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Benefits of ACS Membership

June 29, 2009 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 87, Issue 26

This letter is directed to Bryan Marten, a public school chemistry teacher, on behalf—I feel quite certain—of all 50-year ACS members and many other “seniors,” perhaps especially those who have retired from academic positions (C&EN, April 13, page 2).

You don’t believe you are able to muster up $145 over a one-year period to remain a member? That your former industrial employer covered your annual membership fee while you were being “paid well” was a generous gesture—but, more important, it was a statement by that employer that membership in ACS is important.

You say there are few advantages to membership aside from C&EN and a discounted subscription to the Journal of Chemical Education. What about attending national meetings where hundreds of chemical educators convene to hear papers and exchange ideas? What about getting involved with Project SEED?

If you believe national meetings are prohibitively costly, consider regional meetings. ACS is your professional society; one of its missions is to serve you as a teacher of future chemists. One might equate the $145 to a number of lattes or hamburgers. Instead, consider what it was like in the 1950s to manage paying annual dues when academic salaries hovered around $5,000 per year and those in industry were around $7,000. We hung in there by making hard choices, and I hope you and others with your perspective will reconsider.

Paul R. Jones
Ann Arbor, Mich.


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