For Director-At-Large: Howard M. Peters | September 7, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 36 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 36 | pp. 87-88
Issue Date: September 7, 2009

For Director-At-Large: Howard M. Peters

Department: ACS News
Keywords: American Chemical Society, candidates, Election Statements

Howard M. Peters

Santa Clara Valley Section. Peters Verny, Palo Alto, Calif. (retired)

Born: 1940

Academic record: Geneva College, B.S., 1962 (magna cum laude); Stanford University, Ph.D., 1967; Santa Clara University, J.D., 1978 (law)

Honors: Harry & Carol Mosher Award (joint with Sally Peters), ACS Santa Clara Valley Section, 2009; Recognition for Diversity Activities, ACS Board of Directors, 2009; ACS Council Recognition For 30 Years' Service, 2008; Henry Hill Award, ACS Division of Professional Relations, 2007; Shirley B. Radding Award, ACS Santa Clara Valley Section, 1997; Middlekauff Distinguished Service Award, ACS Division of Chemistry & the Law, 1992; Ottenberg Award, ACS Santa Clara Valley Section, 1984; fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2006; Geneva College Life "G" Award, 2008; Geneva Alumni Service Award (joint with Sally Peters), 1997; Syntex Corp. Achievement Award, 1982

Professional positions (for past 10 years): Peters Verny (Jones, Biksa, Schmidt & Aston), chemical patent attorney, 2007, founding partner and patent attorney, 1996–2007

Service in ACS national offices: Director-at-large, 2005–07; councilor ex officio, 2005–07; Council Policy Committee (voting), 2004–06, 2000–02; Committee on Nominations & Elections, 1996–98; Committee on Grants & Awards, 2005–07; Committee on Professional & Member Relations, 2006; Committee on Committees, 2009–11, 1991–96; Committee on Patents & Related Matters, 1998–2004, 1981–89, committee associate, 1980, consultant, 1990–92; Committee on Minority Affairs, consultant, 1998–2004; Committee on Constitution & Bylaws, 1993, committee associate, 1990; Committee on Meetings & Expositions, 1979–82, committee associate, 1978

Service in ACS offices: Member of ACS since 1963. Santa Clara Valley Section: councilor, 2008–11, 1977–82; alternate councilor, 1983–85, 1976; chair, 1996, 1986; chair-elect and program chair, 1995, 1985; Harry & Carol Mosher Award Committee, chair, 2003–04, 1982–85. Division of Chemistry & the Law: councilor, 1985–2004; chair, 1993; chair-elect, 1992; cofounder, 1979; Committee on Minority Affairs, 1997–2004. Division of Chemical Information: Chemistry & the Law Subdivision, chair, 1980–85

Member: Society for the Advancement of Chicanos & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), State Bar of California. ACS Divisions: Chemical Education, Chemical Technicians, Chemistry & the Law, History of Chemistry, and Professional Relations

Related activities: Santa Clara University, Law School, Lawyers Who Lead and Board of Visitors, 2007–09; Phillips, Moore, Lempio & Finley, partner and patent attorney, 1985–96; Syntex Corp., patent attorney, 1980–84; SRI International, research chemist/project leader, 1969–78; Dow Chemical, research chemist, 1966–69; Cunard's Queen Mary 2, invited scientist/author lecturer, 2008; technical and legal presentations at national, regional, and local meetings; Sci-Mix symposia; ACS monograph, "Understanding Chemical Patents," 2nd ed., editor, 1991; Intel International Science & Engineering Fair, invited chemistry judge, 2001–09; coinventor with seven patents; author of more than 10 journal and monograph publications; hundreds of U.S. and foreign patent applications written, filed, or prosecuted


Peters' Statement


It is an honor to be nominated for election to the ACS Board of Directors. An ACS director-at-large represents you, the councilors, and all ACS members on the board. To do this job well, one must understand the work, history, and thinking of the council. My background as a chemist, attorney, and board member—with 30 years of service as councilor, active committee member, and leader in both a large local section and division—has prepared me well. I bring a broad scientific and legal experience and expertise to the decision-making processes of the board.

In the past 18 months, all parts of the global society and ACS have been affected by this economic downturn. The following are some of the issues I plan to address—with straight talk—if elected as your director-at-large:


To me, transparency means a timely disclosure to the board and council of the following:

  • Executive compensation/benefits/perks
  • Annual IRS 990 filings/forms for ACS
  • Reasons for aborting successful programs
  • Discussions concerning publication issues
  • Pending litigation matters


  • Increasing communication at all levels
  • Supporting the goal of our publications to become the primary suppliers of chemical information for the world
  • Participating in regional meetings to make them more attractive for chemists


  • Strengthening ACS's activities in career development and transitions
  • Building strategic alliances with related national and international scientific and engineering organizations
  • Expanding programs to improve science literacy and science education in the U.S.; for example, K–12 through graduate school
  • Increasing the active involvement and representation of industrial chemists in society activities
  • Expanding ACS interaction with community colleges and four-year, non-Ph.D.-granting colleges and universities


  • Increasing the efforts of ACS to attract women and underrepresented minority groups with new and expanded activities
  • Continuing to attract members to ACS by strengthening local sections, supporting Kidventions and Kids & Chemistry, and involving and encouraging elementary, middle, and high school science teachers
  • Increasing ACS's presence, as well as personal and financial involvement, in local, state, and international science and engineering fairs

Why elect me to undertake these activities?

Because I have demonstrated these commitments all my professional life. Within ACS, I have been elected to and served on the Committee on Committees, the Committee on Nominations & Elections, and the Council Policy Committee. I twice chaired a large local section, cofounded and chaired an active ACS division (Chemistry & the Law), and served as a local section councilor and as a divisional councilor for more than 30 years. For more information about my activities and those of ACS, go to

For more than 15 years, I have been active in ACS programs to increase K–12 science and diversity understanding and participation in our science. These efforts include science fairs, Kidventions, and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). I have served as an invited chemistry judge for the annual Intel International Science & Engineering Fairs (2001–09) and assisted in organizing the annual ACS Chemistry Olympiad in Silicon Valley.

If you want to see diversity in practice, serve as a science-fair judge, support our ACS Chemistry Olympiad and our Kids in Chemistry.

After earning my Ph.D. from Stanford University, I worked for 12 years in chemical research in industry. I then decided to serve our science more broadly by attending law school and becoming a chemical patent attorney. I facilitated the research of chemists in industry and academia for 30 years and interacted constantly with government entities. And I have gained a broad perspective of our science and our society. Should you elect me to the board again, I will work actively to advance our society, our profession, and those professionals who perform every day to improve the lives of citizens through chemistry.

A great strength of ACS is the diversity of its more than 155,000 members. Each of us brings our special talents to the profession. Diversity includes diversity within our professional pursuits. It is important to be broadly inclusive as we work in harmony to advance chemistry as the central science and to improve the well-being of our individual members. I can and will continue to work cooperatively with the board, the staff, and with you, my fellow councilors, to accomplish these goals.

For me


Councilors, I ask for one of your votes.


ACS Elections: Candidates' Election Statements And Backgrounds


Election Statements

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © American Chemical Society

Leave A Comment

*Required to comment