Issue Date: July 30, 2012
Official Reports From The June ACS Board Of Directors Meeting
Committee reports from the American Chemical Society Board of Directors meeting—which was held on June 1–2 in Baltimore—appear below. The major actions taken by the ACS Board during the meeting are reported here.
GRANTS & AWARDS
The Committee on Grants & Awards (G&A) met on May 31 in Baltimore.
The chair of the committee reported that AkzoNobel has signed an agreement with ACS to establish the biennial AkzoNobel North America Science Award. The first presentation of the award will take place at the ACS awards banquet during the spring 2013 national meeting.
The chair of the Fellows Oversight Committee reported that nominations of 301 fellows were received by the deadline this year, nine more than last year. The selected fellows were expected to be notified the week of June 18, and the list was scheduled to be publicized in C&EN on July 23. The 2012 fellows ceremony will be held in Philadelphia on Monday, Aug. 20. Several enhancements will be made, including a program book with photos and citations and better visuals and logistics.
The chair of the 2012 Awards Review Committee reported that ARC had reviewed 19 ACS national awards this year to ensure that the awards program continues to meet the objectives of the society.
The cochair of the ACS AWIS/AWARDS Action Group reported that the action group has sent a letter to the women members of the National Academy of Sciences who are also ACS members, asking for their support in helping to increase the number of women nominees for ACS national awards.
Acting under delegated authority, the committee voted to approve the new eligibility statement for the Arthur C. Cope Scholars: “Eligibility: Ten Arthur C. Cope Scholars will be named annually in three categories: two who have less than 10 years of experience since their terminal degree will receive the Arthur C. Cope Early-Career Scholars Award; four who have 10 to 25 years of experience since their terminal degree will receive the Arthur C. Cope Midcareer Scholars Award; and four who have 25-plus years of experience since their terminal degree will receive the Arthur C. Cope Late-Career Scholars Award. No individual may receive a second Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award. Recipients of an Arthur C. Cope Award are ineligible to be named an Arthur C. Cope Scholar. The award will be granted regardless of race, gender, religion, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, presence of disabilities, and educational background.”
Acting under delegated authority, the committee voted to approve the new eligibility statement for the Irving Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics: “Eligibility: A nominee must have made an outstanding contribution to chemical physics or physical chemistry within the 10 years preceding the current nomination. The award will be granted regardless of race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, presence of disabilities, and educational background.”
The chair of the G&A Working Group To Establish Selection Criteria for an Award To Recognize Entrepreneurs reported that the group has finalized criteria for a new national award to recognize entrepreneurs.
Acting under delegated authority, G&A voted to accept the recommendations of the ACS Petroleum Research Fund Advisory Board (May 2012 meeting) for funding grants totaling $10.03 million.—Kent J. Voorhees, Chair
PROFESSIONAL & MEMBER RELATIONS
The Committee on Professional & Member Relations (P&MR) met on May 31 in Baltimore.
The committee voted to affirm a recent interim action on a human rights case in Iran involving a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas, Austin. Consistent with P&MR action and the request from the Committee of Concerned Scientists, ACS planned to urge the Iranian government to assure the student’s protection under international standards as guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.
The Web Strategy & Innovation Subcommittee presented the key features, marketing communications plan, and metrics of the ACS Presentations on Demand service, formerly named Electronic Dissemination of Meeting Content. The committee discussed marketing, pricing, and technology issues and provided suggestions in these areas. The subcommittee also briefed P&MR on a new effort by the ACS Web Strategy & Operations department to obtain board input on the use of the ACS Network, including a plan to have individual discussions with board members on their ACS Network expectations and experience, followed by a request to perform specific small tasks to guide future enhancements. A discussion of feedback and findings will occur at the August board meeting.
The Professional Advancement Subcommittee provided an update to P&MR on the new Sci-Mind product. The chair of the Professional Education Advisory Board presented an overview, key features, and a short demo of this product, and the committee provided feedback on this offering.
The chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board briefed the committee on recent efforts and planned activities by D&I, including outreach, sponsorship, awards, and communications efforts.
The chair of the Professional Advancement Subcommittee informed P&MR of a new research project involving multiple ACS operational offices to aggregate and analyze relevant internal and external data on the changing private-sector employment landscape for chemists, including where chemists are working today and how the jobs picture has changed. An update on progress will be provided in August.
The committee also received updates from the Leadership Advisory Board and the ACS Entrepreneurial Initiative, as well as a written report from the Committee on Membership Affairs on member-related recommendations from the 2011 Financial Planning Conference.
The Subcommittee on International Strategy updated the committee on several recent scientific freedom and human rights matters and ACS action in this area. Working with the International Activities Committee (IAC), activities highlighted included the ACS Science & Human Rights Webinars, IAC science and human rights efforts, and ACS participation in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Human Rights Coalition. The subcommittee chair also discussed the status of several international alliances, particularly those set to expire. An update was also provided on other alliance activity. Finally, the subcommittee chair briefed P&MR on two U.S. State Department efforts—Advancing Careers of Women in Science and Building Opportunity Out of Science & Technology—and noted that ACS is exploring collaboration in these areas.—Peter K. Dorhout, Chair
PUBLIC AFFAIRS & PUBLIC RELATIONS
The Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations (PA&PR) met on May 31 in Baltimore.
The chair opened the meeting by recapping three major government affairs and communications activities that took place in late April:
◾ 2012 ACS Public Service Award ceremony honoring Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.), and former Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.).
◾ ACS Legislative Summit, held in conjunction with the larger science and engineering community’s Congressional Visits Day. ACS had more than 40 congressional meetings.
◾ Sparkle Workshop that provided media and communications training to 23 local section public relations chairs.
The chair also highlighted two advocacy outreach letters sent by ACS President Bassam Z. Shakhashiri to Capitol Hill. One endorsed the America Innovates Act, which would promote and support entrepreneurism. The other opposed provisions in House of Representatives and Senate legislation that would unduly restrict government employees from attending national meetings and conferences as a result of the flap over the abuses that came to light at a recent General Services Administration meeting held in Las Vegas.
The committee next addressed the topic of National Historic Chemical Landmarks (NHCL). Staff from the ACS Office of Public Affairs (OPA) reminded committee members about the Sept. 8 DayGlo designation ceremony to be held in Cleveland and then reviewed three nominations received from the NHCL Subcommittee: R. B. Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry, Purdue University; legacy of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”; and Mellon Institute of Industrial Research, Carnegie Mellon University.
After review and discussion, the committee voted to approve each nomination. Committee members expressed a desire to have the NHCL Subcommittee assess whether different categories of recognition should be established for a lab that has discovered or developed a specific extraordinary chemical breakthrough, easily recognizable by the public, versus a high-performing lab that has broadly contributed to the advancement of chemistry in many fields.
Committee members were joined via conference call by three ACS volunteers from Georgia, Maryland, and Tennessee who have been leaders in a three-state experiment to create state and federal government affairs committees based on state geographic lines instead of local sections. OPA staff introduced the three members, who then described successful activities undertaken in their respective states and how the new organization is leading to involvement of ACS members who have never before been involved with government affairs or advocacy. Committee members expressed support and encouragement for this new structure and thanked the ACS members for sharing their experiences.
The committee then received an overview of the ACS Science & the Congress Project, which has been in existence since 1995. The overview examined the past five years of briefing topics, collaborations with other organizations and congressional offices and caucuses, analysis of attendee demographics, and briefing panelists and moderators. Committee members suggested several new briefing topics that OPA staff will use as the basis for developing future briefings. The chair asked committee members to submit any additional topic ideas and suggestions for moderators and panelists to OPA.
The committee received an overview of the ACS Public Service Award program, which has been in existence since 1996. OPA staff reviewed the criteria used by the Committee on Chemistry & Public Affairs (CCPA) to recommend nominees, offered an analysis of the sectors from which past awardees came, and discussed the increasing involvement of the Council for Undergraduate Research in ACS award ceremonies. Committee members made several observations and recommendations for future ceremonies that will be further evaluated and shared with CCPA to develop a proposal to be presented to PA&PR at a future meeting.
PA&PR received a presentation from OPA staff that examined notable government affairs and communications highlights and achievements resulting from the March national meeting in San Diego, as well as a status update on major OPA activities that address Goal 4 of the ACS Strategic Plan for 2012 & Beyond.—Kathleen M. Schulz, Chair
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