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ACS News

ACS Joins Japan’s Relief Effort

by Linda Wang
August 1, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 31

In a show of solidarity with Japan and its chemical society, the American Chemical Society is helping to facilitate donations to the East Japan Earthquake Victim Support Project. The Chemical Society of Japan established the project to support the country’s next generation in the fields of chemistry and related sciences by providing both short- and long-term assistance to children and students, says Nobuyuki Kawashima, executive director and secretary general of the Chemical Society of Japan.

ACS has set up a website where members can make tax-deductible monetary donations to the project. Donations will be accepted through the end of 2011.

Credit: Newscom
Students walk though earthquake-affected areas.
High school students walk past debris from the earthquake.
Credit: Newscom
Students walk though earthquake-affected areas.

“From the very beginning, we were all very much affected by this tragedy,” says ACS Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Madeleine Jacobs. “The ACS has a long-standing history with Japan and with the Chemical Society of Japan.” Japan has more than 4,400 ACS members, the largest number of members for a country outside of the U.S.

When the earthquake and associated tsunami struck on March 11 (C&EN, March 21, page 8), Jacobs sent a letter to Kawashima expressing her deep concern and sympathies on behalf of ACS and ACS’s commitment to help Japan in its effort to rebuild.

“This disaster reminds all of us of the importance of working together to support each other,” Jacobs wrote. “All of us here at the American Chemical Society are joined in support and solidarity for those who are suffering. Please know that your friends at the American Chemical Society are sincerely concerned with this and are ready to provide any assistance you may need.” On March 30, the ACS Board of Directors and ACS Council passed a resolution supporting ACS’s colleagues, friends, and members in Japan.

“The fact that ACS, a leading learned society in the world and longtime friend of the Chemical Society of Japan, showed this commitment reminds us of the strong bond in chemistry at the global level,” Kawashima says.

ACS has been in touch with the affected universities and scientists in the devastated area, Jacobs notes. “There were some temporary disruptions at those universities, but most of them, to the best of our knowledge, are back in business now,” she says. “It’s really now at the village and the town level that the need is the greatest.”

Jacobs says that the effort to help Japan is consistent with ACS’s response to domestic tragedies, such as Hurricane Katrina. “We learned from Katrina the kind of response that is appropriate for us in these kinds of disasters,” she says.

“We hope that whatever support our members are able to give to the East Japan Earthquake Victim Support Project will help make it a success,” Jacobs continues. “It’s our small contribution to the rebuilding.”

For more information, or to make a donation, visit



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