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ACS-GDCh Alliance

American and German Chemical Society agree to undertake joint activities to communicate chemistry’s value

by Madeleine Jacobs, ACS Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer
September 20, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 38

Credit: Linda Wang/C&EN
Francisco (left) signs the MOU as Dröscher (center) and Charpentier look on.
Credit: Linda Wang/C&EN
Francisco (left) signs the MOU as Dröscher (center) and Charpentier look on.

The American Chemical Society and the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (the German Chemical Society, GDCh) have signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to carry out joint activities focused on communicating the value of chemistry to the general public and the role chemistry plays in addressing global challenges. Other aspects of the strategic collaboration alliance will identify additional activities and services that could be mutually beneficial to both ACS and GDCh members, in keeping with both organizations’ strategic goals.

ACS President Joseph S. Francisco, ACS Board Chair Bonnie A. Charpentier, and GDCh President Michael Dröscher provided three of the needed signatures on the MOU at the open meeting of the ACS Board of Directors on Aug. 22 at the ACS national meeting in Boston. The last two signatures making the collaboration official were affixed during the 3rd Congress of the European Association for Chemical & Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS) in Nurnberg, Germany, on Sept. 1 by GDCh Executive Director Wolfram Koch and myself in conjunction with the GDCh General Assembly. Francisco and Dröscher were also present at the signing in Germany.

ACS and GDCh have a long history of working together successfully on a wide variety of mutually beneficial programs. The MOU expands these many successful activities in new directions. While the ACS delegation—which included Francisco G. Gomez from the ACS Office of International Activities—was in Nurnberg, it began to outline those activities and assign staff to work on carrying them forward. The MOU will advance the global chemistry enterprise in general and enhance opportunities for both societies’ respective members in particular.

Among the activities planned under the MOU are the following:

■ Continuation of efforts to secure external funding and organize joint activities in support of the Chemical Sciences & Society Symposium (CS3), the International Research Experiences for Undergraduates project, and the Transatlantic Frontiers of Chemistry; as well as the Young Chemists Exchange Program, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in Boston. The CS3 project brings together chemical societies and funding agencies from Japan, the U.K., Germany, the U.S., and China to partner on issues of global importance. The first meeting, in 2009, was held in Germany on sunlight to power the world; the 2010 meeting took place earlier this month in the U.K. on the theme of sustainable materials; and the 2011 meeting is scheduled for China on the theme of chemistry for a better environment.
■ Development of joint face-to-face and Web-based activities, events, and programs to enhance the public image of chemistry in the U.S., Germany, and the rest of Europe, including an action plan for the creation of a legislator education and exchange program.
■ Resource sharing of secondary-level green chemistry educational materials.
■ Promotion of career opportunities for chemists and chemical engineers in the U.S. and Germany.
■ Provision of ACS and GDCh short-course registrations at member rates.
■ Development of a pilot green chemistry summer school for U.S. and German chemistry graduate students and/or participation of German students in the existing ACS Summer School program in place with Latin American nations.
■ Development of an action plan for joint contributions to the 2011 International Year of Chemistry and beyond.
■ Establishment of links to each other’s websites to help catalyze ACS and GDCh member research collaboration, coauthorship, funding proposal development, recognition, national meeting content provision, resources for outreach, and educational exchange.

ACS and GDCh intend to continue this cooperation in the years 2013 and following and will enter into corresponding negotiations at the appropriate time. The societies intend, in particular, to extend mutually beneficial services to ACS and GDCh members, including, for example, provision of ACS and GDCh meeting and conference registrations at member rates.

“This MOU opens a new chapter in the close and excellent relationship between ACS and GDCh,” Koch says. “We do have bilateral agreements with a number of our European sister societies; now we extend this to our best and most important partner outside of Europe, the ACS. While our members will benefit from the tangible advantages of the agreement, the impetus it will provide for the global cooperation for the benefit of chemistry is just as important. My staff and I look very much forward to working with our colleagues from the ACS to implement the planned activities.”

The latest collaboration alliance agreement with GDCh brings the number of such agreements with sister organizations to four. ACS has signed similar agreements with the Society of Chemical Industry, the Royal Society of Chemistry (C&EN, Aug. 16, page 13), and most recently with the Chinese Chemical Society (C&EN, July 5, 2010, page 69). Each of these alliance agreements builds on existing relationships that are part of the cornerstone of ensuring that ACS addresses global challenges by working with its counterparts around the world.



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