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Official Reports From The December 2012 ACS Board Of Directors Meeting

March 25, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 12

Committee reports from the American Chemical Society Board of Directors meeting—which was held on Dec. 6–8, 2012, in Arlington, Va.—appear below. The major actions taken by the ACS Board during the meeting were reportedpreviouslyin C&EN.

Reports of Society Committees


The Committee on Budget & Finance (B&F) reviewed the society’s probable financial results for 2012 and considered the 2013 proposed operating and capital budgets. The society is projected to end the year with a net contribution from operations of $19.1 million, or $3.2 million favorable to the 2012 approved budget. After including the Member Insurance Program, the society’s projected net contribution for 2012 is $17.3 million, or $1.9 million favorable to the approved budget.

The committee received a request from the chair of the Local Section Activities Committee and voted to recommend to the board of directors that one-time funding be approved for Local Section Innovative Project Grant Program in 2013 to maintain programming at 2012 levels.

The committee received a report from the B&F Subcommittee on Program Funding Requests describing the subcommittee’s evaluation of new program funding requests for the Society of Teachers of Chemistry (STOC), improving the safety culture in academic institutions, and catalyzing change in graduate education in the chemical sciences. The committee voted to recommend to the board that funding be approved for STOC to further develop the concepts within the funding request and that funding also be approved for the catalyzing change request.

Finally, the committee voted to recommend to the board that it approve the 2013 proposed operating budget with a projected net contribution of $13.2 million after adjusting for the net operating expenses for Innovative Project Grants and the two funding requests. The committee also voted to recommend to the board that it approve the 2013 proposed capital budget of $29.1 million.—Pat N. Confalone, Chair

Reports of Board Committees


The Committee on Grants & Awards (G&A) gave preliminary approval to allow a joint nomination for a national award. The committee also gave preliminary approval for the $6,185,000 in grants recommended by the ACS Petroleum Research Fund (PRF) Advisory Board at its Oct. 4–5, 2012, meeting in Washington, D.C.

The chair of the 2012 Awards Review Committee (ARC) reported that ARC had completed its review of all national awards from 2008 to 2012. Of the 65 national awards, 11 were considered to be at risk because of a lack of sponsorship or funding. The committee discussed criteria that could be used when establishing new awards. G&A also voted to change the emphasis of ARC. Beginning in 2013, ARC will focus its attention on the at-risk awards while monitoring data for all national awards.

G&A voted to increase the cash prize for several ACS national awards, provided that the sponsors agree. It also voted to change the eligibility statements regarding age criteria for two awards to make them consistent with the other national awards.

G&A reviewed reports containing final 2013 nomination data, including nominations by gender, nominations from industry, international recipients, and institutions.

The chair of the ACS Development Advisory Board provided a report on nonpriority funding initiatives.

The committee reviewed the proposed 2013 distribution for PRF and briefly discussed the five new PRF Advisory Board members.

G&A voted to recommend to the ACS Board that the Harry B. Gray Award for Creative Work in Inorganic Chemistry by a Young Investigator be established as a national award, provided an endowment can be raised by Dec. 1, 2016.

The committee voted to extend the nomination deadline for two awards because of low numbers of nominations.—Kent J. Voorhees, Chair


The chair of the Committee on Professional & Member Relations (P&MR) asked the Subcommittee on Professional Advancement to explore ways to attract chemistry-related scientists from diverse disciplines to ACS, following a board request and initial feedback from the Committee on Divisional Activities on this issue.

Committee members were notified that the Malta Conferences Foundation has sent a request for support and this issue will be discussed in early 2013.

The Web Strategy & Innovation Subcommittee briefed P&MR on the status of the pricing experiment for Presentations on Demand, which provides access to online meeting content to ACS members and other users. The committee voted to continue the experiment through the spring national meeting in 2013. It also expressed the importance of continuing to increase and gauge member awareness of the program and of having a contingency plan if the New Orleans experiment is not successful. The committee was briefed on joint recommendations from the Committees on Divisional Activities and Meetings & Expositions regarding recording, dissemination, and access to national meeting content, both live and on demand. The subcommittee was asked to consider these recommendations and report to the full committee by the spring national meeting. P&MR also received updates on ACS’s online Program & Abstract Creation System (PACS), which has been used for abstract submission and other meeting-related tasks but is being replaced. The subcommittee sought feedback on a recent initiative to create a new on-demand multimedia site for members only.

Under the Subcommittee on Professional Advancement report, the chair of the Membership Affairs Committee (MAC) reported on recent discussions on six membership and dues-related recommendations stemming from the 2011 Financial Planning Conference. P&MR was asked for its feedback on the current plan for the 2013 Membership Survey. The committee suggested that an open-ended question be added to the survey on what members would like to see from ACS. P&MR was also briefed on the status of current research and analysis of chemistry-related employment data, which the subcommittee will continue to work on in 2013.

The Subcommittee on International Strategy discussed ACS collaborations with the South African Chemical Institute, including a potential three-year alliance agreement. P&MR voted to recommend that the ACS Board approve the alliance. The subcommittee also briefed P&MR on establishing a new ACS international chapter in Romania, and P&MR voted to recommend that the ACS Board establish the chapter. The committee was briefed on the launch of the new International Center and reiterated its desire to receive regular updates on this important service.—Peter K. Dorhout, Chair


The chair of the Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations (PA&PR) welcomed committee members and highlighted several items:

Selection of ACS Past-President Nancy B. Jackson as 2013 recipient of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science Award for Science Diplomacy.

Progress made in addressing the recommendations of the Program Review Advisory Group review for the National Historic Chemical Landmark program.

Recognition of the ACS Bytesize Science podcast series with a PR News Platinum Award.

ACS becoming an affiliate of the Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, SUNY.

Two initiatives of ACS Immediate Past-President Bassam Z. Shakhashiri: launch of the ACS Climate Science Toolkit and a Dec. 10, 2012, press conference to announce the recommendations of the ACS Presidential Commission on Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences.

Key ACS governance advocacy efforts since the August 2012 meeting.

The committee addressed six retiring policy position statements and took the following actions:

Adopted the statement “Framework for a 21st-Century U.S. Energy Policy” as a public policy position of the society.

Adopted the statement “U.S. Innovation: Critical Needs for a Sustainable and Secure Future” as a public policy position of the society.

Extended the existing policy statement on health care for three additional years.

Extended the existing policy statement “Testing for Endocrine Disruption” for three additional years.

Adopted the statement “Inherently Safer Technology for Chemical and Related Industrial Process Operations” as a public policy position of the society.

Extended the existing policy statement on “Regulation of Laboratory Waste” for three additional years.

Recommended that the board of directors adopt the 2013–14 ACS Public Policy Priorities statement.

The committee reviewed and discussed the nominations for the 2013 ACS Public Service Award received from the Committee on Chemistry & Public Affairs and voted to recommend that the board approve three nominees as 2013 recipients of ACS’s Public Service Awards. The 2013 award ceremony will take place on April 24, 2012, at a Capitol Hill reception held jointly with the Council for Undergraduate Research.

PA&PR discussed a nomination for a National Historic Chemical Landmark received from the PA&PR subcommittee on National Historic Chemical Landmarks Subcommittee. The California Section prepared the proposal, which nominated the Department of Agriculture’s Western Regional Research Center Flavor Laboratory. PA&PR then approved the site’s designation as a landmark.

The committee also discussed a historic chemical landmark designation made by the New York Local Section for the chemistry building at Brookhaven National Laboratory in October 2012. Committee members discussed the potential for dilution of the National Historic Chemical Landmark program if local designations are made using variable criteria. To address this, the chair appointed a task force consisting of members of the committee, the National Historic Chemical Landmarks Subcommittee, the Local Section Activities Committee, and the Division of the History of Chemistry to develop guidance and recommendations and report back to PA&PR.

PA&PR received a presentation from ACS staff on the outcome of the 2012 presidential and general elections and the outlook for ACS’s policy priorities. Unless Congress can find a way to achieve savings as required in the Budget Control Act before Jan. 1, 2013, automatic across-the-board budget cuts—also known as sequestration—will take effect. At a minimum this would result in budget cuts of nearly 10% . ACS is working with its sister societies and other organizations to preserve federal science funding. The chair stated that the committee will schedule a Web meeting to review new developments in this area early in 2013.

PA&PR discussed and voiced support for a proposal from the Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University to support the Flame Challenge II contest, inspired by actor Alan Alda, a visiting professor at CCS. ACS will be joined in support by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.—Kathleen M. Schulz, Chair


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