Issue Date: April 1, 2011
Chemists Gather In The Golden State
California sunshine and the attractions of Disneyland combined with cutting-edge science and the opportunity to meet up with fellow chemists to draw more than 13,900 registrants to Anaheim this week for the 241st American Chemical Society national meeting.
Attendees presented more than 9,400 papers in oral and poster sessions. Some 1,100 exhibitors representing 267 companies had participated in the exposition as of C&EN’s press time. And the ACS Career Fair hosted 795 job seekers and 39 employers, who posted 182 available positions.
Many presentations related to the meeting’s theme of “The Chemistry of Natural Resources,” whereas others delved into topics as diverse as the identification of organic dyes in oil paintings, trends in patent law, and chemists’ efforts to help Hollywood get the science right in TV shows and movies.
Virgil Percec, professor of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, presented the inaugural Kavli Foundation Innovations in Chemistry Lecture. He described the bioinspired synthesis of complex molecular systems; this process could prove applicable in areas such as targeted drug delivery, detection of disease, and cosmetics.
Other events at the meeting included the Asia America Chemical Symposium, cosponsored with the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies (FACS); a symposium and reception celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ACS journal Biochemistry; and a reception honoring the 75th anniversary of the Committee on Professional Training.
At its open meeting, the ACS Board of Directors welcomed representatives from several other chemical societies. Among them was Royal Society of Chemistry President David Phillips, who noted that RSC has selected its first female president-elect, Lesley Yellowlees, a University of Edinburgh chemistry professor.
Also during the board meeting, representatives of ACS and FACS signed a three-year memorandum of understanding to advance shared interests in engaging the Asian and U.S. chemical communities in collaborations, research, education, and meetings (C&EN, March 21, page 56). A second signing will take place during the 14th Asian Chemical Congress in Bangkok on Sept. 5–8.
The ACS Committee on Budget & Finance met to review the society’s financial performance. Revenues for 2010 totaled $463.7 million, while net contribution from operations reached a record $23.8 million, or $11.9 million more than had been budgeted. The strong showing resulted largely from cost-containment initiatives and lower-than-budgeted salaries and fringe benefits. The society ended the year in compliance with four of its five board-established financial guidelines. Reserve adequacy, although improved from the prior year, remained significantly below its intended target.
Among other business, the ACS Council met to select candidates for major society offices, including the office of ACS president-elect for 2012. After hearing brief presentations from the four nominees for president-elect, the councilors selected Dennis Chamot, associate executive director of the National Research Council’s Division on Engineering & Physical Sciences, in Washington, D.C., and Marinda Li Wu, founder and president of Science is Fun!, in Orinda, Calif., to stand for election this fall.
The council also approved the formation of two new international chemical sciences chapters, one for the Shanghai region and one for Thailand, and approved ACS dues of $148 for 2012. The council voted to retain the current formula that determines how a 9% share of dues is allocated to the ACS technical divisions. A petition intended to clarify regulations governing the development of ACS position statements was presented but will not come up for a vote until the fall council meeting.
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