The major actions taken by the ACS Board and Council during the fall national meeting—which was held in Denver on Aug. 28–Sept. 1, 2011—were previously reported in C&EN (Sept. 5, page 11). Committee reports appear below.
The Society Committee on Budget & Finance (B&F) met on Aug. 27, to review the American Chemical Society’s probable financial results for 2011. ACS is projected to end the year with a net contribution from operations of $18.3 million, or $5.0 million favorable to the 2011 approved budget. With the exception of the fund balance ratio, a measure of reserve adequacy, the society is projected to end the year in compliance with the ACS board-established financial guidelines.
The committee received a report from the B&F Subcommittee on Committee Budgets. The subcommittee reported on several improvements related to the committee budgeting process that will be implemented with the 2012 budget cycle. The improvements are intended to achieve more uniformity across governance committees, encourage policies that achieve improved fiscal restraint, and enhance transparency of governance budgets to key stakeholders.
After receiving a report from the B&F Subcommittee on Program Funding Requests describing the subcommittee’s evaluation of four program funding reauthorization requests, the committee recommended continuation of the ACS Fellows Program; ACS Leadership Program; ACS Scholars Program; and the ACS Global Research Experiences, Exchanges & Training Program. In addition to the four reauthorization requests, the committee reviewed a new program funding request for the ACS Entrepreneurship Initiative and recommended funding for 2012–13.
Finally, the committee received a report from the Program Review Advisory Group on 2011 activities which included a review of society programs in two areas: Chemistry Pipeline and Professional Preparation/Technical Training.—Pat N. Confalone, Chair
The Society Committee on Education (SOCED) voted to renew the evolution and computer simulations statements with minor edits; it also approved changes to the statement on visas. The committee strongly encouraged the ACS Education Division to prepare and submit a proposal to the National Science Foundation for support of a Chemistry Teacher Education Coalition initiative, which is designed to engage chemistry departments in preparing future chemistry teachers. SOCED voted to expand the ACS Student Chapter Community Interaction Grant to include projects targeting economically disadvantaged students in schools with U.S. Department of Education Title 1 status. The committee discussed safety issues in the academic laboratory, considering options for better sharing of safety resources with students. SOCED will continue to work with the Committee on Chemical Safety to promote a culture of safety within academic laboratories. The committee received an update on preparations for the 44th International Chemistry Olympiad, which will be hosted by the U.S. in 2012. The U.S. team earned two gold and two silver medals in July at the 43rd International Chemistry Olympiad in Ankara, Turkey.—Mary K. Carroll, Chair
The ACS Board Committee on Grants & Awards met virtually on Aug. 22. The Subcommittee on Nominations & Selections is forming a joint “Action Group” with the American Physical Society to coordinate the nomination pool for the Irving Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics. The subcommittee has also reviewed the new online nomination system, which launched July 1 in conjunction with the 2013 call for nominations.
The ACS Fellows Oversight Committee reported that 213 Fellows were selected for the 2011 program (from 288 nominees). Future initiatives include the exploration of an online nomination system and encouragement of more participation from industry, non-U.S., and underrepresented members.
The ACS AWIS/AWARDS Action Group has agreed to use the term “implicit associations” in award descriptions instead of “implicit bias,” per the recommendations from AWIS. The Action Group has also reviewed the purpose and eligibility statements—specifically, the age and nationality/citizenship requirements—for each of the ACS national awards.
The Awards Review Committee (ARC) has sent correspondence to 12 ACS technical divisions, providing feedback to the divisions regarding the results of the 2011 ARC review process.
The inaugural AkzoNobel USA Science Award will be made in April 2013; the call for nominations will be made prior to February 2012. The inaugural award will be presented during the 2013 ACS spring national meeting and then presented again during an AkzoNobel event at a venue and date to be determined.
Staff reported that the Division of Physical Chemistry has agreed to take the lead in submitting a nomination for the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award. Also, the Division of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry has agreed to cosponsor the ACS Award in Industrial Chemistry with the Division of Business Development & Management.
Staff reported that the Office of Public Affairs will develop five Prized Science videos in 2011, drawn from the list of 2011 award recipients and selected for research that could best illustrate how the science behind ACS awards connects with and improves everyday life. The series was launched in September on iTunes, YouTube, ACS.org, and other websites.
The committee voted to send letters to all ACS committees that identify nominees for external awards, indicating the importance of a diverse nominee pool for those awards.
Staff reported that four new members of the ACS Petroleum Research Fund Advisory Board have been identified and that as of July 29, the corpus of the fund was $467.3 million.
The Task Force on Innovation has requested that the committee consider ways to recognize entrepreneurs publicly, to increase their visibility and enhance their opportunities for success. A small working group will be identified to develop criteria for a new national award to recognize entrepreneurs, including representation from the Division of Small Chemical Businesses, and perhaps a few entrepreneurs.
The committee voted to change the eligibility statement for the James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry to the Public to include “online media.”—Kent J. Voorhees, Chair
The Board Committee on Professional & Member Relations (P&MR) held a virtual meeting on Aug. 19. The chair informed the committee of recent ACS approval of a nominal cosponsorship request by the American Meteorological Society.
The Subcommittee on International Strategy briefed the committee on recent actions to draft guidelines for P&MR to use in deciding whether ACS should seek to influence cases involving scientific freedom and human rights. Draft guidelines were developed for committee consideration, and the committee voted to recommend to the ACS Board approval of the five draft guidelines as proposed.
The Subcommittee on Web Strategy & Innovation briefed the committee on efforts to determine a sound pricing model for a 2012 test of the willingness of members and other scientists to pay for online presentations of ACS national meeting content. Two proposed options were presented to the committee, and the committee voted to approve the option that would provide free access for ACS member meeting registrants, a preferred rate for ACS members who did not attend the meeting, and notably higher prices for nonmembers—particularly nonmembers who did not attend. This structure will be used for a pilot effort during the 2012 San Diego and Philadelphia national meetings.
The Subcommittee on Professional Advancement updated the committee about the chemistry workforce initiative, including efforts to inform students and job seekers about nontraditional pathways and job openings, encourage members to help other members find jobs (including a series of C&EN comments and a new forum on the ACS Network), and create geographically-based “job clubs.” Staff also updated the committee on recent efforts to enhance ACS business-skill and leadership training for members.—Peter K. Dorhout, Chair
The Board Standing Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations (PA&PR) met virtually on Aug. 16.
The chair provided an update on a number of issues and pending matters, and reminded committee members that the ACS Council would take action on a revised Bylaw XII at its meeting in Denver. The revised bylaw would ensure that the ACS Board had sole responsibility in issuing position statements on behalf of the society, while also ensuring other society bodies, particularly local sections, had the ability to issue statements appropriate to their jurisdictions.
Committee members received an update on the successful outcome of the Sparkle Workshop held on April 29–May 1, the second session since the program was resurrected last October. Nearly half of all local section public relations committee chairs have received Sparkle communications training.
The chair reviewed progress the committee was making in addressing its 2011 goals and enlisted the involvement of committee members in reaching out to local section chairs to help create new local section public relations and government affairs committees. The chair also outlined some ideas for new methods to contact elected officials to ensure that ACS member voices are being heard.
The testimony of ACS President Nancy B. Jackson on the National Science Foundation merit review process before a House of Representative’s subcommittee was highlighted as part of the examination of governance-related advocacy activities. The hearing sought input from the science community on how to ensure the best research was funded during a time of flat or diminishing funding levels.
The chair reminded committee members of the joint PA&PR and P&MR breakfast on Aug. 30 focused on job creation and growth in the chemical enterprise, as well as the Aug. 30 symposium on “Communicating Chemistry to the Public” followed by the 2011 Grady Stack award ceremony and reception.
PA&PR received a presentation from Office of Public Affairs (OPA) staff about funding for key federal science and research agencies. The presentation described how that funding will be impacted by the recent agreement to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and the commensurate budget cuts that will need to be made over the next several years. Staff presented details on the new 12-member House and Senate “Super Committee” tasked with finding budget cuts to accommodate the increased debt ceiling. The committee discussed steps ACS could take to exert leadership in the science community to try and achieve a level playing field for science funding in fiscal-year 2012 and beyond.
The Subcommittee on National Historic Chemical Landmarks provided an update on the steps taken to address recommendations made in its second Program Review Advisory Group (PRAG) assessment in mid-2010. The presentation focused on recent program improvements to reach the focus target—teachers and students—particularly through website enhancements and curricular efforts to increase classroom use of landmark content. Committee members offered ideas on ways to encourage nominations and other ways to gain involvement of government officials and other groups such as the media.
PA&PR received an overview on steps taken to implement the recommendations in the ACS business climate statement adopted in December 2010 and plans to publicize the recommendations in the “Innovation, Chemistry & Jobs” report issued by the ACS Task Force on Innovation in the Chemical Enterprise. Following discussion of the overview, the chair proposed that the existing jobs statement be amended to include additional recommendations made in the task force report. After discussion the committee voted to approve the amended jobs statement.
The final topic discussed by the committee was an update on communications aspects of the International Year of Chemistry 2011 including major activities, Web presence, engagement with the media, and activities by ACS members through the Chemistry Ambassador program. The IYC global water experiment is serving as a unifying activity worldwide. The committee discussed activities to promote the experiment with the National Aeronautics & Space Administration, through ACS Chemistry Clubs and the National Science Teachers Association, to drive participation this fall with the return of U.S. students to schools.—William F. Carroll, Jr., Chair
In Denver, the committee decided upon the components to be included within the ACS Strategic Plan for 2012 & Beyond when it is released in January on the Web at strategy.acs.org. Each of the key goals will be accompanied by relevant challenges and opportunities and will include descriptive text, specific objectives, and reports on progress. The committee was updated on ongoing attempts to gather member, volunteer, and stakeholder perspectives on the most important goal areas and specific outcomes to be pursued and agreed to assist in soliciting such feedback. The committee considered a slight enhancement to the description of the society’s core values in the strategic plan, agreeing that by their nature, core values do not change. A plan for completion of strategic planning activities through the remainder of 2011 was confirmed, including virtual committee meetings. The committee also reviewed its charter, contained within the Board Regulations, and plans to propose to the ACS Board changes that bring the charter more in line with current actual responsibilities and activities.—Bonnie A. Charpentier, Chair
The Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service (CCAS) met in executive session on Aug. 26 and in open session jointly with the Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications on Aug. 29. CAS management reported on a number of developments, including a milestone for the CAS Registry. Less than two years after reaching 50 million substances, the CAS Registry database passed the 60 million substance mark on May 20, 2011. The substance came from a patent application claiming compounds with potential therapeutic activity submitted to the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China. It was discovered by the Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, which is one of the key drug research institutions in China.
Committee members were pleased to learn that the latest SciFinder release incorporates performance enhancements so users will experience an average 20–30% faster response times in key areas, including answer set display and pagination, detailed displays, breadcrumb navigation, and large answer set print/export. CAS also announced that it now offers an unlimited access option for universities to use SciFinder.
CCAS continues to fulfill its responsibilities in a purposeful manner, serving as a channel for the flow of information between society members (and users of CAS services), the ACS Governing Board for Publishing, and CAS management to help assure that each party’s needs are researched, recognized, and represented. The CCAS website can be found on the ACS Member Network, where anyone can post feedback and questions for CCAS members to provide input to CAS management. The slides presented by CAS at the above-mentioned open session are available on this site.—Spiro D. Alexandratos, Chair
Devastating incidents in academic laboratories and observations by many people indicate that graduates do not have strong safety skills. These factors have elevated concerns about the safety culture in academia. Calls for changes in the academic safety educational process and in the academic safety culture are increasing. This year the Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS) launched an effort to identify ways to assist academia in strengthening and building strong safety cultures.
At the ACS national meeting in Denver, CCS joined with ACS President Jackson in a special discussion during the council meeting that focused on the ways ACS can best cultivate a culture of safety in U.S. universities and colleges. Many great insights were shared during this discussion and they focused around elements that are critical in strengthening safety culture. These included leadership, effective ways of teaching safety in undergraduate and graduate chemistry courses, a safety ethic, collaborative interactions, budgeting for safety, and promoting safety. Following the fruitful discussion at the council meeting, more comments were sent via e-mail.
All of these comments will inform the CCS Safety Culture Task Force in developing documents and resources that provide guidance on strengthening the safety culture in academia. The task force seeks to identify the best elements and best practices of a good safety culture and academic institutions that are currently using these best practices (the “bright spots”). If you are aware of specific recommendations that could be used by universities and colleges to strengthen their culture, or know of any effective tools and resources that could be beneficial in these efforts, please communicate them to
The CCS Safe Practices Subcommittee continued work on Chemical Safety Levels (CSL)/Control Banding for laboratories. This effort will result in a laboratory classification system based on the ventilation required for work conducted within a lab. This classification aims to provide adequate protection for workers while saving on the costs associated with ventilation.
CCS also participated in the ACS strategic planning process by discussing society goals and by proposing the addition of a new goal to the ACS Strategic Plan—Safety Culture: Foster the development of a safety culture in the chemical enterprise.—Laurence J. Doemeny, Chair
The Committee on Chemists with Disabilities (CWD) reported in Denver on its efforts to promote the participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities in celebrations during the International Year of Chemistry. In the U.S., campers at Easter Seals Camps across the country engaged in hands-on activities throughout the summer. CWD partnered with several internationally known schools and organizations to distribute ACS and IYC materials via these outreach networks to persons with disabilities in 44 countries. More than 10,000 people with disabilities were able to experience the transforming power of chemistry during IYC.
Also in Denver, the committee received the final report of the National Science Foundation Workshop, “Excellence Empowered by a Diverse Academic Workforce—Chemists, Chemical Engineers, and Material Scientists with Disabilities.” ACS Immediate Past-President Joseph S. Francisco and members of CWD were key participants in this workshop in 2009.
CWD is collaborating with the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board and its member entities to increase the diversity of ACS governance and candidates for national awards. CWD is also contributing to more innovative meeting programming by providing speakers at both national and regional meetings on a variety of topics and emerging issues and sharing its expertise to improve meeting accessibility for all members.
The committee also updated “Teaching Chemistry to Students with Disabilities”—which remains one of ACS’s most frequently requested publications—and produced an orientation manual for new members and allies of CWD.—Judith A. Summers-Gates, Chair
The Committee on Community Activities (CCA) presented ChemLuminary Awards to local sections that have demonstrated exemplary performance in the development and implementation of activities conducted safely in support of National Chemistry Week. These sections included Cincinnati, Cleveland, Georgia, Nashville, Richland, Pittsburgh, Santa Clara Valley, and Syracuse.
CCA and ACS President Jackson sponsored an outreach event at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on Aug. 28. More than 860 children participated in this event by working through 10 hands-on activities throughout the museum. CCA also partnered with the Committee on Local Section Activities to host a Science Café on Aug. 29, featuring a preview of the Madame Curie PBS special and an appearance by a Madame Curie historian.
National Chemistry Week was celebrated Oct. 16–22 with the theme “Chemistry–Our Health, Our Future.” Celebrating Chemistry—a free publication geared toward elementary school children—featured hands-on activities and articles and was available on the ACS website. A National Chemistry Week webinar was held on Sept. 28 to assist those who were planning celebrations.
In preparation for the 25th anniversary of National Chemistry Week, which will be held in 2012 with a theme of nanotechnology, the committee encourages all local sections to plan an event that will recognize NCW coordinators for their dedication to NCW.
The 2012 theme for Chemists Celebrate Earth Day is recycling, with a title of “Rethinking Recycling—It’s Easy to Be Green!” CCA is asking all local sections to participate in this celebration by educating their communities about the benefits of recycling.
There is still time to contribute to the PUR water initiative to assist with raising money to provide safe drinking water for people all over the world. All ACS members are asked to continue to donate to these efforts and to submit their donations to the ACS headquarters before the end of December.—Lynn Hogue, Chair
The Committee on Environmental Improvement (CEI) continued to seek ways to help ACS assume a leadership position for a sustainable chemical enterprise. CEI recommended incorporation of sustainability within the proposed revisions to the ACS strategic plan. The committee accepted continued responsibility for the maintenance of the ACS Web presence in sustainability, which was officially launched at the Denver national meeting and planned for an expanded role to enhance sustainability within ACS.
CEI notes with pleasure the continued efforts of Meetings & Expositions to make ACS national meetings more sustainable and appreciates the efforts of our members to reduce their environmental footprint during the meetings. In the area of public policy, CEI recommended continuation of policy statements on scientific integrity and on sustainability in the chemical enterprise, and continued discussion on energy policy with the Committees on Corporation Associates, Chemistry & Public Affairs, and Science.
CEI is pleased to recognize the efforts of all members of ACS as we work jointly to support the development of a sustainable chemical enterprise. The committee awarded the Permian Basin Local Section a $500 sustainability programming grant; authorized funding for a roundtable to be held in San Diego on sustainable programming at future meetings; and approved a review panel on the third annual awards for incorporation of sustainability into the chemical curriculum, which will be the subject of a Division of Chemical Education symposium in San Diego. CEI particularly congratulated the winner of the first Sustainability ChemLuminary award—the Syracuse Local Section—for its successful sustainability fair.—Martin A. Abraham, Chair
In furtherance of the ACS Constitutional provision “that the SOCIETY shall cooperate with scientists internationally and shall be concerned with the worldwide application of chemistry to the needs of humanity,” the Committee on International Activities (IAC) welcomed at its meeting in Denver the leadership of a number of partner societies and received video messages from ACS International Chapter leadership in Hong Kong, Hungary, China, and Saudi Arabia.
The committee reviewed the first draft of an IAC primer on science and human rights, designed to complement its efforts to work on scientific mobility and human rights issues.
The committee heard a report on the success of the three programs funded by ACS challenge grants at the recent International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry World Congress & General Assembly in Puerto Rico, as well as the ACS Puerto Rico Local Section-led community outreach.
On the committee’s Global Research Experiences, Exchanges & Training program (GREET), five teams were chosen for awards in 2011 with projects in Tanzania, Romania, Sweden, France, and the U.K., and a reauthorization funding request was approved by the ACS Board for GREET 2012.
Finally, IAC received reports on the ACS Chemical Sciences & Society Symposium on “Chemistry for Better Health,” which occurred in Beijing on Sept. 12–15, and from the Global Innovation Imperatives program, which has been concentrating its efforts on water quality through offerings in India, Puerto Rico, and a symposium on water quality, organized by the ACS Division of Environmental Chemistry during the ACS national meeting in Denver.—Judith L. Benham, Chair
The Committee on Minority Affairs (CMA) sponsored a request for reauthorization of the ACS Scholars program. The Board subsequently voted to approve the reauthorization of the program. To date, 1,144 ACS Scholars have earned undergraduate degrees, 535 have entered graduate degree programs, and 207 are currently in Ph.D. programs. Of those ACS Scholars that pursued graduate degrees, 92 were granted Ph.D.s. More than 170 U.S. companies employ more than 400 ACS Scholars alumni.
CMA is starting an effort to recruit and retain Project SEED graduates for membership in the society. The campaign is called Be Chemists. Project SEED students are prime candidates for membership in ACS, but often fall through the cracks when they transfer to a university or college away from home for further studies. The purpose of the Be Chemists campaign is to remind Project SEED graduates of the benefits of membership in ACS and to let them know that the society stands ready to welcome and support them as they become chemists. A website has been developed for the campaign. Please alert your Project SEED participants to the site at www.acs.org/bechemists for more information.
CMA cosponsored a symposium with the ACS Division of Professional Relations entitled “Empirical Studies on Women of Color in STEM.” The women of color program kicked off last year during the ACS national meeting in Boston with support from a National Science Foundation grant. Members of the cohort continue to support and communicate with each other between meetings.
CMA continues to identify and recommend qualified minority candidates for editorial positions with ACS journals. Most recently, the committee recommended 10 candidates for consideration as editor for Analytical Chemistry.
CMA has also been in correspondence with the Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications regarding the selection and appointment process for editorial board members. The Publications Committee is currently reviewing CMA’s suggestions to make ACS editors more aware of the effects of implicit bias in the selections process. The ACS Awards Program recently developed an implicit bias awareness program in conjunction with the Association for Women in Science. Training materials developed in this program were forwarded to the Publications Committee for evaluation and adaptation for use in training ACS journal editors.—Allison Aldridge, Chair
The Committee on Patents & Related Matters (CPRM) continues to focus on three main areas. First, CPRM provides ACS members and the general public with information about patents and other intellectual property issues. Second, the committee proposes nominations of notable inventors for external national awards recognizing the innovations and inventions of chemists. Finally, CPRM monitors legislative and regulatory developments influencing intellectual property in ways that impact the chemical enterprise.
Over the past year, CPRM has monitored pending legislative efforts to reform the patent system. This culminated with the recent passage of the America Invents Act.
CPRM has recommended nominees for the National Inventors’ Hall of Fame, the National Medal of Technology & Innovation, and the National Women’s Hall of Fame. CPRM also engages in educational outreach to help chemists and others understand the newly reformed patent system. CPRM has partnered with the ACS Division of Chemistry & the Law to provide patent-related programming at national and regional meetings. In addition, CPRM has created numerous educational materials, many of which provide guidance regarding second careers in the area of intellectual property. CPRM’s materials are available on its new website.
CPRM has developed active working relationships with many governance units and encourages others interested in working with us to contact us.—James L. Chao, Chair
At the August meeting, the Committee on Professional Training (CPT) evaluated periodic reports and updates from 38 currently approved programs, met in conference with four programs applying for ACS approval, and discussed progress and site visit reports for nine additional programs that are in the process of applying for approval. With the approval of three new schools, the total number of colleges and universities offering ACS-approved bachelor’s degree programs in chemistry is now 667.
The committee approved a supplement to the revised guidelines on undergraduate research that will soon be posted on the CPT website and continued work on revisions to supplements on preparing a research report, chemical information retrieval, and safety education. The committee anticipated releasing these supplements over the next six months.
CPT announced that the 2011 edition of the ACS Directory of Graduate Research (DGR) would be released by the end of this year. The DGR is currently available as both a hardbound print copy and as a free web-based, and fully searchable database, of North American graduate programs and faculty research in chemistry and allied areas. The committee is evaluating the DGR and considering alternative formats for the 2013 edition of this resource.
Plans are underway for a survey to examine the impacts of the 2008 ACS guidelines for approval of bachelor’s degree programs. This is a component of CPT’s multiyear plan to begin revising the ACS guidelines. As with the revisions that culminated in the 2008 guidelines, the committee hopes to make this a transparent process and welcomes input and feedback from the community.—Cynthia K. Larive, Chair
The monitoring reports for Bioconjugate Chemistry, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Langmuir, and Chemical Research in Toxicology were presented, discussed thoroughly, and accepted with thanks. Editor reappointments were reviewed and recommendations were made. In March 2012, ACS Chemical Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry of Materials, and Molecular Pharmaceutics will be monitored.
An overview of the ACS Publications Division included a report on operational objectives and other highlights, new product introductions, technology-based initiatives, and open access developments. After a dedicated 40-year career as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Philip S. Portoghese will retire from the journal at the end of 2011. Throughout the remainder of the year the journal will transition to two new editors, Gunda I. Georg and Shaomeng Wang, who will assume leadership of the journal in January 2012.
C&EN Mobile launched with the Aug. 15 issue. The free app gives all readers access on their mobile phone and tablet devices (iPhone, iPad, and Android) to C&EN Online “Latest News” stories and the 10 blogs on the CENtral Science blog network. Nonmembers can download complete issues to their mobile devices for $2.99 each. ACS members have access to complete issues as part of their member benefits, at no additional charge.
The Copyright Subcommittee discussed future programming and outreach for education about copyright, including possible participation in “ACS on Campus” and the “Publishing 101” series. The subcommittee provided feedback and suggestions about current treatment of copyright in those programs.—Kevin P. Gable, Chair
The Committee on Public Relations & Communications (CPRC) and the ACS President cosponsored a well-attended symposium, “Communicating Chemistry to the Public,” which was hosted by ACS President-Elect Bassam Z. Shakhashiri and immediately followed by a reception honoring the 2011 winner of the ACS Grady-Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public, Theodore W. Gray.
The committee initiated an update to the eligibility criteria for the Grady-Stack Award, which was approved by the Committee on Grants & Awards. Henceforth the award will include online media as a recognized communication venue.
The committee has received several inquiries this year asking whether there will be Sparkle communications training for ACS divisions. In response, CPRC is designing a survey to explore communication needs and opportunities specific to divisions, and a decision will be made based on survey findings.
Additional efforts include a white paper on social media and how committees can use it to their advantage, webinars to extend training for PR chairs, and initiation of closer ties between local section PR and government relations committees in order to enhance communication with elected officials. The committee also recommended that Chemistry Ambassadors be surveyed about what their activities are, what resources they need, and how best to recognize people not presently on the roster but clearly doing outreach.
Finally, committee members are actively promoting and assisting local teachers with the International Year of Chemistry Global Water Experiment and sharing the new link for easy data uploading: www.acs.org/water2011.—Cheryl B. Frech, Chair
At its meeting on Aug. 27, the Committee on Science (ComSci) adopted a new strategic plan, which is organized around three strategic focus areas: identifying and advancing emerging frontiers in chemical science, national science policy priorities, and recognition of scientific achievements.
Central to ComSci’s mission is catalyzing discussion among ACS divisions, committees, and external experts on emerging multidisciplinary science issues and how ACS can play a lead role in their development and advancement. Towards this goal, ComSci is organizing special Nobel Laureate and Presidential Young Investigator awardee forums at 2012 ACS national meetings.
With its new initiative on “STEM Education Pipeline to Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” ComSci also has been working to develop new platforms to better prepare chemistry graduates for 21st century careers—with emphasis on new career pathways such as technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. At the Denver national meeting, ComSci organized a successful session on “Financing your Intellectual Property for Commercialization” to educate chemical entrepreneurs on critical steps, such as intellectual property protection, business plan development, and financing options. ComSci will also hold a first-of-its-kind ACS business plan competition in San Diego next year for U.S. small chemical business startups.
ComSci’s primary initiative over the past two years, the alternative energy systems project, has focused on four scientific areas: hydrogen, solar, biofuels, and nuclear energy. Successful sessions have been held in three of these areas, and a symposium on biofuels is planned for the 2012 San Diego national meeting. ComSci has also held several sessions on the educational component of alternative energy systems. The current goal is to distill the key points from these sessions into actionable recommendations, which will culminate in a high-profile wrap-up symposium next year. ComSci is also developing a special segment on nuclear energy for an upcoming issue of the Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research journal. Finally, ComSci is working to submit a nomination to the Board for the Presidential National Medal of Science.—Sadiq Shah, Chair
At the meeting in Denver, the Women Chemists Committee (WCC) continued the celebration of the International Year of Chemistry by focusing on the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Marie Curie—an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women to science. At the Women in Industry Breakfast, WCC hosted a speaker from the Chemical Heritage Foundation who spoke on the legend of Marie Curie and her impact on modern women chemists.
In the continuing effort to attract women into the chemical sciences through several established student award programs, the committee recognized eight WCC/Eli Lilly Travel awardees and the 2011 Overcoming Challenges Award winner.
WCC has been actively pursuing opportunities to promote retention in the chemical enterprise. In an exciting initiative aimed at helping women scientists develop new professional pathways, WCC has linked with the ACS Divisions of Business Development & Management and Small Chemical Businesses, ComSci, and the National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance to form the Chemical Entrepreneurship Council (CEC), whose mission is to provide the resources and skills necessary for chemists to form sustainable businesses. CEC is developing a vision statement and plans to support chemists in gaining the skills required for translating research into commercial innovations. To highlight the importance of entrepreneurship, WCC hosted two successful women entrepreneurs at its luncheon: Kathryn Hach-Darrow and Judith C. Giordan, who shared their success stories and words of wisdom.—Judith Cohen, Chair
The Younger Chemists Committee (YCC) met in Denver on Aug. 27–28. In Denver, the committee shared preliminary results from a survey of younger ACS members that looked at the perceived benefits and opportunities within the society’s local sections and divisions. The survey, which was developed jointly by YCC, the Divisional Activities Committee (DAC), and the Local Section Activities Committee (LSAC), captured feedback from 2,464 younger ACS members.
A significant majority (72%) of respondents indicated they were members of an ACS division. However, nearly one-fifth of early career chemists said they are not a member of a division. Top reasons included increased cost, not knowing that divisional membership was in addition to ACS membership, uncertainty about the benefit of becoming a member of a division, and lack of knowledge about ACS divisions. On the basis of these findings, YCC is developing a plan to work more collaboratively with DAC to engage younger members with divisional programming and opportunities.
When asked to identify the most valuable local section or division benefits, having insiders’ information on job openings, receiving information on fellowships, and having the opportunity to network topped both local section and division lists.
The survey also asked early career chemists to name the most valuable thing ACS could do, or do better, at this point in their careers. Of the 781 responses, the most common feedback related to career advice and guidance. Other suggestions included more networking and mentoring opportunities, more training including short courses and webinars, and student or schooling advice.
YCC continues to promote increased networking opportunities for younger chemists. Through a partnership with the European Young Chemists Network, YCC and the Colorado local section are piloting a physical exchange program, with the goal of helping both U.S. and international younger chemists make connections and build professional relationships. Seven younger chemists from across the European Union were in Denver attending the YCC committee meeting, presenting technical posters, and touring local laboratories. Next year, younger members from the Colorado local section will travel to Prague and participate in the 4th European Association for Chemical & Molecular Sciences Chemistry Congress. On the basis of the favorable response to this pilot, YCC is exploring the feasibility of hosting another physical exchange program during an upcoming national meeting.—Dorothy (Dotti) Miller, Chair
The Committee on Committees (ConC) announced that its annual training session for new committee chairs will be held in Fort Worth, Texas, Jan. 20–22, 2012, as part of the ACS Leadership Institute.
ConC received reports from its subcommittees or task forces on Diversity, Leadership Development, Web Page, Senior Chemists Task Force, and Governance Pipeline. The Senior Chemists Task Force is seeking to become a new ACS committee. ConC will review this issue in detail at its next meeting.
Performance reviews for the following committees are underway: Ethics; Project SEED; Environmental Improvement; Public Relations & Communications; Chemists with Disabilities; International Activities; Nomenclature, Terminology & Symbols; Professional Training; Women Chemists; and Younger Chemists. ConC’s recommendation for the continuation of these committees will appear in the ACS Council agendas for the national meetings next year. In Denver, the council approved ConC’s recommendation, subject to concurrence of the Board of Directors, that the committees on Community Activities and Publications be continued.
ConC launched an online committee preference form prior to the Denver meeting. This new system will help to streamline the appointment process.
ConC is developing its recommendations for 2012 committee chair, member, associate, and consultant appointments for consideration by the ACS President-Elect and the chair of the board.
Finally, on behalf of the Council, ConC recognized 36 councilors who will have served the statutory limit or otherwise completed their service on ACS governance committees at the end of 2010; 11 committee chairs who will have served the statutory limit on the committee they chair; and 29 councilors observing 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 years as a councilor.—Les W. McQuire, Chair
The Committee on Nominations & Elections (N&E) has discussed different possible voting systems and will continue to work to ensure uniformity in elections. At present, a plurality voting system is used in all elections, with the exception of the presidential election when there are three or more candidates. Further discussion of this topic by N&E will occur at the San Diego meeting.
N&E is continuing to examine election timelines to consider the feasibility of shortening the timeframe of the nomination and election process, while still allowing ample time for petition candidates.
A tutorial and frequently asked questions on best practices for election procedures in ACS local sections and divisions has been posted on the N&E website.
N&E would like to continue to improve the Town Hall Meetings and other opportunities to interact with candidates and nominees. The committee would welcome input via the N&E e-mail address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In its executive session, N&E developed slates of potential nominees for President-Elect 2013 and directors of Districts I and V for 2013–15, as well as a slate of potential candidates for director-at-large for 2013–15.—William H. (Jack) Breazeale, Jr., Chair
Following the spring 2011 meeting in Anaheim, the Committee on Constitution & Bylaws (C&B) reviewed proposed bylaw changes and submitted preliminary reports to 10 local sections and three divisions, and issued certified bylaws to the Shanghai and Thailand International Chemical Sciences Chapters.
The July 1 edition of Bulletin 5 is the authoritative version of the ACS Governing Documents, and is available on the web at www.acs.org/bulletin5. The site also provides links to petitions, certified bylaws for all units, and guideline documents on how to update bylaws.
Divisions and local sections cannot conduct electronic elections if words such as “mail” and “envelope” appear in their bylaws. To update bylaws and to bring them in compliance with the society’s governing documents, divisions or local sections should request their bylaws as an editable document from
The Petition on Position Statements was up for action and was approved by the council. C&B presented two petitions for consideration (the Petition on Market Data Collection and the Petition to Amend Recorded Vote Request Procedure); they will be up for action at the ACS meeting in San Diego. Comments on these petitions were due by Sept. 30.
New petitions to amend the constitution or bylaws must be received by the society’s Executive Director by Dec. 7 to be included in the council agenda for consideration at the spring 2012 meeting in San Diego.—Harmon B. Abrahamson, Chair
The Division of Fuel Chemistry and the Division of Petroleum Chemistry expressed a wish to combine. Procedurally, this required two steps: (1) the dissolution of Petroleum, and (2) the formation of a new division combining members from the former Petroleum Division and the newly-renamed Fuel Division.
The Committee on Divisional Activities (DAC) polled all 33 ACS divisions about the proposed combination of Fuel and Petroleum. None of the divisions opposed the combination of Fuel and Petroleum, and 29 of the 33 did not oppose the new name. Consequently, DAC recommended to the council that the Division of Petroleum Chemistry be dissolved, and that its assets and members be combined with those of the Division of Fuel Chemistry under the new name of the Division of Energy & Fuels, effective Dec. 31. This motion was approved by the council in Denver.
The probationary Division of Catalysis Science & Technology (CATL) has met all the requirements to obtain permanent status as a division of the society. C&B worked with the division to ensure that it developed an appropriate set of bylaws. DAC recommended that Council advance the division from probationary to permanent status as a division of the society. Council approved this motion in Denver.
Also at the Denver meeting, DAC approved 10 Innovative Project Grant proposals totaling $69,475. Divisions that would like their proposals considered by DAC at the 2012 San Diego national meeting should submit them by Feb. 1, 2012.
The Multidisciplinary Program Planning Group, in concert with ACS divisions, has selected the following themes for upcoming national meetings: for the spring 2012 meeting in San Diego: Chemistry of Life; for the fall 2012 meeting in Philadelphia: Materials for Health and Medicine; for the spring 2013 meeting in New Orleans: Chemistry of Energy and Food; and for the fall 2013 meeting in Indianapolis: Chemistry in Motion.—John M. Pochan, Chair
The Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs (CEPA) continues to monitor employment trends in the chemical sciences. The economy is unstable, and job recovery continues to be slow. The committee is working with other governance and programming units within the society to gather ideas and implement programs aimed at accelerating economic recovery for ACS members.
The Presidential Task Force on Innovation in the Chemical Enterprise released its report, entitled “Innovation, Chemistry & Jobs” on Aug. 29. The report contained four recommendations to stimulate innovation and job creation in the U.S. chemical industry. CEPA and Corporation Associates cosponsored a new program funding request to establish an entrepreneurial initiative, which would implement two of the four recommendations. First, the initiative establishes an educational program to guide budding entrepreneurs through the creation of new chemical businesses. Second, it supports the formation of new chemical companies by providing access to the unparalleled informational resources of the society, as well as other professional resources. The initiative was approved by the board, and will be implemented early next year.
CEPA is also working with ACS President Jackson, members of the board, and other committees on the Paying It Forward campaign. President Jackson kicked off the campaign with her comment in the Aug. 8 issue of C&EN, emphasizing the need for, and importance of, members helping members. President Jackson asked each of the society’s more than 163,000 members to help unemployed members by taking specific action. Her comment was followed by four others. The chair of CEPA wrote of the importance of networking throughout ones professional life. Connie Murphy of CCPA emphasized the importance of reaching out to community, state, and national leaders, and Valerie J. Kuck of the board commented on ways to help regions that have been particularly hard-hit. The last comment appeared in the Sept. 5th issue when CMA’s Allison A. Aldridge added her voice regarding the need for mentoring. In each of the comments, an important issue was raised, and a simple action was suggested. Please participate and seek out others to share job leads, mentor, advocate, and assist your fellow ACS members. More information can be found online at www.acs.org/payingitforward.
Because networking is especially important in a down economy, CEPA and ACS Careers cosponsored the largest networking event in ACS history at the Denver national meeting. The ACS Global Networking Reception allowed meeting attendees and others to attend a seminar entitled “Networking 101—Making Your Contacts Count,” and then practice networking with local sections, student chapters, international chapters, and individuals all over the world through a virtual environment. It was a great way to celebrate the chemical bonds that have been formed throughout the International Year of Chemistry. A recording of the webinar is available online at acswebinars.org.
The networking event was part of the virtual career fair that took place Aug. 30–31 in conjunction with the Denver meeting.
Statistics for the ACS Career Fair and the Virtual Career Fair as of Tuesday, Aug. 30 are shown in the table below. The number of employers attending was up from Anaheim, where 40 were present.
ACS Career Fair (Denver)
Job seekers: 765
Number of jobs: 261
Recruiters Row booths: 16
ACS Virtual Career Fair (Online)
Job seekers/registrants: 4,339
Number of jobs: 380
A revised version of the Chemical Professionals Code of Conduct was presented to the council for review. These guidelines will be presented for the council’s approval at the next ACS national meeting in Spring 2012.—Lisa M. Balbes, Chair
The Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC) presented the 2010 Awards for Outstanding Performance for Local Sections during the 13th Annual ChemLuminary Awards celebration. The award-winning sections were: Northeastern (very-large), San Diego (large), Indiana (medium-large), Midland (medium), Savannah River (medium-small), and Alaska (small). The Syracuse local section received the award for the “Best Activity or Program Stimulating Membership Growth,” the Richland section received the award for the “Most Innovative New Activity or Program,” and the Brazosport local section received the “Local Section Partnership Award.”
The following sections are celebrating anniversaries in 2011:
50 years: Central Arizona and Portland
75 years: Western Connecticut
100 years: Connecticut Valley, Nashville, and Southern California
LSAC is pleased to report that FORMS has been upgraded. Beta testing was scheduled to take place in October. To date, 180 sections had submitted their 2010 reports using FORMS. All sections were encouraged to submit their 2011 reports by Feb. 15, 2012 to be considered for a ChemLuminary Award.
The Online Speaker Directory is available for sections to begin their 2012 planning, with approximately 80 speakers and growing. ACS staff is available to assist sections with connecting with speakers and their neighboring sections. The travel expenses reimbursement initiative will continue in 2012. Potential speakers can be recommended by emailing email@example.com.
In 2012, LSAC’s focused efforts will include minigrants to support local section member retention and professional development activities. Sections are encouraged to include members who reside in adjacent unassigned territories and to consider changes to section territory. LSAC will also evaluate the unassigned territories to determine where the formation of a new section might be warranted.
LSAC approved funding for 21 Innovative Project Grants totaling $43,233. The total for IPG grants for 2011 is 48 section grants for $89,743. The next IPG deadline is Jan. 31, 2012.
The 2012 ACS Leadership Institute will take place Jan. 20–22 in Fort Worth, Texas. Councilors are asked to encourage their 2012 chair-elect or other officer to attend this valuable conference.—Lee H. Latimer, Chair
Attendance at the 242nd ACS National Meeting in Denver totaled 10,076. Because of a major hurricane along the east coast, the Committee on Meetings and Expositions (M&E) agreed to offer registrants who were unable to attend the opportunity to defer their registration to the spring ACS national meeting in San Diego. Refunds were issued to those choosing not to defer or who would not be attending the spring meeting.
While M&E found Denver to be a very accommodating city to hold national meetings, support from our membership was disappointing, with approximately 20% fewer technical papers compared to recent meetings. M&E is reviewing the schedule of future meetings with a keen eye on experimental sites. The committee plans to survey a cross section of the membership to examine attitudes toward the society’s past and future meeting locations. M&E also will be scrutinizing future meeting dates to ensure that they do not conflict with holidays.
M&E is carefully examining the financial potential of locations and may, depending on the results of the examination, suggest ACS move away from some of the experimental cities to locations that have proven to be both desirable to attendees and financially viable.
As part of M&E’s continuing efforts to “green” ACS national meetings, the committee launched several new initiatives in Denver. These included:
Making the on-site programs available on Smartphones, tablets, and computers. Initial comments from attendees were extremely favorable.
Hosting the first “zero waste” SciMix.Moving to recyclable meeting badge holders and providing bins in convenient locations for members to drop off badges and holders.—William R. Oliver, Chair
The Membership Affairs Committee (MAC) recognizes that retention of current members is even more important than recruitment of new, younger members. To learn how to better serve existing members, the Retention, Benefits & Services Subcommittee is collecting information from the ACS Member Services call center to learn the nature of member inquiries about society programs, complaints, comments, and feedback.
The committee continues working on the report of the Board-Presidential Task Force on Society Services and Associated Dues Pricing Models using a phased approach to the many recommendations. The first phase will involve developing a method for market testing of members and nonmembers. The Recruitment & Admissions Subcommittee of MAC recommends that the society begin to conduct tests to gather data before the society changes benefits, dues, or membership categories. Because the society bylaws have been interpreted to preclude such testing in some circumstances, MAC is working with C&B to develop a petition to change the bylaws for this purpose.
A new task force on Member Insights was created that will focus on gathering input from various select member groups across the society, as well as nonmembers or recently nonrenewed members. A series of face-to-face focus groups will provide a forum for this activity. MAC will work with other committees and staff resources to initiate these focus groups by the end of 2011.
Beginning in January 2012, paid members will be offered free online access to 25 articles from 41 ACS Journals, ACS Symposium Series, and/or C&EN Archives during their 12-month membership term. And in 2011, members gained access to free weekly issues of the new C&EN Mobile edition.—Wayne E. Jones, Chair
The ACS Ethics Committee met in Denver on Aug. 24 and had an extended discussion about the Bengü Sezen/Dalibor Sames case and the recent report in C&EN. The committee discussed the lack of options available to ACS in situations like this and ultimately decided to ask MAC and CEPA to consider the development of a process that would allow ACS to investigate and impose sanctions against individuals found guilty of failing to adhere to the professional standards expected of ACS members.
The committee heard that Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) had recently sent a communication to all its client universities offering to alter their contracts with CAS to allow walk-in public access to SciFinder Scholar. This was a direct result of the committee’s discussion session with CAS representatives in Anaheim.
The committee decided to make public its resource site on the ACS Member Network. The site will include an “Ask the Ethics Committee” function and the ability for readers to initiate discussions on ethical and professionalism issues. The Ethics Committee will moderate the site to maintain standards of decorum.—David J. Chesney, Chair
Following a brief administrative session, committee chair Peter F. Rusch presented a brief review of the redefinition of SI Base Units proposed by the International Committee for Weights & Measures. Based on specified numerical values of the Planck constant (defining the kilogram) and the Avogadro constant (defining the mole), these SI Base Units will be linked to invariants of nature. Once final numerical values for the constants are accepted, these definitions will replace the current definitions. A report from the American Society of Mass Spectrometry stated that the impact on mass spectrometry measurements for chemists would be insignificant. The committee also discussed the impact of the redefinitions on undergraduate chemistry teaching and concluded that the impact would be significant. The committee will develop materials to help chemists understand the new definitions.
Discussion of the future of the committee was a follow-up of the session at the Nomenclature, Terminology & Symbols meeting in March. Three subcommittees reported their studies. The committee reviewed some examples of ambiguous nomenclature and terminology that resulted in serious consequences due to misunderstandings. A discussion followed on how the committee can provide help in such circumstances. The committee is compiling a list of areas of member expertise and related organization affiliations that might be the basis for cross-organization interactions.
Other topics on the agenda included reports from liaisons to non-ACS committees. Reports of current International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry activities included biochemical, carbohydrate, and flavonoid nomenclature, and the status of elements 114 and 116.—Peter F. Rusch, Chair
Since 1968, the Project SEED program has offered real-world research opportunities for high school students from economically disadvantaged families. Over the years, this worthy program has had a significant impact on the lives of about 9,000 students and their families. This summer, Project SEED placed 416 students in 164 academic, government, and industrial laboratories, where they conducted research under the supervision of more than 300 volunteer mentors.
The committee awarded 29 college scholarships for the 2011–12 academic year. In addition, there are currently nine SEED alumni holding Ciba scholarships, which will support them for an additional three years.
In Denver, seven SEED students from the Colorado, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh local sections presented their research results at SciMix. At the ChemLuminary Award event, the Pittsburgh Local Section was recognized with the 2010 award for the Outstanding Project SEED Program.
Despite current economic challenges, the program has maintained a high level of participation due to the commitment and hard work of everyone involved. The success of the program is not possible without continued financial support from friends of the program and members. Although the economic challenges may continue for a few more years, the committee is continuing its efforts to bring the SEED experience to all deserving high school students.
The committee would like to remind all members that they can support this remarkable program by providing financial support to their local SEED program and by using the dues check-off option on the ACS membership renewal.—Joshua J. Pak, Chair
The Committee on Technician Affairs (CTA) uses ACS governance channels and society resources to speak for applied chemical technology professionals. CTA’s goals are to raise public awareness of the value of technicians, to make technicians relevant to ACS, and to make ACS relevant to technicians.
CTA will serve as a cosponsor of the Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Fellows Award to be presented by I&EC’s Applied Chemical Technology Subdivision at the 2012 Spring National Meeting.
CTA’s Education Subcommittee reviewed the Executive Summary for Sci-Mind and is looking forward to the potential of this new program to provide continuing education resources to applied chemical technology professionals. The Recognition and Career Progression Subcommittee discussed the need to identify potential sponsor(s) for the National Chemical Technician Award. Additional funding to support this award will be necessary for it to continue beyond 2013.
CTA was pleased to dedicate a portion of its agenda to the discussion of the Strategic Plan for 2012 & Beyond. CTA identified three key goal areas where the society can meet the needs of the applied chemical technology professional: professional education, building community for chemistry professionals, and increasing the membership value of ACS to members and society.—John K. Barrett, Chair