Relocating National Meetings | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 26 | p. 6 | Letters
Issue Date: June 30, 2008

Relocating National Meetings

Department: Letters

According to Willem Leenstra, the regional geography of the U.S. has been altered (C&EN, May 12, page 50). The city of Denver, which I always understood to be in the West, has now been relocated to the Midwest. Personally, I and many of my colleagues do not feel that replacing Chicago with Denver is “an obvious option because it would enable ACS to continue to have a presence in the Midwest.” Denver is not a Midwest presence for us. Relocation of the meeting to Denver means that many of our members will not be able to attend the meeting due to travel logistics or expense.

Scanning the schedule of upcoming national meetings and expositions for the next nine year reveals that two of the 19 meetings currently scheduled will be located in the Midwest. Of the remaining meetings, seven will be located in the far Eastern portion of the country (Boston, Philadelphia, or Washington, D.C.); nine will be located in the West (Denver, Salt Lake City, Anaheim, San Francisco, or San Diego); and one on the southern coast (New Orleans). Interestingly enough, though the Chicago area is the third largest population center in the U.S., it will not host a national meeting for the next nine years. If our Midwest colleagues have limited resources for travel, ACS effectively disenfranchises them from attending because of meeting locations.

If ACS wishes for national meetings to provide reasonable opportunities for all of its members to attend, then more attention to the locations is called for.

I’m sorry some members may have missed a session in Chicago due to logistics between sites, but many more members will miss all of the experiences in attending a national meeting because of their geographic inability to attend. Leenstra states that the standing committee is “charged with providing our meeting attendees with the highest quality logistical support in order to provide an excellent meeting experience for all attendees.” What becomes apparent from this statement is that the experience for members who are fortunate enough to reach the meeting site is more important than providing reasonable access to the meetings for all potential attendees.

As an organization, we should be doing our best to provide reasonable, periodic access to national meetings for all of our members. I consider the relocation to Denver and the failure to locate any meetings in Chicago over a 10-year period to be a slap in the face to all of our midwestern members.

Steve Nieland
Waupaca, Wis.

The ACS Comment on relocating national meetings by Meetings & Expositions (M&E) Chair Leenstra made me wonder about the pace of decision-making. The complaints tallied by M&E about Chicago as a site led with the acknowledgment that McCormick Place is located too far from ACS hotels and included the comment that “bus service was unacceptable.”

I like Chicago but not as a national meeting venue. The exact same criticisms as above have been voiced for 20 years, since McCormick Place opened. Why do we still patronize it? Why has it taken M&E so long to recognize membership dissatisfaction?

Paul J. Karol
P ittsburgh


Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note: Gilbert is correct, of course, it should have been 2-propanol. C&EN’s own style guide has an extended section on chemical nomenclature, with a part devoted to the names of alcohols. It concludes, “Some commonly used names of alcohols confuse the two systems, are always incorrect, and should never be used in C&EN. Examples include isopropanol, isobutanol,” Sigh.

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