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ACS: Your Professional Home For Life

by Madeleine Jacobs
October 10, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 41

Madeleine Jacobs, ACS Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer
Credit: Peter Cutts Photography
Madeleine Jacobs
Credit: Peter Cutts Photography

In this challenging economy, the American Chemical Society is committed to increasing the value of your membership. In the next few weeks, many of you will be receiving dues renewal notices. Now, more than ever, ACS is here to support you—whether you are a student, a young scientist embarking on your career, a midcareer scientist, a scientist in transition, or a revered emeritus member. ACS is your professional home at every stage of your career and your life.

I would like to share with you the reasons why your investment in ACS brings you invaluable returns.

Let me start with ACS career and professional education programs. Nearly every person knows someone who is unemployed or underemployed. ACS has had a large suite of career services for its members for many years—the largest and most comprehensive of any scientific society. This year, we created new programs to assist unemployed members and new career resources for all members. One of those new initiatives was showcased at the ACS national meeting in Denver: the first fully integrated on-site and virtual career fair, which offered job seekers and virtual participants via webcam the opportunity to interact with each other, connect with prospective employers, and sharpen their career skills. ACS also features career fairs and workshops at its regional meetings.

ACS members have exclusive access to ACS career consultants for advice, C&EN employment ads/postings for two weeks, and ACS Leadership Development courses. ACS members receive advance notice about weekly ACS webinars featuring experts in career and professional development and technical topics. The ACS Professional Education program offers member discounts and, in 2012, free online courses and free short courses for unemployed ACS members in good standing. For more information about creative ways ACS is helping members’ careers, please see ACS President Nancy B. Jackson’s ACS Comment “Paying It Forward on Jobs: Members Helping Members” (C&EN, Aug. 8, page 52).

ACS is also focusing its attention on creating jobs. Most job growth in the U.S. is now coming from small companies and start-ups. In Denver, ACS released the report from the ACS Task Force on Innovation that was appointed by Immediate Past-President Joseph S. Francisco to develop recommendations on how ACS can help create U.S.-based jobs for chemists by increasing opportunities for entrepreneurs. The report titled “Innovation, Chemistry, and Jobs” is available at One of those recommendations has been funded by the ACS Board of Directors for a two-year pilot program to train and serve entrepreneurs. Beginning in January 2012, ACS members will have exclusive access to valuable training and access to a newly created ACS Entrepreneurial Resources Center that will provide essential services for creating, launching, and growing start-ups.

We have other major new member benefits for 2012. One of the most exciting is Universal Member Access—free access to 25 articles or book chapters of your choice from the 41 ACS journals, ACS Symposium Series, and C&EN Archives. Together, they comprise more than 1 million articles and book chapters—providing an unparalleled range of peer-reviewed scientific literature. Members will be able to search and browse all ACS journals, books, and C&EN Archives, and members who want additional article downloads will have low-cost and discounted purchase options. Individual Web journals are available at exceptional value, only $85 a journal per year.

A subscription to the world’s leading chemical newsmagazine, C&EN, delivered in print or electronically, is a benefit of ACS membership, and all members have free access to C&EN Online ( All members also now have free access to complete issues of C&EN on the C&EN Mobile app for smartphones and tablets (more information is available at

Members also receive substantial registration discounts to the two national meetings and all regional meetings, thus providing access to a global network of thought-leading, resourceful colleagues and their shared wisdom. Beginning with the spring 2012 ACS San Diego national meeting, online access to approximately 500 recorded presentations will be free to members who attend the meeting; members who cannot attend the national meetings will receive a 75% discount compared to nonmembers.

These are just a few of the direct returns to you from your investment in ACS. In addition to these benefits of membership, I often hear from our members that they are proud that ACS provides scholarships to high school and college students, and to aspiring or current high school chemistry teachers. They are proud that ACS is the collective voice of the chemistry practitioner, advancing our profession’s concerns at the global, national, state, and local levels. They are proud that ACS is the leader in green chemistry and engineering through the ACS Green Chemistry Institute. And they are proud that ACS is the recognized leader in promoting the value and usefulness of chemistry to the general public.

The easiest way to renew your membership is online. But if you have questions about your dues renewal, please call Member Services, where dedicated, long-serving ACS staff will assist you with your questions. You may contact them at (800) 333-9511 or send an e-mail to

I hope you agree that your investment in ACS will bring ongoing returns by helping you become an even better informed chemistry practitioner and an effective leader in your workplace. I look forward to signing your membership card for 2012!

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



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