. The workshop recommendations will inform public policy development by ACS and AIChE, as well as assist in developing and focusing other programs.

In other areas, the committee passed a draft policy statement on the integrity of science in the policy-making process for consideration by the ACS Board of Directors and advanced policy development projects on sustainability, on energy science and technology, and on the impact of endocrine- disrupting chemicals on human health and the environment. CEI is also continuing its work to include sustainability concepts more prominently in the chemical curriculum, to encourage participation in Chemists Celebrate Earth Day, and to encourage the sustainability of ACS's own operations.

CEI also discussed two new projects in New Orleans and empowered committee members to work with other ACS units to scope the activities—a program to focus chemists on the sustainability aspects of fume hoods and a Science Café at the Philadelphia meeting to familiarize the public with sustainability and how chemists are contributing to its advancement. —Charles E. Kolb, Chair


The Committee on International Activities (IAC) was established in 1962 in recognition of the need for ACS to cooperate with scientists internationally and to highlight the application of chemistry to the worldwide needs of humanity.

At their meeting in New Orleans, IAC members, associates, consultants, liaisons from other committees, and others participated in a summit to implement findings from the IAC report on reforming its mission, goals, and structure. In 2007, IAC leadership initiated a skills inventory and the Delphi-based systematic review of its mission, goals, structure, and activities to explore opportunities to refine its alignment with the 2008 ACS Strategic Plan and the international interests of the ACS Board of Directors.

Key report findings suggested the IAC develop mechanisms to activate its collective expertise and networks to use chemistry to solve global challenges and to help the society be more welcoming to international members and appropriately extend its international networks and its global partnerships and alliances for the benefit of society members.

The 2008 IAC Summit resulted in the development of themes around which to refine IAC's charter and mission, the consideration of a new role for IAC to gather information on the trends and opportunities for the society's international engagements, and identification of areas needing attention and communication of those "gaps" to the ACS Board of Directors.

At the IAC Summit, a new subcommittee structure was launched focusing on four geographical areas—the Americas, Africa and the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Rim, and Europe— and on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights. At the summit these new subcommittees developed their own operating priorities and plans tied to Goals 2 and 3 of the 2008 ACS Strategic Plan.

The summit luncheon speaker was Roland Hirsch of the Department of Energy, who presented on and challenged IAC to think about its role in global energy issues.

Summit participants also heard updates on recent IAC activities on a U.S. visit of chemistry deans from leading institutions in China; successes of the Malta 3 conference in Istanbul; a new ACS International Research Experience for Undergraduates program launched in 2008; the visit of an IAC-facilitated delegation of analytical chemists from Southeast Asia to attend Pittcon 2008 in New Orleans; plans for ACS-contributed technical content to the 2008 Latin American Federation of Chemical Associations Congress this summer in Puerto Rico; and plans for the International Year of Chemistry in 2011. —Nina I. McClelland, Chair


MINORITY AFFAIRS (Joint with Council)

The Committee on Minority Affairs (CMA) met on Sunday, April 6, in New Orleans and worked to advance its mission to increase the participation of minority chemical scientists and to influence policies on behalf of minorities in the American Chemical Society and the chemical enterprise.

A highlight of the committee's activities in New Orleans was the presentation by Alma Clayton-Pedersen at the CMA reception/luncheon on Monday, April 7. Clayton-Pederson presented the findings from her study, "Realizing the Revolving Door for Underrepresented Minority Faculty in Higher Education: Working toward Making Excellence Inclusive in the Sciences." Her presentation was both enlightening and thought-provoking.

CMA continued to advance efforts in communication, education, and interactions. CMA also cosponsored the STARS symposium with the Women Chemists Committee (WCC) and a symposium on research at two-year colleges with the Society Committee on Education (SOCED). In the coming months, CMA will work with SOCED on the revision of the two-year college guidelines and will cohost workshops on Hispanic-serving institutions and Native American-serving institutions.

CMA continues to support the work of the Joint Subcommittee on Diversity by promoting the recently board-approved Statement on Diversity and by developing programs, products, and services to ensure full participation of all members within ACS.

At the ACS fall meeting in Philadelphia, CMA will cosponsor symposia with WCC and will participate in the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Project SEED by cosponsoring symposia and honoring Project SEED at the CMA luncheon. —Linette M. Watkins, Chair

PATENTS & RELATED MATTERS (Joint with Council)

The Committee on Patents & Related Matters (CPRM) discussed proposed legislative and regulatory changes to the U.S. patent system and the potential effects such matters might have on industry and academia, as well as ACS. CPRM also continued its work on several new educational tools to assist and inform members on patent issues and other intellectual property matters important to a successful career in the chemical enterprise. Many of these tools are now available on the committee's expanded website, Finally, CPRM continued its work with respect to nominating deserving scientists for inclusion in the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the National Medal of Science, and the National Medal of Technology. —Andrew G. Gilicinski, Chair


The committee focused on increasing society awareness of the new "ACS Strategic Plan for 2008 and Beyond"; engaging ACS governance, membership, and staff in its implementation; and soliciting suggestions to inform the plan's annual evolution. The committee reviewed the broad range of ongoing activities, including C&EN Comments, WebEx governance conversations, and ACS-TV programming. The committee discussed improving the plan's interactive features, which allow for comments on the plan and each of its goals.

The committee decided that future communications should focus on asking members for specific suggestions that ACS could pursue in support of a goal, how individuals are working to support the strategy, and how they intend to contribute. The plan's website should continue to actively promote the programs and activities of the society, highlighting "Ongoing Activities" and "Recent Progress." Additional formats for highlighting these activities could include the website, C&EN, and local sections and divisions.

The committee supports the strategic alignment of ACS priorities and suggests that sections, divisions, and committees set their own priorities in light of the society's plan. The committee began considering a process for revisions to appear in the "ACS Strategic Plan for 2009 and Beyond." No changes to the six goals are planned; changes to the strategies and the development of society-wide metrics will be informed by the reports requested from ACS committees by May 1, and the environmental scan will be updated later this year. The meeting concluded with a brief review of strategic progress achieved by the society in the first quarter. —Judith L. Benham, Chair


At its April meeting, the Committee on Professional Training (CPT) held conferences with five schools seeking approval, discussed three updates and two site visit reports, and approved two new schools. The total number of colleges and universities offering ACS-approved bachelor's degree programs in chemistry is now 645.

The committee released the new "ACS Guidelines and Evaluation Procedures for Bachelor's Degree Programs" in March. The committee reviewed plans to hold two symposia on the new ACS Guidelines in 2008. One symposium will be held at the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education in Bloomington, Ind., on July 28, and the other symposium will be held at the ACS national meeting in Philadelphia. The symposia will include presentations on the requirements under the new guidelines and on the opportunities to promote excellence and innovation.

The committee devoted a substantial portion of the meeting to the implementation of the new evaluation procedures required by the new guidelines. The committee voted to begin accepting the first round of pre-applications from non-approved programs on Oct. 1.

The pre-application form and instructions will be published on the CPT Web pages later this year. The committee continued its work on development of an updated recommended journals list and the redesign of the Visiting Associate program to allow more effective use of these volunteers to conduct site visits.

As part of CPT's efforts to encourage diversity within the chemistry profession, a joint subcommittee of members of CPT and the Committee on Minority Affairs met to finalize plans for the two workshops to be held later this year, one with representatives from Hispanic-serving institutions and the other with representatives from the Tribal Colleges and Native American-serving institutions. —William F. Polik, Chair

PUBLICATIONS (Joint with Council)

Publications staff presented a demonstration of the new electronic edition of C&EN, which was introduced in January. Members living outside North America may opt to receive the electronic edition instead of the print edition. They receive weekly by e-mail a link to the electronic edition of C&EN, which is a digital replica of the printed magazine. The Publications Division is planning with Membership & Scientific Advancement for the electronic edition to be offered to the entire ACS membership on an optional basis in the 2009 renewal cycle.

The final monitoring reports for Biomacromolecules, Organic Process Research & Development, and Inorganic Chemistry were presented and accepted by the committee. ACS Chemical Biology, Nano Letters, and the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry will be monitored next.

The Sales & Marketing Department's implementation of the new ACS Value-Based Pricing Plans continues to go extremely well. The department has finalized renewals for more than 4,000 institutions in 2008. Overall, feedback on the rationale and approach has been positive.

The Subcommittee on Copyright presented an update on recent cases and legislation developments concerning the NIH Public Access Policy mandate and its impact on ACS's copyright and intellectual property rights. —John N. Russell Jr., Chair


At this meeting, the Committee on Science (ComSci) and a host of other committees and divisions partnered to develop a symposium titled "Partnering for Innovation & Competitiveness: Opportunities for the Chemical Enterprise in Energy & the Environment." The symposium provided an industrial perspective on seeking new ways to address issues of global significance through innovative partnering.

ComSci continues to play an active role in the work of the Multidisciplinary Program Planning Group (MPPG). In the coming months, ComSci will be working with MPPG to recommend criteria for selecting optimal national meeting themes, in addition to creating suggested metrics for measuring the impact of thematic programming. ComSci created three new task groups to address issues of interest to chemists and others.

The first of these groups will be developing programs for presentation at the 2009 national meetings in Salt Lake City and Washington, D.C. "Frontiers in Synthetic Biology" will be the subject of our program in Salt Lake City, and "Partnering to Fix CO2" will be addressed in Washington, D.C.

The committee's second task group will be developing a program that seeks to help chemists better understand how to move discoveries from the bench to commercialization in the marketplace.

The final ComSci task group is considering a program that seeks to provide more information on the issue of pharmaceutical compounds in our water supply. —Carolyn Ribes, Chair

WOMEN CHEMISTS (Joint with Council)

Did you know that there are many ACS awards that receive very few nominations, and more important, there are many successful scientists who have not been recognized for their accomplishments? For the spring 2008 meeting in New Orleans, the Women Chemists Committee (WCC) focused on its goal of recognizing women for their contributions to the chemical sciences.

WCC organized a day of activities on April 6, titled STARS—Science & Technology Awards & Recognitions for Professionals in the Chemical Sciences. The intent of this symposium and exhibition was to mobilize ACS membership, constituents, and supporters to participate in the ACS awards program and related recognition processes for professionals in the chemical sciences.

There were two symposia held, one focusing on the award process and another focusing on the impact awards can have on career opportunities, access to top talent, and overall attraction to the chemical sciences. An exhibition featuring award and grant programs from various professional, government, industrial, and academic organizations was a bridge event between the two speaker sessions.


WCC also sponsored or cosponsored events in recognition of the 12 women who are 2008 national ACS award recipients. In addition to recognizing established scientists, the WCC, with support from Eli Lilly & Co., awarded 23 travel grants to young women presenting their research for the first time at a national meeting. The importance of awards in a scientific career is immense. WCC encourages everyone to submit award nominations. —Amber S. Hinkle, Chair

YOUNGER CHEMISTS (Joint with Council)

The Younger Chemists Committee (YCC) continues to promote its vision to lead younger chemists into successful careers and active roles in ACS and the profession. Our mission is to advocate for and provide resources to early career chemists and professionals in the chemical sciences and related fields.

YCC continues to develop programming of interest to younger chemists. In New Orleans, programs included "Responding to Unexpected Challenges," "Current Issues in Science & Government," and "The Chemistry of Alcohol." Looking forward to Philadelphia, we are planning symposia on start-up companies, opportunities for nontenure track faculty, and tools for industrial job seekers. The committee also has unanimously approved bringing back the Fun Run for Philadelphia.

YCC is always looking for new ways to get younger chemists involved in ACS. We accomplish this through outreach activities, which include involvement with the Graduate Education Advisory Board, committee and divisional liaisons, and our Leadership Development Workshop. In addition, YCC also facilitated online communication with our members by using tools such as Facebook, MySpace, Google groups, discussion threads, and blogs. More information can be found on our website at —Mick Hurrey, Chair

Council Committee Reports


The Committee on Committees (ConC) held its annual new chairs training session Jan. 25–27 for eight new chairs and their staff liaisons as part of the ACS Leadership Development Institute. More than 250 society leaders and volunteers attended the institute, including local section and division officers, new committee chairs, regional board representatives, younger chemists, governance, and staff.

ConC has begun developing its recommendations for 2009 committee chair appointments for consideration by the president-elect and the chair of the board. ConC continues to focus efforts to identify members with the skills and expertise specified by the committee chairs, using the councilor preference form. ConC also seeks the names of noncouncil members for consideration for service on council-related committees, especially those with no prior appointment.

On matters affecting committee structure, ConC has formed a task force to consider and recommend action on the future status of the ACS Committee on Admissions. The committee also received a letter from the Board Committee on Professional & Member Relations in support of the Silver Circle Working Group becoming a committee of the council. ConC took the request under advisement.

The committee also met with the board of directors to hear the board's recent action on board committees and to discuss ways to support the effectiveness of all ACS committees.

A performance review for the Committee on Chemistry & Public Affairs has been completed, and ConC's recommendation for the continuation of this committee will appear in the council agenda for the fall national meeting in Philadelphia. —Peter Dorhout, Chair

Nominations & Elections

On Sunday, N&E met with the board of directors to enhance our understanding of the responsibilities and time commitments of board members and the presidential succession and to share our nomination processes and criteria with the board.

ACS technical divisions and local sections have expressed strong interest in holding electronic elections. N&E developed a guidance document for local section and division elections that has been reviewed by the appropriate committees and will now be distributed and posted on the N&E website at

N&E is responsible for reviewing annually the distribution of the member population within the six electoral districts to assure that the districts have equitable representation. According to Bylaw V, Section 4(a), the member population of each electoral district must be within 10% of the average number of members residing in each district. I am happy to report that the six electoral districts are in compliance.

N&E has formalized the requirements for submission of signatures, either electronic or hand-inscribed, to endorse petition nominees and candidates. The requirements will be posted on the N&E website by May 1.

In March, the committee hosted four conference calls to update councilors on the recommitted Petition on Election Procedures and to review the possibility of shorter election timelines for national offices. A significant portion of the participants favored shortening the timeline and transitioning from petition candidates to petition nominees. N&E welcomes additional feedback and plans to submit a comment on this issue to C&EN.

The committee developed slates of potential candidates for the Council Policy Committee and the Committee on Committees for 2009–11 terms. —Barbara A. Sawrey, Chair

Constitution & Bylaws

The Committee on Constitution & Bylaws (C&B), acting for the council, has approved bylaw amendments and issued new certified bylaws to 10 local sections and two divisions. The committee currently has under review bylaw amendments for six local sections and eight divisions. Preliminary reports have been sent to 17 local sections and divisions, and we are 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.

Three petitions were presented to council for action at the New Orleans meeting: 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. All three passed. The amendments to the ACS bylaws offered by the latter two petitions will become effective upon confirmation by the board of directors.

The Petition on Membership Categories & Requirements included amendments to both the ACS constitution and the bylaws and will become effective if ratified by two-thirds of the members of the society voting on the amendments in the fall 2008 ACS election. One petition was presented for consideration: the Petition on Society Affiliate Dues, for which C&B submitted a preliminary report. The committee will issue its final report when the petition is presented for action at the Philadelphia meeting.

New petitions to amend the constitution or bylaws were to be received by the executive director of the society by April 30 to be included in the council agenda for the fall 2008 meeting in Philadelphia. 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

In the fall of 2007, the Committee on Divisional Activities (DAC) received a petition for probationary division status from members of the Catalysis Secretariat. DAC expects to recommend action on the petition to council in Philadelphia.

Created in 2007, the Multidisciplinary Program Planning Group (MPPG), with representation from all 33 divisions, has responsibility for organizing thematic programming. MPPG identified themes for Salt Lake City—Nanoscience—and for Washington, D.C.—Globalization of Chemistry. Divisions will be polled regarding suggested themes for 2010 in San Francisco (Green Chemistry for a Sustainable World) and Boston (Chemistry of Preventing & Combating Disease). MPPG recently agreed to assume additional responsibilities for addressing innovative national meeting program coordination and planning.

DAC has reinstituted its division status function as part of a renamed Annual Report & Division Status Subcommittee. This subcommittee will advise divisions experiencing problems of governance, membership, finances, or other issues and identify and share best practices.

DAC has received annual reports from all 33 divisions.

Congratulations are extended to the divisions celebrating centennials in 2008: the Divisions of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physical Chemistry.

At least every three years, DAC reviews the formula by which divisions receive a portion of ACS dues to fund their programming and other activities. The formula presented to council at the New Orleans meeting attempted to improve clarity and simplicity and to reward collaborative programming between divisions. DAC unanimously recommended adoption of the changes to council with the Council Policy Committee's concurrence. After a brief discussion, the vote was recommitted to the committee for action at the Philadelphia national meeting.

DAC is actively working on how and whether to include reinforcement for division support for regional meetings and other activities outside of the national meetings in the next allocation formula revision. —Kevin J. Edgar, Chair

Economic & Professional Affairs

The mission of the Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs (CEPA) is to meet the economic and career needs of ACS members in a changing workforce environment.

CEPA is responding to these needs in several ways. In order to help our members remain competitive in today's workplace, the platform now used for the ACS Leadership Development system is being expanded to deliver a set of online career management and development courses, co-branded between ACS and Harvard Business Publishing. Offerings will include courses in areas such as finance, marketing, career management, and business skills. Look for these courses on-line at later this year.


Health care and health insurance were identified as the top workforce concerns of ACS members. In response, CEPA, in conjunction with Office of Legislative & Government Affairs, developed and unanimously approved a public policy statement on the issue, which will be forwarded to PA&PR for consideration. It advocates removal of barriers to allow national Association Health Care plans. In addition, CEPA will be polling members of the Legislative Action Network to help identify other workforce issues and concerns.

The newest version of the Academic Professional Guidelines was presented to council for action with concurrence of CPC. Council approved the document without amendment, and it has been submitted to the board for final approval.

During its meeting, CEPA reviewed and set priorities for its 2008–11 strategic plan in accordance with its mission and the 2008 ACS Strategic Plan. It formally documented and defined the processes and guidelines for the qualifications and responsibilities of both career consultants and career presenters. The committee approved the applications of three new career consultants. Finally, in response to a request from the Committee on Chemists with Disabilities, future Comprehensive Salary & Employment Surveys will include the question, "Do you consider yourself disabled?"

The joint ACS-AIChE Career Fair continued to serve our members with 938 candidates, 807 available positions, and 104 employers. CEPA organized or cosponsored five symposia, including one on preretirement planning in response to observed demographic changes within ACS. In addition, 26 workshops and hundreds of mock interviews and résumé reviews were conducted. CEPA and the Career Fair expect to be just as active at the Philadelphia national meeting. —Martin Gorbaty, Chair

Local Section Activities

The Local Section Activities Committee (LSAC) recognized local sections celebrating significant anniversaries in 2008, including Brazosport, Coastal Georgia, Kentucky Lake, and Susquehanna Valley, which celebrated 50-year anniversaries. Eastern New York, Louisville, and Milwaukee Sections were recognized for their 100-year anniversaries.

Council was informed that the Texas Coastal Bend Section forfeited its charter as of Dec. 30, 2007. The section membership fell below 50 members for three consecutive years and thus failed to meet the minimum membership requirements stipulated in Bylaw VII, Sec. 12.

LSAC has developed a list of six priority areas that support the goals outlined in the ACS Strategic Plan. Programming and activities for each priority area will be promoted over the next three years. In 2008, LSAC will focus on the areas of advocacy and community building. The committee is also reviewing mechanisms for enhancing content delivery through local sections beyond traditional meetings.

In January, LSAC hosted the Local Section Leaders Track in conjunction with the ACS Leadership Institute. A total of 122 delegates participated in the weekend leadership conference. Six student affiliates joined their local section leaders for training, networking, and to learn more about opportunities for young chemists in ACS.

LSAC is pleased to announce that it awarded minigrants to six local sections to ensure that Leadership Development System courses will be offered at their 2008 regional meetings.

On a motion from LSAC, council approved the name change of the University of Kansas Local Section to the Wakarusa Valley Local Section. —Wayne E. Jones, Chair

Meetings & Expositions

The Committee on Meetings & Expositions (M&E) reported that the 235th ACS national meeting in New Orleans hosted 13,314 attendees. The last spring national meeting held in New Orleans, in 2003, attracted 14,422 attendees. We thank our attendees for the commitment to helping us fulfill our hotel-block obligations. Consequently, ACS will have no financial penalties related to housing for this meeting.

M&E has decided to survey a group of randomly selected attendees after each national meeting, asking them to evaluate and provide feedback on the services provided by ACS and by the host city. The survey will be sent to attendees within one month following the conclusion of the meeting. The survey results will be compiled into an executive summary and posted on the ACS website prior to the next national meeting. The executive summary of the 2007 fall national meeting in Boston will be posted to the ACS Web page. The 235th ACS national meeting is colocated with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and features collaborative events such an Opening Presidential Reception, a Joint Presidential Showcase Event, a shared Exposition Hall, Career Fair, and more than 80 symposia chaired by members of both societies.

There were a total of eight ACS regional meetings held in 2007, attracting more than 5,800 attendees and a total of 3,567 abstracts. The inaugural ChemLuminary Award for a Regional Meeting will be presented at the 236th ACS national meeting in Philadelphia in August. —Willem Leenstra, Chair

Membership Affairs

The Membership Affairs Committee (MAC) reviewed year-end 2007 membership recruitment and retention results. Despite a net loss of 439 members last year, 2007 recorded the second highest number of new applications ever at 16,533, resulting in a year-end membership total of 160,052. This total reflects a record number of new members receiving their 50% discount as recent bachelor's degree graduates.The Member-Get-A-Member Campaign resulted in an all-time high of 1,526 new members.

MAC is proud to introduce a new benefit—the ACS Member Network—an online tool for finding friends and colleagues using searchable fields such as education, publications, career level, local section, division, other ACS involvement, and a freeform text box. ACS members can view a demonstration and opt in by going to

In New Orleans, the committee developed a MAC Strategic Plan for 2008 and Beyond, focusing on globalization and value to members, and it voted to support the Petition on Society Affiliate Dues.

The MAC-initiated Petition on Membership Categories & Requirements was approved by the society council at this meeting. The petition will incorporate undergraduates as STUDENT MEMBERS of the society. The required amendment to the ACS constitution will be voted on by all ACS members this fall. —D. Richard Cobb, Chair


The Committee on Ethics met in New Orleans on Sunday, April 6, with topics and issues discussed including programming, communications plan/committee website, and cosponsoring a program at the New Orleans meeting.

Regarding programming, there continues to be great interest from numerous ACS divisions and committees in cosponsoring programs with the Committee on Ethics. The committee discussed 2009 and 2010 programming, which would not only address "timely ethical issues," but also align with national meeting themes.

The committee is also considering a 2009 program concerning falsification of data and a potential program in 2010 on the ethics of environmental sustainability, with emphasis on production of biofuels. The Committee on Ethics also continued its focus on programming for regional ACS meetings, and is making plans for two meetings in 2008.

A lengthy discussion was also held regarding a communications plan, which follows from the recently developed committee strategic plan. One major goal has already been met—launching a website on the ACS portal.

This site is an important vehicle to list resources and case studies, and a committee member has been designated as the primary contact person in coordinating and vetting all communications-related queries and content. The committee requests that members make them aware of content that would be helpful to members, including students.

Finally, the committee cosponsored with Division of Professional Relations a program in New Orleans entitled "ACS: Taking the Lead on Ethics." Approximately 30 members attended the session and joined in lively discussion of a variety of situations with ethical dimensions. —Margaret A. Cavanaugh, Chair

Nomenclature, Terminology & Symbols

The ACS Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology & Symbols (NOM) sponsored a successful symposium on Sunday, April 6, on the "Past, Present, and Future of the Kilogram." This symposium was cosponsored by the Division of Chemical Information and the Division of the History of Chemistry. Attendance was quite good and the hoped-for audience participation was thoughtful and stimulating.

The result is that new recommendations on the kilogram, Avogadro's number, and the ampere will likely be made to ACS and textbook publishers in particular.

The purpose of the symposium of four invited papers was to call attention to the proposed revision of the fundamental unit, the kilogram, that has been under serious debate with the metrology community and the International Bureau of Weights & Measures (BIPM) and to encourage feedback from the chemistry community. The kilogram unit directly affects other units in chemistry such as Avogadro's number and the ampere. Two particular pending proposals were debated. One, that Avogadro's constant should be redefined as an integer. The other was how to decide between several choices on the redefinition of the kilogram.

On the Avogadro constant proposal, agreement seemed to be unanimous and is a simple idea consistent with what is practiced already in many introductory textbooks. NOM will construct a formal proposal in that regard. The kilogram proposal was much more contentious. Although the BIPM representative empathized with the straightforward plan of proceeding with use of 12 g of carbon-12 being the mass of Avogadro's number of atoms, that option would oblige a loss of precision for other constants.


More important, it was clear that the choice would continue to force an actual disconnect between the SI unit system and precise measurements in the quantum-electronic domain. This was illustrated clearly by reviewing state-of-the-art measurements being conducted at National Institute of Standards & Technology. Preference is rather to define Planck's constant exactly and use ever-improving measurements to improve the mass scale beyond the parts-per-billion precision of today.

NOM will reconsider its position on the kilogram and augment the Avogadro's number proposal to accommodate the BIPM proposition. It is believed at this time that changes from current values would not affect the majority of applications of interest to the chemistry community.

In other business, the committee assessed its activities against the ACS Strategic Plan, forming subcommittees with specific goals. Among these goals are the communication of results and conclusions fostered by the kilogram symposium; collaborative planning for a nanotechnology terminology presentation in Salt Lake City, spring 2009; and a directory of nomenclature generation software. —Paul J. Karol, Chair

Project SEED

Over the past four decades, the Project SEED program has maintained an exceptional record of positive impact on young people. Each Project SEED student works with a mentor scientist, not only on scientific research but also to learn about career and educational opportunities. Nearly 8,700 summer research experiences have been provided to high school students from economically disadvantaged families.

The 2007 exit survey found that, as result of their experiences in the Project SEED program, 83% of the participants plan to go to college and 64% plan to major in a chemistry-related or other science. Students reported that their involvement in Project SEED helped them learn what advanced study is like and enabled them to discover new skills and abilities.

The committee approved research projects for 475 students for this summer in 217 laboratories to do meaningful chemistry research with nearly 425 mentors. This program is made possible by contributions from ACS, industry, academia, local sections, ACS friends and members, the ACS Petroleum Research Fund, and the Project SEED Endowment.

Project SEED's 40th anniversary celebration at the New Orleans meeting included a Presidential Event workshop on "How To Start a Project SEED Program." At this meeting the committee worked on its strategic plan and also focused on the continuation of the 40th anniversary celebration in Philadelphia.

The committee encourages all members to continue using the dues check-off option on their ACS membership renewal to support this remarkable program and hopes you will join us in celebrating four decades of its success. —J. Philip Bays, Chair

Technician Affairs

The Committee on Technician Affairs (CTA) uses ACS governance channels and Society resources to speak for 300,000+ chemical technicians and related professionals employed in the U.S. CTA's goals are to raise public awareness of the value of technicians, to make technicians relevant to ACS, and to make ACS relevant to technicians

CTA continues its work with Equipping the 2015 Chemical Technology Workforce. This initiative has awarded four $500 minigrants in 2008. The minigrants are supporting collaborations among industry, academia, and workforce organizations on such activities as career skills workshops for recent chemical technology graduates, video vignettes on process technology careers, and career opportunity seminars for students and recent graduates.

The 2008 winners are Bidwell Training Center (Pittsburgh), Great Lakes Process Technology Alliance Mid-Michigan Technology Group (Midland, Mich., and Piedmont Community College (Roxboro, N.C.).

The next round of Equipping the 2015 Chemical Technology Workforce mini-grants will be awarded in 2009. Details will be available on the CTA website.

To help support ACS's goal to "be the preeminent global scientific community that engages members and other scientific professionals," CTA will be helping to promote the ChemTechStandards resource package—a compilation of resources to develop and strengthen partnerships between industry and academia.

CTA also voted at its open meeting to engage chemical technicians and related professionals, as well as their employers and key ACS stakeholders, in a technician summit. This summit, cosponsored by TECH, will address how technicians, industry, and ACS can best serve each other, leveraging CTA's governance work with TECH's responsibilities to the membership.

CTA continues to seek opportunities to collaborate with other stakeholders as it strives to advance the chemical enterprise and all of its practitioners. —V. Michael Mautino, Chair


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