Issue Date: July 21, 2008
Official Reports from the June ACS Board Meeting
Winners of the 2008 Priestley Medal, the Charles Lathrop Parsons Award, and the Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society, chosen by the ACS Board during its June meeting in Baltimore, were reported in C&EN, June 23 (pages 6 and 8). Following are the reports of committees that were presented at that meeting.
Grants & Awards
The Committee on Grants & Awards (G&A) ratified the following interim action taken since the April 3 meeting, granting the 2008 Summer School on Sustainability & Green Chemistry $50,000 from the ACS Green Chemistry Institute (GCI)-Petroleum Research Fund (PRF) Program.
The committee was updated on the ACS Presidential Task Force on the ACS Fellows Program, and it was reported that the task force submitted a program funding request on May 30 to the ACS Committee on Budget & Finance. If funding is approved, the ACS Fellows Program will become an established program that enables the society to bestow a highly regarded honor upon our members. The plan is to identify as many as 300 fellows per year to honor from academia, industry, and government, who have demonstrated excellence in the following areas: research, education, volunteering, and leadership within ACS.
An update was also given on the status of the 2008 Astellas USA Foundation Awards. The three winners will be present during a half-day symposium at the ACS national meeting in Philadelphia, on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 17, as part of the Presidential Event. Prior to the symposium, the three winners will be honored at the board luncheon at noon on Sunday. Additionally, staff submitted a new proposal to the Astellas USA Foundation by the April 15 deadline.
The committee received an update on the G&A Program Review Advisory Group (PRAG) review. PRAG held a WebEx meeting to review the Awards Program on May 6.
The Awards Review Committee will be reviewing the analytical and polymer awards, which include the ACS Award in Analytical Chemistry, ACS Award in Chromatography, ACS Award in Separation Science & Technology, Frank H. Field & Joe L. Franklin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Mass Spectrometry, E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy, ACS Award in Applied Polymer Science, ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry, and ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials.
Acting under delegated authority, G&A voted to accept the recommendations of the ACS PRF Advisory Board (May 2008 meeting) for funding grants totaling $8.36 million. Staff presented the committee with an overview of a proposed new PRF program, the PRF Fellowship Program on Gender & Multicultural Diversity in Academia, which has the purpose of increasing significantly the representation of women and underrepresented groups in the ranks of scientists at the major U.S. research institutions, including top four-year colleges.
Acting under delegated authority, G&A voted to approve the establishment of the PRF Fellowship Program on Gender & Multicultural Diversity in Academia and to approve a list of candidates to serve as members of the Scientific Review Committee of the PRF Advisory Board. G&A was also provided with an update on the investigation to amend the current PRF patent restriction and voted to support next steps to pursue a meeting with the District of Columbia or U.S. Attorney General’s Office to discuss the amendment of the current PRF patent restrictions.
Acting under delegated authority, the committee voted to accept the recommendations of the GCI Governing Board (April 2008 meeting) for funding grants totaling $237,104.
Efforts continued with G&A and the ACS Division of Organic Chemistry to draft new criteria language for the Arthur C. Cope and Roger Adams Awards. G&A reviewed the proposed new language and, acting under delegated authority, voted to approve the new language for the Arthur C. Cope and Roger Adams Awards as it appeared in the committee agenda book.
G&A also voted upon the recommendation of the Joint Board-Council Committee on Patents & Related Matters, to recommend the following to the ACS Board of Directors, the society’s nominees for the 2009 National Inventors Hall of Fame: Donald Tomalia for his pioneering work on dendrimers, treelike polymer constructs; Albert Carr (deceased), for developing Seldane, the first nonsedating antihistamine; and George Rieveschl (deceased) for the invention of the antihistamine Benadryl. —Eric C. Bigham, Chair
Professional & Member Relations
The committee (P&MR) was updated on the actions of two task force groups: Focused Interest Groups and Electronic Dissemination of Meeting Content. Each group plans a face-to-face meeting in June or July, with a series of conference calls during the remainder of the year, at which time their final reports are due to P&MR.
The committee received an update on the activities of the International Strategy Implementation Task Force (ISITF). At this meeting, ISITF representatives sought and received committee guidance and consensus on the International Alliance Strategy Framework.
An update was received on the recent activities of the P&MR Diversity Partner Subcommittee. The focus of the subcommittee is to run a pilot program to broaden participation in the chemical sciences among diverse and traditionally underrepresented groups. The subcommittee has developed a detailed process through which this can be achieved and will deliver for P&MR consideration and approval in August the recommended candidates for the four diversity partner positions. —Kent J. Voorhees, Chair
Public Affairs & Public Relations
In opening remarks, the chair of Public Affairs & Public Relations (PA&PR) updated committee members on a variety of topics of interest. The chair thanked committee members for their input in finalizing the 2008 PA&PR goals; discussed the Program Review Advisory Group (PRAG) review of the Office of Legislative & Government Affairs; gave an overview of a planned Aug. 19 symposium in Philadelphia of the ACS Task Force on Enhancing Innovation & Competitiveness; reviewed highlights of ACS governance involvement in advocacy since the April meeting; and gave updates on the State Government Affairs Pilot Program and the Science & the Congress Program, which just completed its 128th Capitol Hill briefing, and on the preparation of an “Advocacy 101” training video for ACS members on how to conduct effective meetings with elected officials.
PA&PR voted to approve, with minor edits, new public policy statements on Association Health Plans and Computer Simulations in Academic Laboratories and to approve awarding a National Historic Chemical Landmark designation to the National Institutes of Health in recognition of research conducted there to decipher the human genome.
The committee received a presentation titled “ACS Chemistry for Life: The Brand Journey,” which covered information about the new brand guidelines, the templates for materials to begin using the new brand, and plans for developing member spokespeople on the value of chemistry and the chemical sciences.
The meeting concluded with ACS staff highlighting recent activities of the Offices of Legislative & Government Affairs and of Communications, including an update on the State Government Affairs Pilot Program; the ACS Science & the Congress Program, which has hosted nine events and reached 700 people so far this year; member and governance advocacy activities; a potential coalition activity with 18 science and engineering organizations and unions that represent professional and technical workers supporting and strengthening professionalism in the public interest; a new “Bytesize Science” video podcast on carnivorous plants designed to reach elementary school students, and an upcoming communications effort on global challenges in support of ACS Strategic Plan Goal 3. —Bonnie A. Charpentier, Chair
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