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ACS News

Join The ACS Strategy Conversation

by Bonnie A. Charpentier
August 1, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 31


“Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.”Bertolt Brecht


Bonnie A. Charpentier, Chair, Board of Directors
Credit: Kathleen Dylan
Bonnie A. Charpenteir, Chair, Board of Directors
Credit: Kathleen Dylan

In 2008, the American Chemical Society Board of Directors, with a great deal of input from and collaboration with other members, developed a strategic plan that has guided the society well. The strategic plan helped focus efforts throughout the society and helped ensure those efforts were aimed at areas we collectively agreed were most important. Over the past several years, our strategy has led ACS to provide the information resources chemists need, grow global communities, address global challenges, celebrate the International Year of Chemistry, and shine a spotlight on the value our science holds for the public and policymakers.

Worldwide, the practice of chemistry is changing. Emerging trends from within the chemistry enterprise and external to it are affecting us. The ACS strategic direction, therefore, must adjust to continue to serve our members and our science in the face of the unfolding reality. The ACS Board of Directors and I ask for your assistance as we embark on the development of the ACS Strategic Plan for 2012 & Beyond.

The ACS strategic plan provides the blueprint for everything we do; it’s our road map for making a difference. It is therefore crucial that the plan remain current. Since its establishment, the plan has been reviewed and updated annually. Changes within the global chemistry enterprise now suggest the need for a thorough reevaluation of our goals and objectives. This process is vital every few years in order to remain relevant and focused on the issues that will most significantly impact chemists and chemistry.

The strategic Plan for 2012 & Beyond, therefore, is being developed from the ground up, without being bound to earlier plans. It will consist of no more than six goals along with supporting objectives. It is important to note that the ACS vision, “Improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry,” and mission, “To advance the broader chemical enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people,” will remain unchanged, as they provide the unwavering foundation for our strategy.

We are asking for your help in considering the world of chemistry, seeking to develop goals that will position chemists to better address the world’s pressing challenges. What challenges or opportunities do you see affecting the lives of chemists and the practice of chemistry that should be addressed by ACS? How do you think ACS should prepare and assist its members to excel in this era of rapid change, globalization, and increasingly urgent science-based challenges? What are the most important priorities for your society to establish for the next several years?

Please share your thoughts and ideas with us. A discussion forum about ACS strategic priorities has been established on the ACS Network at

I ask that you take a moment to comment there, or e-mail The ACS Board of Directors and I look forward to hearing from you at any time, though your input would be greatly appreciated by Sept. 9 so that it can aid our decision making for this major strategic focus.

Together, we will identify a great path for the future of the American Chemical Society.

Views expressed on this page are those of the author and not necessarily those of ACS.


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