ACS And China | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 40 | p. 4 | Letters
Issue Date: October 6, 2008

ACS And China

Department: Letters

I am delighted to see the continuing and growing collaborative contacts between our venerable organization and its Chinese counterpart (C&EN, Sept. 1, page 66). I hasten to point out, however, that to my knowledge, the very first direct contact between an ACS president and Academica Chemica Sinica was in 1994. Then-ACS president Ned Heindel signed and sent a letter of greeting to the Academica Chemica Sinica, encouraging greater scientific exchanges between Chinese and U.S. chemists. I personally delivered that letter in Beijing in November 1994, as part of an Environmental Technology Delegation to China, sponsored by the Citizen Ambassador Program at the invitation of China. (The Citizen Ambassador Program was first established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s. It was for a time a part of the U.S. Department of State, but is now a private foundation.)

I should also note that the delivery and exchange was made possible by the assistance of fellow chemist Francis Wang, at that time of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Wang served as guide and translator to facilitate the exchange and read Heindel’s letter to the officials at Academica Chemica Sinica in Mandarin. I applaud the continuing efforts by ACS in broadening bilateral relations between our two great nations through scientific exchange, and I hope to see this kind of exchange continue.

I happened to see Heindel at the ACS meeting in Philadelphia and reminded him of this early contact prior to seeing this news story. I thought it an opportune time, and well worth noting for the record, that Heindel made the very first contact with our scientific Chinese counterparts.

Sheryl Baldwin
Richmond, Va.

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