Report of the ACS Executive Director to the ACS Council April 2008 | February 25, 2008 Issue - Vol. 86 Issue 8 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 8 | Web Exclusive | ACS Comments
Issue Date: February 25, 2008

Report of the ACS Executive Director to the ACS Council April 2008

By Madeleine Jacobs, Executive Director And CEO
Department: ACS News

I am pleased to provide this annual summary of 2007 accomplishments on behalf of the ACS Board of Directors, our members, and the scientific enterprise worldwide. Among those accomplishments are the launch of a new website, a new strategic plan, a thriving membership base, new journals, and the launch of the web version of SciFinder®. The Society also ended the year financially sound. Based on preliminary and unaudited financial results, the Society expects a net from operations that is favorable to the 2007 Approved Budget of $7.4 million. In addition, management anticipates full compliance with all Board-approved financial guidelines. Final 2007 audited financial results will be reported to Council in New Orleans. The many accomplishments and a sound financial basis will help ensure a thriving Society during uncertain economic times.

Following are selected accomplishments achieved through a robust partnership of our members, governance, and staff. Although these are only selected accomplishments,the list is long, and I apologize in advance for the length of this report and especially if your favorite Local Section, Technical Division, or Committee program is not included. Our Local Sections, Technical Divisions, and Committees are indispensable in helping ACS achieve its vision, "Improving people's lives through the transforming power of chemistry." I hope you will share this list with your colleagues. ACS carries out so many activities that we often forget the incredible diversity of the ways in which we serve our members and the broader scientific enterprise worldwide.

The year 2007 began with a staff realignment to better serve the Society's strategic directions. One of the key strategic directions is enabling scientific progress. The Division of Membership and Scientific Advancement was formed by combining the Membership Division, Office of International Activities, the ACS Green Chemistry Institute, and Member Services. This move, which resulted in the formation of the third largest ACS operating division, afforded an opportunity to identify and implement operational synergy within the division to create more meaningful value for our potential and current members.

Chemists continue to find value in their ACS membership. ACS received 16,553 applications for membership—the second highest number in history. We ended 2007 with a total membership of 160,052. The highly successful Member-Get-A-Member campaign reached an all-time high of 1,526 new members nominated. The Committee on Membership Affairs, in a coordinated effort with the Governance Review Actions Teams A & B, presented a petition to broaden the opportunity for ACS membership. The Member Services team, located in Columbus, Ohio, provided over 85,000 contacts during 2007. This impressive number equals over 400 contacts each work day with our members.

Our members are active! More than 30,000 people participated in the two national meetings and expositions, which showcased approximately 18,900 technical presentations and products and services from nearly 3,000 exhibitors. In addition, nearly 6,000 chemists attended the Society's eight regional meetings.

Electronic access to national meeting content launched with a series of presentations associated with ACS President Katie Hunt's Presidential symposium, titled "Pressing Challenges and Technology Opportunities for a Sustainable Future", which were posted on the ACS website in May.  A video of the Presidential session in Boston on "Material Innovations from Nanotech to Biotech & Beyond" was posted on the ACS President's website. The content features presentations from five world-renowned scientists and innovation leaders and addresses a range of topics on interdisciplinary material innovations, concluding with a panel discussion. During the Chicago ACS national meeting, 358 poster presenters uploaded their poster papers to a website that would permit others to view their work.  In order to view these posters, one needed to register for the national meeting, and register at a special Posters2View site; 658 people registered to view the posters. During the short period the site was active, it recorded 9,885 page views and 71,053 hits.

The Department of Member Research and Technology launched several web pilot experiments in 2007.  Biotech exchange.org was re-tooled to become exchange.org, a social bookmarking site that encourages interaction around emerging research in published articles; CollectiveX, a social documenting site, was launched to allow document sharing; and ACS has secured its own page and identity in Facebook, to allow those who identify with chemistry or who are ACS affiliates or members to connect with others in the same field of interest. Testing continues in the virtual world of Second Life, where the ACS island was created alongside Nature Publishing Group and Drexel University to share information with students and chemistry professors.

As a part of the web presence initiative, the ACS Careers site was launched in October.  We recognize that members' career needs are very much a function of where they are in their career. One size does not fit all, but this site is a "one-stop" shop for our members' career management and development needs as well as the place for employers to post ads for Chemical & Engineering News classifieds.  Our newly launched blog has attracted more than 3,500 individuals to the site.  In order to support our volunteers, the Board Oversight group on Leadership Development and staff worked hard to transition career management and development courses on-line; to this end, a new Learning Management System (LMS) application was implemented.  This technology will enable members and potential members to easily access our fully integrated suite of professional development offerings.  This technology may serve as the enterprise-wide solution to on-line course delivery.  The ACS Center for Professional Advancement launched in November (supported by the LMS) and is the home for the suite of Leadership Development courses that are in final testing phase.  In order to get access to quality management content, we negotiated a partnership with Harvard Business Publishing and their Manage/Mentor10 series to co-brand nearly 40 on-line management courses for our members.

A substantial portion of our members reside outside the U.S. In 2007, the Office of International Activities worked closely with units of the Society to extend our international outreach. Fourteen Chinese chemical scientists from Shanghai and Hong Kong participated in a one-day short course on "green chemistry for the fine chemical and pharmaceutical industries" in Shanghai in May; ACS, the Division of Medicinal Chemistry (MEDI), the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC), and the Societá di Chimica Italiana (SCI) contracted to organize Frontiers in CNS and Oncology Medicinal Chemistry meeting in Siena, Italy, in October; ACS and the U.K.-based Society of Chemical Industry entered into a partnership to organize a series of events around "Global Innovation Imperatives (GII) designed to foster knowledge exchange and innovation on topics of particular urgency for the global community; the U. S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation partnered with the ACS to provide professional training for Iraqi chemists during the ACS National meeting in Boston; and a collaborative workshop to catalyze research between young researchers in chemical biology located in the U.S. and China was organized by ACS and the National Natural Science Foundation of China. Content from technical presentations and "best of" graduate student posters generated through the Biomass conversion to Fuels and Chemicals Symposium in Águas de Lindóia, Brazil, in May and the MEDI/EFMC/Italian Chemical Society symposium on Frontiers in CNS and Oncology Medicinal Chemistry meeting in Siena, Italy was web-enabled for audio/PowerPoint slide presentation and is available on www.acs.org/international.

"Frontiers of Chemical Sciences III: Research & Education in the Middle East," also known as Malta 3, was held in Istanbul, Turkey, in December 2007. At this meeting, delegates from Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates gathered for four days under the sponsorship of the American Chemical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the German Chemical Society, Columbia College Chicago, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization. Ninety Middle Eastern and other scientists attended, including Nobel Laureates Aaron Ciechanover, Richard R. Ernst, Roald Hoffmann, R. Timothy Hunt, Walter Kohn, and F. Sherwood Rowland.

A separate report on the ACS Green Chemistry Institute (GCI) follows the Executive Director's report in this Council agenda. The Institute had a number of challenges this year as it sought to fill the position of the ACS GCI director. Nonetheless, the Institute made excellent progress during the year by partnering with numerous other organizations. One major highlight of the year was the 11th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, titled "From Small Steps to Giant Leaps—Breakthrough Innovations for Sustainability." It was attended by 440 scientists and students and featured tracks in Health and Medicine, Energy, Chemical Processes, New Materials and Building Community, and a special student workshop.  Sponsors from industry, government, academia, and learned societies contributed $282,000 in financial support plus considerable in-kind contributions to the organizing committee. In particular, we are grateful to industrial sponsors, which included The Dow Chemical Company, Rohm and Haas Company, BASF Corporation, BioVerdant, and Pfizer.

The ACS Office of Legislative and Government Affairs and ACS GCI worked closely together to advance green chemistry legislative initiatives and celebrated the success of the passage of The Green Chemistry Research and Development Act. The ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable (ACS GCIPR) grew from five to eight paid member companies including AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly and Co., Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer Inc., Schering-Plough, and Wyeth. The newly expanded group completed a benchmarking exercise on process mass intensity of active pharmaceutical ingredients across the development pipeline. Results were presented at the 11th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference in Washington, D.C., and the 3rd International Conference on Green & Sustainable Chemistry in Delft, The Netherlands. The 5th Annual Green Chemistry summer school served 75 students and faculty at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. Planned jointly with the ACS Education Division and ACS GCI the program was funded by the U. S. National Science Foundation (NSF), ExxonMobil and Sigma Aldrich.

The 2007 Heroes of Chemistry were honored at a special reception and dinner during the ACS Fall National Meeting in Boston. Attending were honorees and senior executives from Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, DuPont, Tate & Lyle, Genencor, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, Novartis, and Pfizer. An unprecedented number of senior corporate executives attended in 2007, demonstrating the value of the Heroes of Chemistry program to the chemical and allied industries.

The ACS Scholars Program, which provides undergraduate scholarships to gifted underrepresented minorities majoring in chemistry and related fields, continues to have enormous success. Twelve former ACS Scholars, five of whom have since earned a Ph.D. in chemical science, participated in two symposia at the ACS Fall National Meeting in Boston.  The program, which launched in the fall of 1995, now counts 36 ACS Scholars who have earned their Ph.D.s, including 2 M.D./Ph.D.s The program is one of the many ways in which ACS helps ensure a talent pool in the U.S.  At the beginning of 2008, the ACS Scholars Program transferred to the ACS Education Division to ensure more synergies with Project SEED.

The 20th anniversary of National Chemistry Week (NCW) was marked in 2007. In 1986, then ACS President, George C. Pimentel provided the vision that led to the first National Chemistry Day celebration on November 6, 1987. National Chemistry Day became National Chemistry Week in 1989. The program continues to be successful and now includes celebrations in elementary and secondary schools and universities, independent of ACS local sections. The 2007 celebration included a symposium, poster presentations, and an outreach event at the Notebart Science Museum during the ACS Fall National meeting in Boston. Over 175 ACS local sections hosted NCW events where the theme was "The Many Faces of Chemistry." Sections were asked to highlight the many faces in their local areas who make outstanding contributions to chemistry or the chemical sciences. The 2007 NCW celebration received media coverage through the North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS) with outreach to more than 46.5 million people.

The largest, and one of the oldest, operating divisions of the American Chemical Society is Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS). CAS has nearly 1,300 employees based in Columbus, Ohio. During 2007, its centenary year, CAS advanced its mission to create the world's best digital environment to search, retrieve, analyze, and link chemical information. CAS database content increased in value and magnitude with the addition of more than 1,086,900 indexed document records to CAplusSM, an all-time high, plus approximately 3,134,000 substance records to the CAS RegistrySM, which reached a total of 33 million organic and inorganic substances by year-end. CASREACT® grew by some 2,300,000 records, reaching a total of more than 14,200,000 reactions by year-end.

CAS continued to make the CAS Registry the most comprehensive and authoritative collection of disclosed chemical substance information, drawing upon additional valid sources including?? prophetic substances described in patents, chemical libraries, and new web-based resources of value.

CAS also capitalized on its centenary by reinforcing the ACS and CAS image of enablers of scientific progress though gala celebrations of both the anniversary and CAS's designation as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. Celebrations were held in Columbus on June 14 at both CAS and The Ohio State University, which shared the Landmark honor as the home of Chemical Abstracts during the first half century of CAS's existence. During the same week, CAS was featured in a special issue of C&EN, which looked at the organization's distinguished past, present significance and plans for the future. Other events focusing on the centenary were customer meetings in Europe and Japan and a Presidential symposium at the 234th ACS National Meeting in Boston.

CAS accelerated the addition of patent information from Pacific-rim countries to the CAplus database. This new information included utility model patents from the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (SIPO) issued from January 1, 2007. CAS also expanded its Korean patent data with the addition of 2006 patent information and implemented a new rapid process covering 2007 Korean patents as well, giving searchers access to the latest Korean patent information available.  Also added were over 10,000 traditional medicine patents from Asian authorities.

CAS introduced a web version of the SciFinder research tool in December as part of a phased launch that will continue through 2008. Commercial, academic, and government subscribers will now access the same web version of SciFinder, which has most of the powerful features found in the client-based SciFinder, plus several others. With the web version, installation of desktop client software is no longer required, thus reducing customers' administrative costs and giving scientists speedier access to the latest SciFinder version.

SciFinder ScholarTM, the principal chemistry-related research tool for academia, was installed in 1,457 institutions in 55 countries by year-end 2007, a 10% increase over the previous year. In the U.S. alone, SciFinder Scholar is now in use at more than 600 schools.

SubScape version 1.1, a new substance visualization tool, was released in October 2007. SubScape permits scientists to visualize substance answer sets in SciFinder 2007. Features include a Substance Landscape that provides a cluster map representing base frameworks, using a clustering algorithm and structure descriptors from the CAS Registry. In addition a Bioactivity Indicators chart presents bioactivity terms for which relationships exist between CAS Registry substances and documents represented in CAplus.

In cooperation with its STN® partner FIZ Karlsruhe, CAS implemented two significant product developments for information professionals and patent analysts. First, a new and more powerful version of the STN® AnaVistTM analysis and visualization software was introduced. STN AnaVist 2.0 incorporates the Derwent World Patents Index (DWPISM) database to complement the extensive patent content of CAplus. STN AnaVist is the only platform that permits analysis and visualization of both the CAplus and DWPI search results, with content processed by STN for optimal visualization. Second, CAS and FIZ Karlsruhe launched STN® ViewerTM, a new web-based workflow productivity tool that dramatically increases patent professionals' efficiency. STN Viewer makes it easy to evaluate patents by permitting the user to view major sections, publication stages and family members; define and highlight terms and phrases of interest; and navigate the entire patent document via visual summary of highlighted terms.

The second largest operating division of ACS is the Publications Division, which produces 36 journals, C&EN, and books and conference proceedings. This division employs more than 300 employees full time, as well as nearly 260 editors and associate editors. In 2007, the division also had oversight responsibility for the launch of the new ACS website, chemistry.org. On September 30, the Web Presence Team and IT successfully deployed the new ACS's website (www.acs.org). This reinvention was three years in the making and was based on meeting the needs and desires of ACS members and involved all divisions and departments throughout ACS. The new site has been very well received and represents the culmination of years of research and planning. It has been, and continues to be a high priority of the Society. All ACS operating division web pages, including journal home pages and departments, were redesigned to enhance usability and navigation in connection with this Society-wide initiative. Journal homepages now display a list of the 20 most recent "As Soon as Publishable' (ASAP) articles, instead of a current issue's table of contents, which has resulted in significant increases in web views of the most current research.

Enhancements include browse-by-issue functionality, an article quick-search feature, improved citation download options, and improving branding of journals by displaying masthead logos, cover art, and descriptions on the home page.

The first ACS journal, Journal of the American Chemical Society, was launched in 1879, just three years after the Society's founding. Today, ACS publishes 34 distinct journal titles (three sections of Journal of Physical Chemistry brings the total to 36) and C&EN. In 2007, the ACS journals operation had a record-setting year in terms of service to authors, information output, and web usage by readers. The Publications Division published more than 31,000 articles, exceeding 30,000 for the first time. Researchers downloaded 57 million articles in 2007, a 4% increase over 2006 and downloaded 34 million abstracts, a 26% increase over prior year. More than 60% of the journal articles originated outside the U.S.

ACS continued to dominate the field, ranking #1 in citations and/or Impact Factor in the seven core chemistry categories, as well as in additional categories ranging from agriculture and polymer science to nanoscience and nanotechnology and crystallography, as reported in the 2006 Thomson Scientific (ISI®) Journal Citation Reports®. In all, 24 of 32 ACS journals receiving Impact Factors for 2006 achieved their highest Impact Factors ever.

In service to our authors, editors, and reviewers, the ACS Paragon Plus web-based peer review software environment was deployed for use across all ACS journals. This web-based, real-time system provides robust new capabilities to simplify the review process and help to ensure the integrity of published information. Recruitment of additional associate editors for ACS journals proceeded apace to handle increased manuscript submissions; the associate editors are based around the world and along with editors-in-chief handle in excess of 71,000 manuscript submissions annually.  In response to requests by ACS journal editors, the Division began publication of Excellence, a newsletter created to highlight editorial developments with our publishing program and to help inform researchers, authors, and reviewers about ACS journal-related news, events, activities, and multimedia content such as Podcasts, Web-Enhanced Objects, Open Forums, and Blogs. Two issues of the newsletter were released in 2007, distributed in print and online.

Two new journals were successfully introduced: Journal of Physical Chemistry, Part C (January, 2007) and ACS Nano (August, 2007) with Paul S. Weiss of the Pennsylvania State University serving as editor-in-chief. The latter publication was accompanied by a companion web site, ACS Nanotation, that encompasses interactive Web 2.0 community-based features. Intended to serve researchers in the fast-growing nanoscience and nanotechnology fields, the site has garnered more than 30,000 web views and almost 1,000 registered users. The free web site includes innovative features such as Nano Picks, in which a team of experts regularly sifts through nano research to identify the best work and provide timesaving synopses and commentary, "Ask the Scientist," in which distinguished researchers answer questions posed by visitors to the site, and "NanoTube," in which researchers post short videos of themselves talking about their work. The journal delivers original, comprehensive research articles, along with invited perspectives, commentaries, and conversations with pioneers in the field. The online version of ACS Nano utilizes a new design template that will be a model for future journal web pages.

A new, innovative value-based sales plan for the licensing of electronic journals was introduced to academic, government, and corporate customers worldwide, effective with the 2008 calendar subscription year. ACS Publications presented the new pricing to more than 1,600 customers. The new pricing policy replaces the long-held pricing approach based on an institution's historical print-based holdings. With this new pricing, customers are assured greater fairness through a tier-based approach that utilizes criteria such as usage, enrollment, and Carnegie Classification to determine pricing.

ACS Journal Production and Manufacturing Operations embarked on the implementation of XML-based editing software and new XML-based digital production workflows, in conjunction with our composition and printing vendor, Cadmus. At the end of 2007, a total of 22 ACS journals were operational in that environment, which streamlines the process of moving from approved manuscripts to published articles and creates new opportunities for making content accessible via the web. All remaining journals are poised for implementation in 2008.

Looking forward to 2008, on the technology front, the Publications Division began intensive development (with partner Atypon Systems) during 2007 of a new state-of-the-art web delivery platform for the digital dissemination of ACS journal content, completion of which is scheduled for Q3 of 2008.

C&EN published a number of high-profile topical issues, among which was the special issue on June 11, 2007 that celebrated the 100th anniversary of CAS and the designation of CAS as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. The issue included a historical review of key people, innovations, and technologies. The C&EN Analytical Pavilion debuted at the ACS National Meeting in Boston and featured a programming targeted to the analytical chemistry community.

C&EN also led the Publications Division in exploring new publishing technologies, by introducing online contextual advertising for the magazine, and by developing a novel electronic edition for delivery to international member subscribers in 2008, as a service to ACS members located abroad. Every week, C&EN's international readers may opt to receive an e-mail with a link to the electronic copy of the magazine, which is an exact replica of the printed magazine. A branded e-mail goes out with a link and instructions on how to access the issue. More than 38% of international members renewing in the fall of 2007 have signed-up to receive the eletronic issue in 2008 in lieu of the print edition (which, by ACS bylaws, requires an additional shipping fee).

The Office of the Secretary and General Counsel also took on increased responsibilities as a result of the staff realignment in early 2007. It assumed strategic planning and program review functions, as well as the Office of Legislative and Government Affairs (OLGA) and the Office of Communications.

The Secretary provided overall support for the development of the ACS "Strategic Plan for 2008 and Beyond," which represents the successful culmination of months of work to create and refine a strategy of unprecedented specificity and participation. In January, "Strategic Directions" were released that portrayed the scope of endeavors undertaken by the Society. In June, the Board and staff worked together to craft a draft strategic plan that responds to the trends and challenges facing today's chemistry professionals and the ACS. The plan was extensively reviewed and discussed by governance committees and other stakeholders over the summer, and refined in the fall.  At the December meeting of the Board of Directors, the final plan was unanimously approved. The plan may be found at www.acs.org/strategicplan. At the meeting in New Orleans, many committees will be discussing the strategic plan.

The ACS Program Review Advisory Group (PRAG) periodically assesses the performance of ACS Society Programs, recommending termination or continuation of each activity. This volunteer group carefully considered programs in the areas of professional preparation and technical training. The final report of the 2007 review was provided to the Society Committee on Budget and Finance and the Board of Directors at the ACS Fall National Meeting. All activities of ACS are reviewed on a rolling four-year basis by PRAG.

The ACS Governance Review Task Force completed its three-year effort in 2007, engaging many member volunteers to evaluate the Society's governance. It proposed broadening membership requirements, which will be acted upon by the ACS Council in 2008. It also recommended and implemented changes in committee structure, national meetings, staff support for governance, and governance operations.

The ACS Board of Directors completed a comprehensive contingency plan in 2007. This two-year effort assures that the Society will be able to respond effectively to a range of threats that may emerge in the coming years.

In 2007, the Office of the Secretary established a website—www.acspresident.org—for the ACS presidential succession. On this site, one can learn about the responsibilities and duties of the ACS President, discover notable men and women who have served as president since the Society was founded, and keep up with the travel and activities of the President, especially presidential symposia at national meetings.

The Office of the Secretary and General Counsel worked with ACS President Catherine T. (Katie) Hunt to produce presidential symposia and outreach events at the spring and fall national meetings. These included "Chemistry in Action: It's Easy Being Green," outreach event at the Notebaert Nature Museum; the Presidential Keynote Symposium: "Sustainability: A World View; Pressing Challenges, and Technology Opportunities for a Sustainable Future;" ?Educating for Sustainability;" Presidential Keynote Symposium: "Material Innovations: from Nanotech to Biotech and Beyond!;" "Going with the Information Flow: Chemical Abstracts Service 100th Anniversary Presidential Symposium;" and a Presidential Session "Celebrating a Craftsman of the Art of Understanding: Roald Hoffmann at 70."

Led by OLGA, ACS successfully partnered and collaborated with allies to secure passage and enactment of the historic and bipartisan America COMPETES Act, which recognizes the importance of science to the nation by authorizing $43.3 billion over three years for research and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs. When fully funded, the Act will place the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Department of Energy's Office of Science on track to double their budgets over a seven-year period and significantly increase STEM education investments to attract more students into science. Passage of the Act was the culmination of two years of ACS advocacy efforts that included 41 ACS Presidential letters to the White House and Capitol Hill, 75 ACS member district meetings, 167 ACS Governance Congressional meetings, 250 ACS staff meetings with Congressional offices, and 21,370 Legislative Action Network (LAN) letters to elected officials. This was an extraordinary advocacy effort and achievement for and by ACS and its members.

In 2007, the ACS was an active contributor to the Reactive Chemicals Hazards Management Alliance sponsored by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). During the year, ACS members contributed their expertise to a variety of projects related to safe practices with chemicals. The Alliance also brought in experts from OSHA to staff a booth at the ACS National Exposition in Chicago.

ACS's successful advocacy on behalf of its Public Policy Priorities resulted in positive policy outcomes. At the outset of 2007, ACS was instrumental in securing fiscal year 2007 budget increases for NSF, DOE, and NIST research, in stark contrast to the flat budgets imposed on all other agencies. In March, the ACS President testified before Congress on the future of NSF. ACS helped define the STEM education provisions contained in two landmark bills: the Higher Education Act (HEA) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB), for which ACS led the science community in promoting the addition of science to the accountability system. In the environmental arena, ACS efforts led to successful House passage of the Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2007 (H.R. 2850), and ACS worked closely with key Senators in drafting the America Climate Security Act of 2007 (S. 2191) to incorporate ACS priorities, notably directing anticipated carbon auction revenues to fund advanced energy research programs. ACS staff attended the 13th Annual Convention of Parties for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as a formal nongovernmental observer. During 2007, ACS reached out to the office of every freshman representative and senator with educational visits on science and competitiveness issues. ACS also conducted, and received media attention for, outreach and education on competitiveness to presidential campaigns.

ACS members substantially increased their engagement with policymakers and their successful advocacy for key priorities in 2008. Membership in the LAN grew to over 14,000 or approximately 15% higher than 2006; LAN members generated 13,030 letters to elected officials, nearly 1,000 more than in 2006; local section Government Affairs Committees (GAC) grew by 22 bringing the GAC's total to 64, a more than 50% increase; 85 ACS members representing 39 local sections participated in 150 congressional office visits; and ACS governance approved a new state government affairs advocacy program to be implemented this year.

Under the direction of the Office of Communications, the ACS Strategic Communications Plan made great progress during 2007 as the Office of Communications in concert with the Board committee oversaw the implementation of the plan. The new look and feel proposed for Society communications was warmly received in all quarters. Additional research to refine the taglines is on the agenda for this year and following that the anticipated roll out.

Publicizing ACS journals and national meetings during 2007 was unusual if not unprecedented in ACS history. News items in the Weekly PressPac, which highlights selected journal and C&EN articles for the media, consistently were published in major national and international news media outlets with a total circulation of 212 million, crediting the journal or ACS by name. In one week in November alone, PressPac articles appeared in the New York Times, on page one of the Wall Street Journal, USA Weekend Magazine (distributed to 610 newspapers with a readership of 49 million), and on the cover of the New York Times Magazine. Print coverage included at least 20 articles that cited ACS journals by name in the New York Times; 11 in the Los Angeles Times; 10 in the Washington Post; 7 in the Chicago Tribune; 7 distributed by the Associated Press; 4 in USA Today; and hundreds in other media outlets. Broadcast and online exposure includes dozens of articles on CBS, MSNBC, the BBC, ABC News, CNN, and local broadcast outlets.

The Communications Office also launched new media products such as the podcasts Science Elements and ByteSizeScience. ByteSizeScience, for instance, was named as a "new and notable" podcast among a group that included podcasts from National Geographic and the National Science Foundation.

ACSTV debuted at the Boston meeting and has now become collaboration between the Division of Member Services and the Office of Communications. This effort includes the outstanding welcome videos that have become a staple of the meetings as well as the ability to provide live coverage of scientific events and interviews of subjects of interest to the members. This material is edited on the spot and is available to members the next day on the buses, in the hotels, and at the Convention Center. Be sure to watch for ACSTV at the meeting in New Orleans.

The ACS Education Division continued its mission of serving learners and educators by building communities and providing effective chemistry education products, services, and information for all levels of education, from kindergarten through graduate school.

Improving the state of science education in the United States is an enormous task, and no one organization can do this alone. Collaborations between the Education Division and external organizations have increased significantly during the past year. In particular, the Education Division is working with our physics colleagues on a number of fronts—middle school teacher workshops, faculty development, and student programs. New interactions included Project Lead the Way, the National Society of Black Engineers, and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

In another collaboration, the ACS Education Division partnered with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) to launch a "Day of Chemistry" at each of the 2007 NSTA Fall Regional Conferences (Detroit, Mich.; Denver, Colo., and Birmingham, Ala.). Consisting of six consecutive sessions, the Day of Chemistry provided content and pedagogy for high school teachers, focusing on the concepts of energy and entropy.

The Education Division, working with the ACS Development Office, secured grants from visionary foundations and corporations totaling more than $331,000 to support new and ongoing education programs. These programs include faculty development workshops for post-doctoral fellows planning an academic career in chemistry from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; Summer School on Sustainability and Green Chemistry from the Argosy Foundation; summer research for high school teachers from Motorola; Project SEED expansion and green chemistry workshops for high school teachers from Bayer; and middle school teacher institutes from Dow Corning.

Contrary to the perception that students are no longer majoring in chemistry, the Committee on Professional Training Annual Report noted that the number of bachelor's degrees granted by ACS-approved chemistry programs reached an all-time high of 12,120 graduates in 2005-06.  A record number of doctoral degrees, 2,321, were also awarded in 2006.

New undergraduate student attendance and poster presentation records were set at the 233rd ACS National Meeting in Chicago. Of the 2,345 undergraduate students attending, 1,264 presented undergraduate research and Student Affiliates Chapter posters in the Division of Chemical Education.

The 2007 U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad team won three silver medals and one bronze medal at the 39th Annual International Chemistry Olympiad in Moscow, Russia. The U.S. team, consisting of the nation's top high school chemistry students, competed with 254 students representing 66 countries.

As of December 31, 117 Chemistry Clubs have been chartered with the ACS Office of High School Chemistry, exceeding the goal of 100 established for 2007-2008 in the initial program funding request. The ACS Board of Directors voted to approve the continuation of the High School Chemistry Clubs program as an ongoing program of the Society at its December Board meeting.

The ACS Office of High School Chemistry also organized and coordinated 10 workshops during the summer of 2007. These residential workshops were held at universities in five cities: Los Angeles, Calif.; St. Paul, Minn.; Houston, Texas; Hartford, Conn.; and Ann Arbor, Mich. The workshops were attended by 222 high school chemistry teachers. Five of the workshops were organized around the Chemistry in the Community text and five were focused on inquiry-based teaching for teachers of advanced high school chemistry courses.

In 2008, ACS will mark the 40th anniversary of Project SEED, which has provided summer research experiences to more than 8,000 students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Many of these students have gone on to careers in the sciences, and many now serve as Project SEED mentors to a new generation of students. In 2007, nearly 100 institutions sponsored 316 students in the Project SEED summer research program. The program awarded 38 Project SEED college scholarships to qualified Project SEED alumni. Over 50 Project SEED students presented posters of their summer research during the SciMix event at the ACS National Meeting in Boston.

Project SEED is planning a major celebration at the ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia in August. In preparation for the events, we are currently seeking Project SEED alumni to identify themselves to us, and we are launching a major appeal to increase the Project SEED endowment, which covers the stipend costs for many students. Mary Good, an ACS Past President, Chair of the Board, and Priestley Medal winner is co-chairing the Project SEED appeal committee along with Barbara Ullyot, a retired ACS employee who contributed to the Society for many decades. A contribution to the Project SEED Endowment is one of the most important ways in which our members can help ensure a future talent pool here in the United States.

The new edition of the ACS Directory of Graduate Research (DGR) was published in November 2007.?? Several new features were added to the searchable online version of the Directory, DGRweb, including the ability to print a PDF file of a department's listing.

"The Equipping the 2015 Chemical Technology Workforce" initiative continued in 2007, with 12 mini-grants awarded for collaborative activities among industry, academia, and the community that foster the education and professional development of chemical technicians. Included among the activities were events held at ACS local section, regional, and national meetings.

In January, the Office of Research Grants moved into a direct reporting relationship to the Executive Director. The major component of this office is the Petroleum Research Fund, which currently has assets of about $600 million. PRF is one of the largest private chemistry philanthropies in the nation. It represents one of ACS's largest financial commitments to the scientific community and, more importantly, serves to advance our fields of science in ways that no other organization can accomplish. It occupies a unique niche in the chemistry enterprise. PRF processed a total of 1,387 proposals for the 2007 grant year (begun in fall of 2006), for a total award of 519 grants totaling $25.2 million. PRF expects to award about the same amount in the 2008 grant year.

During the year, a major strategic review of the fund begun in 2006 continued. An External Review Workshop was held on January 10-11, 2007, which invited key stakeholders and members of the scientific community to work together in developing an enhanced strategic direction for the PRF. A new vision statement and a set of recommendations were developed from this work and a report was issued. The new vision statement is: "The ACS Petroleum Research Fund will support innovative fundamental research, advanced scientific education, and the careers of scientists, to aid in significantly increasing the world's energy options." The recommendations along with prior data gathering work were used to develop a program proposal for the Fund.

A PRF Review Steering Committee brought the proposal to the PRF Advisory Board, which, in turn, recommended to the Board Standing Committee on Grants and Awards for approval. This was approved by G&A and the Board concurred with the decision. The proposal outlined a new strategic direction for the programs of the ACS Petroleum Research Fund: Implementation of the new programs was initiated immediately following approval so that the programs would be available in time for the 2009 grant year. (Proposals for the first round of reviews will be accepted as early as February 15, 2008).

New programs (to be implemented for the 2009 grant cycle) include New Investigator Grants for new faculty at research and undergraduate institutions. This program includes an optional proposal writing workshop, which is scheduled for August 5-7, 2008. Another program is New Directions Grants for established faculty at research institutions.

Three additional programs are under development: Exceptional Innovation Grants for truly innovative fundamental research expected to have high impact on society through its ultimate application; Strategic and Multidisciplinary Research Grants; and fellowships in Support of Gender and Multicultural Diversity in Academia. The working groups reported on the proposed programs in late January to the PRF Advisory Board; the first two programs were approved; the third is still under development.

The PRF Review Steering Committee recommended that G&A adopt a modified structure for the PRF Advisory Board which involves the inclusion of a new Program Committee. This revised structure adds a Program Oversight function to the Scientific Review function that the current advisory board serves. This was approved by G&A at the December Board meeting. The new Program Committee will guide program design and development; monitor program performance and impact relative to previously agreed upon objectives; guide program portfolio performance and balance; and recommend changes to PRF Portfolio (Creation/Termination of Programs).

The Office of Research Grants also provides technical assistance in administering the Herman Frasch Foundation for Chemical Research grants. The grants are for a five-year period (2007-2012) and must have practical impact on agriculture in the United States. The committee recommended 12 grants at $50,000 per year for the five-year period ($250,000). The total value for the period is $3,000,000.

The Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer is responsible for the Society's treasury and financial operations, investments, administrative and customer services, member insurance, new business development, and fundraising activities. As mentioned earlier, a full report on the society's 2007 budgetary performance will be provided in New Orleans.

In the new business development area, ACS launched ChemInsightTM in early 2007, a new service designed to enhance the value of chemical science experts by marketing their expertise to legal and business consulting professions that increasingly need scientific expertise to solve challenging problems. ChemInsight published its first 2008 Nationwide Directory of Scientific Experts in late 2007, which was mailed to over 80,000 firms engaged in legal, business consulting and forensic accounting services in United States.

Through an Affinity Agreement with Bank of America, the ACS Member Insurance program will begin offering its members a new checking/savings/debit card program in 2008. We were also able to add an interest rate guarantee for Certificates of Deposit and Money Market Accounts.

Recognizing the need for Long Term Care planning among ACS members, this insurance is now available through a partnership with Long Term Care Resources, Inc. (LTCR). LTCR employs a national network of Long-Term Care specialists who are available to work individually with members and their families to review the details of a range of product offerings. Through LTCR, members select plan features from a portfolio of comprehensive plans from numerous highly-rated insurance carriers. The Agreement with LTCR provides members with a 5% discount on Long Term Care insurance products from John Hancock, MetLife, and Prudential, all major companies in the Long Term Care market.

Introduced in 1972, the ACS Long Term Disability (LTD) plan has helped members maintain financial stability if they suffered a disability that prevented them from continuing to work. In an effort to better serve members, this insurance may now be continued until age 70. Although the amount of coverage decreases after age 65, it is anticipated that this enhancement will be of interest to members who have found that they must continue working beyond age 65 and younger members, many of whom do not expect to retire at age 65.

The ACS Development Office raised more than $2 million in support of a number of high priority projects aimed at ensuring the future of the chemistry enterprise. These donations came from individual members, foundations, and corporations. New funding was secured to expand Project SEED to the following cities: Milwaukee and St. Louis, from Sigma-Aldrich; Austin and Minneapolis, from 3M Foundation; and Houston, from Bayer Foundation. The ACS Scholars Program brought in new corporate donors from a joint appeal with the American Chemistry Council, including Lubrizol Corporation, Solvay North America, Nalco Foundation, Johnson Matthey Inc., and Sasol North America. New grants for green chemistry education and outreach were received from ExxonMobil and Argosy Foundation to support the ACS GCI Summer School on Sustainability. New grants for Teacher Professional Development include Interdisciplinary Middle School Science Teacher Workshops, from Dow Corning; High School Teachers' Green Chemistry Workshops, from Bayer Foundation; and New Undergraduate Faculty Workshop, from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Behind the scenes of these accomplishments (and more) is a dedicated staff in Administration, Human Resources, and Information Technology. I would be remiss if I did not mention some of the accomplishments of these "unsung heroes" who make everything run smoothly.

Thanks to ACS staff in Administrative & Customer Service, if you come to Washington, D.C., you will notice that Marvel Hall has been expanded to provide much needed additional meeting space. The audio visual systems were also upgraded to better support staff and Board meetings and events and to provide teleconferencing capabilities. To ensure critical business functions will continue to operate during emergencies, ACS Business Recovery Plans for all ACS Washington business functions were re-evaluated and updated during 2007. The plans provide critical business information, processes and contacts, are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection and are backed up in 6 different locations throughout the country.

Several important records retention objectives were accomplished in 2007. Key staff members with records retention responsibilities were identified for each department and received training on the requirements of the ACS Records Retention Policy.  Periodic policy compliance reviews were conducted, as scheduled, in two major departments. The in-house document imaging system was expanded to a number of departments to reduce filing costs and facilitate access to records.

Major improvements were made to the ACS contracting process during 2007 to protect ACS in the growing number of goods and services contracts being executed by various departments. New tracking processes were implemented and training on contracting procedures was conducted for a number of ACS departments.

In 2007, the Chief Information Officer and Washington IT worked with many parts of the ACS organization to improve the way technology helps ACS pursue its objectives. A major activity was in support of the new website. This website includes a user centric design, new information architecture, and the replacement of all aging underlying systems with new technology deployed in a redundant manner intended to make the ACS web site more resilient and highly available.

ACS made investments in technology intended to promote the efficient work of the ACS Committee on Professional Training by replacing the annual reporting system. ACS continued to invest in a new membership system.  This new system will replace an aging system for which it becomes increasingly difficult each year to obtain support.  In addition this system will improve the capability of ACS members to manage their own demographic information should they choose.

In 2007, anticipating a 2008 release, Washington IT staff members worked with their colleagues at C&EN to develop and deploy a system that will allow the delivery of C&EN to subscribers from the web. This is different from the Web edition, as it includes all the same information as the printed magazine included the advertisements. This new delivery option will be limited initially to C&EN subscribers and ACS members who reside outside of North America and, as noted earlier, will eliminate a mailing surcharge of $58 to these subscribers.

Ensuring that ACS is able to reuse the high quality articles published in ACS journals is a high priority. A fundamental requirement in order to accomplish this is to ensure that the Journal article and the associated information (metadata) are captured in a manner that permits or even facilitates reuse. In 2007, 22 of the ACS journals were produced using XML.

Authors, editors, and reviewers spend a lot of energy submitting articles for publication and they work through the peer review or manuscript processing. It is important that these critical contributors have solid technology to work with in support of the ACS journals program. In 2007, ACS began investing in a system, Paragon Plus, which will serve the diverse interests of these groups—helping to accept, assign, and review article submissions.

To better serve the information needs of ACS constituents, the Publications Division launched two new Journals in 2007. This includes the Journal of Physical Chemistry — Part C and ACS Nano. ACS Nanotation was also launched. Its goal is to be the premiere destination for nanoscience and nanotechnology news, highlights, and community.

The associated technology to support these new journals and ACS Nanotation was deployed in 2007. This includes the manuscript processing, production, and delivery systems.

The Yellow Book is the ACS Directory of National Officers, Directors, Councilors, Committees, Local Section Officers and Division Officers. The technology used to produce this directory was replaced in 2007. The technology required to support the ACS new venture, ChemInsightTM, was deployed early in 2007.

Finally, ACS Human Resources ensured that ACS has the necessary talent to provide its members with the programs, products, and services they have come to expect. In 2007, the unit also oversaw the implementation of a new retirement plan known as the ACS Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (DCRP). Existing employees were given the choice of staying in their existing defined benefit plan or switching to the new plan; new employees hired after September 1, 2007, joined the DCRP. The new plan ensures adequate retirement benefits for ACS employees and provides the Society with greater certainty regarding the future cost of delivering these benefits. The office also increased training opportunities for all ACS employees to ensure they have the skill sets they need in an increasingly changing technological and global environment.

In closing, thank you for reading this lengthy report. If you have any questions, please write to me at executivedirector@acs.org, or see me in New Orleans on the Council floor. As I wrote this report, I was impressed with how much we've accomplished together. So much more lies ahead in 2008. I'll be talking about some of the most important priorities for this year during my oral report in New Orleans. As always, I look forward to talking with you.

 

Views expressed on this page are those of the author and not necessarily those of ACS.

 
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ISSN 0009-2347
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