Committee reports from the spring national meeting—which was held in New Orleans in April 2013—appear below. The major actions taken by the ACS Board of Directors and Council during the meeting were reported previously in C&EN.
Reports of Society Committees
BUDGET & FINANCE
The Committee on Budget & Finance (B&F) met on April 6 to review the American Chemical Society’s 2012 financial performance. The society ended 2012 with a net contribution from operations of $20.2 million on revenues of $490.7 million and expenses of $470.5 million. This contribution was $4.3 million favorable to the approved budget. After including the results of the Member Insurance Program, the society’s overall net contribution for 2012 was $17.9 million, which was $2.5 million favorable to the approved budget. In addition, the society ended the year in compliance with four of the five board-established financial guidelines. The reserve adequacy guideline, measured by the fund balance ratio, was not met. This ratio declined in 2012, primarily as a result of an accounting charge related to the society’s postretirement benefit plans and the impact of the Leadscope settlement.
In other actions, the committee elected Robert Lichter as vice chair and voted to recommend to Council that dues for 2014 be set at the fully escalated dues rate of $154, an increase of $3 versus the 2013 dues rate. In addition, the committee received a report from its Subcommittee on Communications. The Subcommittee on Financial Impacts of Constitution & Bylaw Amendments reported on one petition slated for Council action at this meeting, the “Petition to Amend National Election Procedures, Alternate Version.” Lastly, the Subcommittee on Program Funding Requests provided an update on the schedule and process to be followed for the 2014 new program funding and program funding reauthorization requests.—Pat N. Confalone, Chair
The Society Committee on Education (SOCED) established a task force to consider the ACS role in the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, released on April 9, and the development of specific programming related to implementation of the standards. SOCED discussed the changing landscape of distance learning, such as the availability of massive open online courses (MOOCs) and formed a working group to further explore the possible role for distance education in meeting successful educational outcomes. The Committee on Professional Training (CPT) is revising the “ACS Guidelines & Evaluation Procedures for Bachelor’s Degree Programs” and is seeking input on a number of proposed changes. SOCED will provide specific suggestions to CPT by Aug. 1. The committee appointed a working group to coordinate with the ACS Office of Public Affairs in revising the ACS education policy statement, which expires at the end of the year. SOCED received a brief overview of ongoing efforts to create a chemistry teachers association under the ACS umbrella. The committee received updates on ACS President Marinda Li Wu’s Vision 2025 Task Force and Immediate Past-President Bassam Z. Shakhashiri’s Climate Science Tool kit and ACS Presidential Commission on Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences initiatives.—Andrew D. Jorgensen, Chair
Reports of Board Committees
GRANTS & AWARDS
The Committee on Grants & Awards (G&A) met virtually on March 18.
The committee reviewed the selection criteria for the Priestley Award and voted to recommend to the board a screened list of five nominees for the 2014 Priestley Medal.
The committee voted to recommend to the board a screened list of five nominees for the 2014 Award for Volunteer Service to the ACS.
The Chair reported that the Elias J. Corey Award for Outstanding Original Contributions in Organic Synthesis by a Young Investigator and the George and Christine Sosnovsky Award for Cancer Research will not be presented in 2014 because of a low number of nominees.
Subcommittee chairs reviewed the mission and goals for their subcommittees.
The ACS treasurer reviewed the status of the award endowments, including the 2012 actual revenues and expenses as well as the 2013 projections. Nine of the endowments did not generate sufficient income to cover their 2012 award expenses; however, temporarily restricted net assets were available to cover the 2012 expenses. The 2013 projections show possible shortfalls in seven of the award endowments, but temporarily restricted net assets will be more than sufficient to cover the projected deficits.
Sponsorship renewal invitations have been sent to five sponsors. Currently only one national award, the George C. Pimentel Award in Chemical Education, is in need of a cosponsor.
The Director of the Office of Research Grants and the ACS Petroleum Research Fund reported that at the end of 2012, the ACS PRF Reserve was at a historic high value of $24 million, up from $9 million in 2008.—Valerie J. Kuck, Chair
PROFESSIONAL & MEMBER RELATIONS
The Committee on Professional & Member Relations (P&MR) met on March 18. The committee voted to approve a draft committee organizational document for 2013 covering the scope, priorities, members, and key stakeholders of its three subcommittees.
The committee received an update on key Leadership Advisory Board activities since December, as well as an overview of the initial results of the 2013 membership survey. The committee responded favorably to the survey results and inquired about communicating findings to other ACS units. It was reported that additional analysis is being conducted regarding member satisfaction, engagement, and commitment, including a breakout of survey results by various membership segments.
The committee voted to recommend to the board renewal of an expiring strategic alliance with the Chinese Chemical Society, as well as approval of a new three-year alliance with the Latin American Federation of Chemical Associations. The committee also discussed a request for financial support for the Malta VI conference in November 2013 and made recommendations to the ACS board on the matter. P&MR also received brief updates on the ACS International Center, the ACS Global Research Experiences, Exchanges & Training (GREET) program, and recent activities regarding science and human rights.
P&MR reviewed draft policy recommendations regarding online content from ACS national meetings. The recommendations address live streaming of sessions, prerecorded presentations, and division access to and the capture and dissemination of ACS Presentations on Demand content and other content. Staff also updated the committee on ACS Network 4.0 efforts, including current efforts to improve the user experience, the user ability to accomplish their objectives, and the potential for the Network to enhance other ACS services.—Larry K. Krannich, Chair
PUBLIC AFFAIRS & PUBLIC RELATIONS
The Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations (PA&PR) met virtually on March 18. The chair highlighted several items including:
Congressional completion of the Fiscal Year 2013 Continuing Resolution and impact on key ACS federal agencies.
Review of the initial results of an ACS Member Sequestration Survey initiated by the ACS Office of Public Affairs (OPA) and Division of Membership & Scientific Advancement. Of 3,800 respondents, 58% reported no impact, while 42% reported an impact. Impacts being felt included restrictions on travel and meeting attendance, furloughs, delays in finalizing contracts/grants, and cancellation of contracts/grants.
Governance advocacy activities since the last PA&PR meeting, including letters from ACS President Wu on legislative issues; OPA assistance provided to Congressman Rush Holt in preparation for a hearing on government travel and attendance at scientific meetings/conferences; and a Chair’s Comment in the Feb. 25 issue of C&EN encouraging the active involvement of ACS members as advocates for the chemistry enterprise.
Joint PA&PR and P&MR breakfast for ACS committee chairs and staff liaisons held in New Orleans.
Operation and activities of the ACS Press Center at the New Orleans national meeting.
Three National Historic Chemical Landmark designation ceremonies; details can be found at www.acs.org/landmarks.
The chair reviewed the annual committee process to prioritize the society’s public policy statements. Based on survey input received from both PA&PR members and OPA staff, policy statements were divided into four tiers. After discussion, the committee agreed to some final modifications on statement placement and voted to approve the advocacy priorities for 2013.
The committee received a report from the PA&PR Task Force on Historic Chemical Recognition/Landmark Programs. The task force agreed that local sections should have the ability to recognize historic sites of chemical interest in their regions, but that they should be named so as not to cause confusion with the National Historic Chemical Landmark Program (NHCL) program. This question will be addressed by the PA&PR NHCL Subcommittee, which will send a recommendation to the committee before the end of 2013.
OPA staff presented the committee with an update on improvements made to the NHCL program based on the 2010 PRAG review. The presentation featured improvements in website traffic, collaborative activities with the ACS Education Division, and an overview of outreach conducted in conjunction with the 2011 and 2012 NHCL designations. Because of cost savings generated through the improvements, the committee discussed the possibility of adding additional designations annually. The committee also discussed how to address situations where designation plaques from earlier years are now in inaccessible sites.
The committee received a presentation from OPA staff on member engagement in the advocacy and communications areas.
The advocacy presentation focused on progress being made with recently created Government Affairs Committees (GAC) organized along state geographic lines; this reorganization is intended to address the challenge of local section geographic lines that cross state lines and Congressional districts. The new GAC structure is currently operating in 11 states. Three more states are targeted to be added in the 2013–14 time frame. In the last quarter, GACs organized 15 federal advocacy visits and three state-level activities. The continued enhancement of the Act4Chemistry network included creation of a consolidated Web-based action center site to improve the member user experience and increase the use and impact of the center over time.
The communications presentation highlighted local section and division public relations efforts now under way in 99 local sections and four technical divisions. Staff updated the committee on plans for the Sparkle public relations training session that was to be held May 3–5. To promote greater awareness of the Chemistry Ambassador program among ACS members, a random awareness survey was conducted; it revealed that 14% of members were familiar with the program. OPA staff hopes to increase member awareness to more than 30% by the end of 2013. OPA staff updated the committee on progress toward the goal of training 20 ACS members to be spokespersons on various timely chemistry related topics by the end of 2013.
OPA staff gave an update on the latest developments regarding the federal budget and national debt issues. As of the committee’s meeting, the House and Senate had completed work on the Fiscal Year 2013 Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30). The outlook for fiscal year 2014 was cloudy because of disagreements over revenue increases, budget cuts, and the May 27 deadline for negotiating a new national debt ceiling.
The committee was presented with the results of a late 2012 survey of the 75 alumni of the ACS Congressional and Public Policy Fellows program. The presentation highlighted:
• Overwhelming satisfaction with the program
• Opportunities for program improvement, particularly in the Science Policy Fellowship.
• Assessment of the relationship between the ACS and past fellows.
• New opportunities to get former Fellows involved with ACS through governances and other roles.
Committee members were asked for their thoughts on ways to leverage the expertise of the fellows to benefit activities, programs, and initiatives of the ACS. Staff will use the committee’s input to more effectively engage the fellows with ACS.—Kathleen M. Schulz, Chair
Joint Board-Council Committees
CHEMICAL ABSTRACTS SERVICE
The Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service (CCAS) met in executive session on April 5. CCAS continues its role as a conduit of information between society members, users of CAS services, the ACS Governing Board for Publishing and CAS management. CCAS communicates the committee’s mission through its website on the ACS Member Network as well as other channels.
CAS management reported on a number of developments at the most recent meeting. Members heard a report on 2012 including database building records (more than 7% growth overall for indexed publications, while the CAS Registry grew by more than 6 million new CAS Registry Numbers) as well as sales growth. CAS is now processing approximately 79% more documents than it did 10 years ago.
CAS has made significant reinvestments in its infrastructure to increase overall search capacity in support of expanded access and unlimited SciFinder use programs worldwide. Sales in academia continue to be strong, with 96% of eligible customers taking advantage of the SciFinder unlimited access program.
CAS registered the 70th million substance in the CAS Registry in December, and delivered several recent SciFinder updates with a focus on increasing productivity and convenience for scientists. Members were pleased to learn that CAS launched the beta of Version One of the new STN platform in December 2012.
CCAS members heard a report on global sales activities that noted the impact of trends in big pharma on CAS products and services. Customers and other organizations, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, publically recognize CAS as “the world’s authority for chemical information.”
Committee discussion centered on ideas to train users on CAS content and effective use of SciFinder. CAS offers a wide array of online training materials, including interactive self-paced training and key materials in multiple languages. Because CAS recently introduced a new ACS member SciFinder benefit that provides 25 complimentary searches, these training resources can be used by educational institutions as well as by ACS members.—Grace Baysinger, Chair
At the New Orleans national meeting, the Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS) took the first steps in revising “Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories” (SACL). While SACL is not a comprehensive text, it provides students with basic laboratory safety guidelines. CCS seeks input to make SACL a more useful tool for academic colleagues.
CCS continues to assist academic colleagues in creating strong safety cultures, making presentations to several academic organizations. The committee seeks information from institutions implementing recommendations in “Creating Safety Cultures in Academic Institutions” (www.acs.org/safety)—your approach may be a model for others.
The ACS Presidential Commission on Graduate Education issued a report that made several recommendations to improve graduate education, including one that focused on the need to adopt best safety practices. CCS is collaborating with the Graduate Education Advisory Board and the Committee on Corporation Associates to find ways industrial associates might partner with academic institutions.
CCS’ Hazard Analysis Task Force, responding to the U.S. Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) request to develop hazard analysis tools for research laboratories, will issue its report in September 2013. To highlight ACS efforts to assist the CSB and our colleagues working in research laboratories, there will be a Presidential Symposium at the ACS National Meeting in Indianapolis in September on “Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories.” The event will feature CSB Chair Rafael Moure-Eraso and CCS task force members discussing hazard analysis techniques for research laboratories.
CCS seeks comments and suggestions about our efforts; please contact us at email@example.com.—Robert H. Hill, Jr., Chair
CHEMISTRY & PUBLIC AFFAIRS
The Committee on Chemistry & Public Affairs (CCPA) advises and recommends ACS action on public policy matters involving the chemical sciences and technologies. CCPA also encourages and facilitates participation by the members of ACS in government relations.
In New Orleans, CCPA discussed ways for the committee to effectively support ACS member advocacy activities at the individual, local section, state, and federal levels. Committee members began in-depth planning for an ACS presidential event on advocacy training, which will be held at the fall ACS national meeting in Indianapolis.
CCPA welcomed guest speaker Janet Gongola, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office patent reform coordinator and associate commissioner for patent examination policy, who discussed the role the PTO is playing in promoting U.S. innovation. The presentation provided useful context to consider in relation to ACS policy statements on innovation and business climate.
Annually, the ACS supports two congressional fellows, who are selected by CCPA, to work in a congressional office for a year. These fellows bring informed scientific perspectives to issues on the congressional agenda. In addition, ACS supports a science policy fellow, who learns about public policy by working in the ACS Office of Public Affairs for a one- or two-year term. In New Orleans, an ACS Congressional Fellow and an ACS Science Policy Fellow reported on their public policy fellowship experiences. OPA staff also shared the results of a survey of past ACS public policy fellows.—Connie J. Murphy, Chair
CHEMISTS WITH DISABILITIES
The Committee on Chemists with Disabilities (CWD) is planning two symposia at upcoming national meetings. In Indianapolis, CWD will conduct a joint session with the ACS Professional Relations Division on teaching chemistry to students who are blind. During the fall 2014 national meeting in San Francisco, the committee will conduct a joint symposium with the ACS Analytical Chemistry Division that will focus on the development of accessible instrumentation for chemical research.
CWD is working with the Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf to update and post a digitized version of the committee’s publication “Teaching Chemistry to Students with Disabilities.” This is an interim step in making CWD’s flagship publication accessible while the committee pursues funding for a critically needed broader revision.—Karl S. Booksh, Chair
Chemists Celebrate Earth Day (CCED) celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with the theme “Our Earth: Handle with Care!” Celebrating Chemistry, a free publication available in print and online at www.acs.org/cced in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, is geared toward elementary school children and features articles and hands-on activities. Outreach volunteers were invited to attend a reception on Tuesday, April 9.
The Committee on Community Activities (CCA) held its Presidential Outreach Event for the ACS national meeting at the Audubon Zoo on Sunday, April 7, with more than 400 participants attending and eight tables of hands-on activities.
On Monday, April 8, CCA conducted the “Award Winning Outreach Programs Workshop” as part of the undergraduate program at the national meeting. More than 95 students and faculty advisers attended.
The committee meetings were held on Saturday, April 6. The Evaluation & Technology Subcommittee discussed ways to improve the volunteer experience as reflected in a recently conducted Volunteer Experience Survey. The Program Development & Promotion Subcommittee is in the process of developing National Chemistry Week and Chemists Celebrate Earth Day themes for 2015–17. Those interested in joining a theme team should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The Volunteer Engagement & Recognition Subcommittee launched the Local Section Volunteers of the Year recognition program. Each Local Section has the opportunity to recognize one individual each year through this effort. In the first iteration, 44 local sections recognized outstanding volunteers.—George L. Heard, Chair
The Committee on Environmental Improvement (CEI) continues to support efforts to increase the sustainability focus in ACS local sections and in chemistry classrooms. Work in New Orleans included approval of a programming grant to the Idaho Section and selection of the finalists and winner of the 2013 ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding Sustainability Activities.
CEI worked with the Division of Chemical Education on two programs on sustainability concepts in the chemistry classroom, including one to recognize the annual ACS-CEI awards for sustainability in the chemistry curriculum. This latter symposium was featured at a press conference in the meeting press center and on HuffPost Impact. The committee reviewed plans for future programming and the new working group that is exploring ways to advance sustainability in education.
In the area of public policy, CEI began work on 2013 recommendations to the ACS Board of Directors for extended or updated statements on chemicals management and regulation, biomonitoring, and climate change. In this last area, CEI met with ACS Immediate Past-President Shakhashiri to explore continued support for the ACS Climate Science Initiative, possibly in cooperation with the Committee on Science.
CEI met with the new director of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute to review past cooperation and possible future activities of interest to both units. The committee also began work on a regular report requested by the Board of Directors in late 2011 that reviews the sustainability-related activities of the ACS. For this effort, CEI will be seeking input from a dozen other committees and ACS units to inventory ongoing programs and special events.—Matthew A. Fisher, Chair
For its meeting in New Orleans, the Committee on International Activities (IAC) welcomed the leadership of a number of partner societies and received reports about their international interests and priorities.
The committee also honored Richard Danchik for his contributions toward sustaining the ACS/Pittcon program, which over the last 18 years has brought delegations of early-career analytical chemists from developing nations to annual Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry & Applied Spectroscopy gatherings in the U.S.
Finally, through an initiative of ACS members of Romanian origin with the California Section, and in collaboration with the elected leadership of the Romanian Chemical Society, IAC received and unanimously supported an application to establish an ACS International Chemical Sciences Chapter in Romania. At the ACS national meeting in New Orleans, the IAC presented a motion and Council approved the establishment of the new chapter.—H.N. Cheng, Chair
The Committee on Minority Affairs (CMA) has made a commitment to increase the impact and visibility of minorities within the society and profession by sustaining a programmatic presence at ACS meetings.
CMA is celebrating its 20th anniversary year during 2013. To recognize this achievement, CMA is organizing five symposia this year at ACS national and regional meetings. The first, “Water, Energy, Health & Education: Working Together for Global Solutions,” was selected to be recorded as part of ACS Presentations on Demand For the fall ACS meeting in Indianapolis, CMA is partnering with the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board in organizing a Presidential symposium titled “The Impact of Diversity & Inclusion.” Speakers will discuss successful programs at for-profit and nonprofit institutions. This event will end with a panel discussion on “Diversity & Inclusion from a Global Perspective.” CMA is also organizing a session titled “20 Years of Reflection at the CMA” with former chairs of the committee as featured speakers.
The symposium being organized for the ACS Western Regional Meeting in Santa Clara, Calif., is titled “The Two-Year College: A Legitimate Pathway to STEM Careers for Underrepresented Minority Students.” And finally, at the ACS Southeast Regional Meeting to be held in Atlanta, the fifth symposium of the year is titled “Minority Serving Institutions and their role in the STEM pipeline.”
Continued financial support is still needed to maintain the ACS Scholars Program. The program furthers the ACS core value of creating a diverse community of highly skilled chemistry professionals. Current and former students include 148 confirmed Ph.D.s, including six M.D./Ph.D.s; 10 confirmed J.D.s, who are all involved in patent and intellectual property law; 192 current Ph.D. candidates. In all, 585 students have been confirmed to have entered and/or completed advanced degree programs. In addition, 511 were confirmed to be employed in the chemical science industry to date. If you are interested in finding out more information about the ACS Scholars Program or making a contribution, please visit www.acs.org/scholars.—Al Ribes, Chair
PATENTS & RELATED MATTERS
The Committee on Patents & Related Matters (CPRM) met at the national meeting in New Orleans on April 6. The meeting began with a tribute to CPRM member and ACS Councilor John K. Borchardt, passed away suddenly on Jan. 26 while he was at the ACS Leadership Institute in Dallas.
Over the past few years, CPRM has worked to help reform the patent system. This work culminated with the recent passage of the America Invents Act, the most significant patent reform law in 50 years. CPRM is monitoring the implementation of the act. As part of this effort, the committee meeting featured a guest speaker, Janet Gongola, patent reform coordinator at the United States Patent & Trademark Office. She delivered a detailed presentation on the “Role of USPTO in Promoting Innovation.” Ms. Gongola delved into several areas of patent law and practice that changed under the America Invents Act: the first-inventor-to-file rule, prioritized examination, administrative trials, patent fee setting, and the micro entity discount. She drew the committee’s attention to the PTO’s help line, 1-855-HELP-AIA (1-855-435-7242) or HELPAIA@uspto.gov. Ms. Gongola also described several new PTO initiatives designed to encourage innovation, including the first four satellite offices in the U.S.
The chair presented a report on ACS President Wu’s task force, “Vision 2025: Helping ACS Members Thrive in the Global Chemistry Enterprise.” The committee discussed the task force report and actions.
CPRM continues to focus on three main areas. First, the committee provides ACS members and the general public with information about patents and other intellectual property issues. Second, it 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.
The committee is planning several new initiatives to help inform ACS members about the implications of patent reform for the chemical enterprise. CPRM has partnered with the Division of Chemistry & the Law (CHAL) to provide patent-related programming at national and regional meetings. At the New Orleans meeting, CPRM announced that a CHAL symposium featuring Robert Armitage, former Eli Lilly senior vice president and general counsel, will be held at the Indianapolis national meeting.
CPRM has created numerous educational materials, many of which provide guidance regarding second careers in the area of intellectual property. The materials are available on the committee’s website.
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 welcomes suggestions for deserving chemists and chemical engineers. If you are interested in working with us, please contact us.—James L. Chao, Chair
At the April national meeting, the Committee on Professional Training (CPT) evaluated 46 periodic reports from currently approved bachelor’s degree programs in chemistry, four reports from programs on probationary status, and three site visit reports from schools that are applying for ACS approval. CPT held conferences with 11 departments starting the process of applying for ACS approval. Three new programs were approved, and two institutions were removed from the approved list. Currently 669 colleges and universities offer ACS-approved programs.
Earlier this year, the committee broadly distributed to the chemistry community a white paper on its proposed changes to the guidelines. At the ACS national meeting in New Orleans, more than 90 people attended an extended open meeting on the guidelines revision. The committee also held a symposium, “Evolution of the ACS Approval Process: Moving Beyond the 2008 Guidelines.” More than 100 people participated in the small group discussions about the proposed changes to the guidelines and other issues related to undergraduate education. The committee encourages interested parties to submit feedback on the proposed revisions to email@example.com by Aug. 1. The new guidelines will be released in 2014.
The committee received an update on the 2013 edition of the “ACS Directory of Graduate Research.” Future editions of the directory will be available only as the searchable online database, DGRweb. Faculty publications and student theses have been dropped, and information on Research Experiences for Undergraduates has been added. The 2013 edition is scheduled for release in September.—Anne B. McCoy, Chair
The Committee on Publications elected Nicole Sampson as vice chair; she will serve in that capacity from until Dec. 31.
The committee accepted the editorial monitoring reports for Biomacromolecules and Organic Process Research & Development, deliberated regarding the reappointment of the editors of those journals, and submitted recommendations to the ACS Board of Directors. Nano Letters, Energy & Fuels, The Journal of Physical Chemistry, Organometallics, the Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry,and
Staff presented a demonstration of ACS ChemWorx, a free, online research management and storage system that combines reference discovery and management, professional networking, group and task management, and manuscript preparation in a single, secure location accessible from anywhere. It is the first such tool built to address the specific needs of researchers in the chemical and related sciences. Its promotional launch occurred at the ACS national meeting in New Orleans.
C&EN celebrates its 90th anniversary this year. Celebrations began with the Jan. 14 issue and in The Watch Glass, a visual blog (http://cen.watchglass.org) featuring photos and excerpts from C&EN over the past 90 years. A special issue is planned for Sept. 9 that will examine the development of several trends in the chemistry enterprise as seen through coverage by C&EN reporters. C&EN will host a celebratory event at the fall ACS national meeting in Indianapolis on Sept. 10 for ACS meeting attendees. C&EN’s editor-in-chief presented an overview of the strategic planning process under way for the magazine’s operations.—Stephanie L. Brock, Chair
The Committee on Science (ComSci) met on April 6. The committee recently launched a wide-ranging outreach effort to identify new multidisciplinary science frontiers that hold great promise for fostering both innovation and opportunities for chemistry-related scientists worldwide. ComSci will draw on expertise within and outside of ACS—including ACS journal editors, technical divisions, federal agencies, venture capitalists and industry leaders—to identify one or two such areas by year-end. The areas identified will be developed and disseminated through various programs and virtual content tools, including ComSci’s Nobel Laureates and young investigators forums.
ComSci also led the development of, and voted to recommend to the ACS Board of Directors, a new ACS position statement to strengthen forensic science. The statement emphasizes more consistent and scientifically valid testing, effective training and certification of forensic experts, quality control systems and standards, and setting of research priorities.
ComSci received briefings on and discussed recent ACS task force reports on graduate education and ACS Vision 2025. The committee provided comments on advancing the Vision 2025 effort to help members thrive in the global economy and will soon offer its comments on implementation of key recommendations in the graduate education report. ComSci was also briefed on the status and activities related to the ACS Climate Science Tool kit and will work closely with the Committee on Environmental Improvement on how to continue into 2014 the momentum on communicating the science of climate change.
ComSci’s recommendation of a 2013 ACS nomination for the National Medal of Science was approved by the Board of Directors in April and will be submitted to the White House this month on behalf of the society.—Katherine C. Glasgow, Chair
The Senior Chemists Committee, newly constituted as of Jan. 1, held its inaugural meeting in New Orleans. Formed as the result of a three-year probationary period of the Senior Chemists Task Force, the committee intends to continue the services initiated by the task force. Those initiatives include the Senior Chemists Breakfast held at each national meeting, support of senior groups at the local section level, an ongoing newsletter, and a mentoring program.
In New Orleans, the committee restructured to more closely serve two constituencies: (1) seniors, including those who are still active either as full-time or part-time employees or as consultants, and those who wish to stay closely connected to the ACS and its spectrum of activities; and (2) younger members and students who have questions about a chemistry based career or who have started careers but are looking for guidance on how to progress.
Senior chemist activities in New Orleans included hosting Professor Steve Murawski, an internationally recognized expert on marine ecosystems and natural resource conservation efforts, as the keynote speaker for the Senior Chemists Breakfast. Dr. Murawski gave details about how the recovery of the Gulf of Mexico after the oil spill, the fate of the dispersants used, and safety issues related to the seafood supply. To support the committee’s mission to mentor younger chemists, SCC participated in the successful Undergraduate Speed Networking event in collaboration with the Society Committee on Education and Corporation Associates.
Presentations on existing education programs were provided as options for SCC involvement. The ACS Education Division spoke on available teaching resources in the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and specifically addressed the Science Coaches program. Other programs presented for consideration were the AAAS/Senior Scientists & Engineers STEM Volunteer Program and STEM opportunities in after-school programs. A subcommittee has been established to review these proposals and make a recommendation to the committee in Indianapolis.—George E. Heinze, Chair
For 2013, the Women Chemists Committee (WCC) is continuing to focus on programs to promote the retention of women in the chemical enterprise. At the spring national meeting in New Orleans, WCC sponsored several events aimed at addressing this topic. On Monday, April 8, WCC’s Women in the Chemical Enterprise Breakfast featured entrepreneur and consultant Judith Giordan, who provided a professional development program on “Personal Branding 101: How to Create Your Brand.” This presentation was centered on learning self-promotion job skills critical for achieving career success. This event was followed by a day-long symposium highlighting the accomplishments of the 2013 WCC Rising Star awardees. The committee is excited to continue this program, which provides national recognition for exceptional midcareer women chemists. After the symposium, WCC hosted a reception to honor the awardees in conjunction with WCC’s “Just Cocktails,” an informal networking function that enables midcareer chemists to leverage their energies, mitigate isolation, and share their professional stories.
In addition to the above events, on Tuesday, April 9, WCC honored the recipient of the 2013 Garvan-Olin Medal, Susan M. Kauzlarich, professor of chemistry at the University of California, Davis, at the WCC luncheon. WCC also recognized the recipients of the 2013 spring Eli Lilly Travel Award during the WCC/Eli Lilly poster session and reception prior to the luncheon. The other WCC-sponsored symposium on Wednesday, April 10, celebrated the contributions of Heather C. Allen, who was honored with the 2013 ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences for her successful efforts in establishing scholarships for underrepresented young women and for encouraging and advancing the professional development of women.
The WCC is excited to be continuing our participation with the Chemical Entrepreneurship Council (CEC) to provide the resources and skills necessary for chemists to form sustainable businesses. In New Orleans, WCC and CEC cosponsored several events, including a session highlighting Women Chemists of Color in Industry on Tuesday, April 9.—Judith H. Cohen, Chair
The Younger Chemists Committee (YCC) developed a new strategic plan and mission statement in the first quarter of this year that is in alignment with the society’s new Strategic Plan for 2013 & Beyond.
YCC’s revised mission statement is “The Younger Chemists Committee advocates for and supports younger chemists, from students through early career professionals, to positively impact both the ACS and the broader chemistry enterprise.”
The committee’s plan includes the following goals:
Increase our advocacy role within ACS so that the issues and concerns facing younger chemists are reflected in ACS policies.
Provide professional development and mentoring opportunities to younger chemists to support their career development.
Engage younger chemists and local section younger chemists committees to increase participation of younger chemists within ACS and increase the value of ACS for younger chemists.
In New Orleans, YCC analyzed existing and planned activities within subcommittees and working groups to assess their alignment with the revised mission and goals.—Dorothy J. Miller, Chair
Reports of Council Committees
The Committee on Committees (ConC) held its annual new chairs training in January for eight new chairs and their staff liaisons, as part of the ACS Leadership Institute.
ConC has begun developing its recommendations for 2014 committee chair appointments for consideration by the ACS president-elect and the chair of the Board of Directors.
ConC recommended to Council that the committees on Chemical Abstracts Service, Environmental Improvement, and Younger Chemists be continued, on the basis of successful performance reviews. Council approved, subject to concurrence by the Board of Directors.
ConC reviewed a request from the Committee on International Activities (IAC) to amend its charter. The changes were based on an IAC effort to explore better alignment with the ACS Strategic Plan and the international interests of the ACS Board of Directors. ConC voted to accept these changes and will recommend amendment of IAC’s charter to the Council at the fall ACS national meeting. ConC has completed a performance review of IAC, and will recommend during the fall national meeting that Council continue this committee.
The online form for ACS members to indicate which committees they would like to join was posted in mid-April. Those finishing a term or who have reached the statutory limit on a committee are strongly encouraged to complete the online form to reaffirm their interest and commitment to service in the society. The system can be used throughout the year to update contact and biographical information.—Dawn A. Brooks, Chair
NOMINATIONS & ELECTIONS
The Committee on Nominations & Elections (N&E) is responsible for reviewing annually the distribution of member population within the six electoral districts to assure that the districts have equitable representation. The 2012 year-end report stated that the distribution was in compliance as a result of the redistricting of two local sections.
At the fall 2012 ACS national meeting in Philadelphia, Councilors called for a broader and long-lasting solution to requirements that Board electoral districts have parity in member populations. N&E discussed a revised redistricting proposal that brings all six election districts within 400–1,000 members of the midpoint of the permissible range. This should eliminate the need for frequent small changes for some time to come. The proposal will be put up for vote at the fall national meeting in Indianapolis. The proposal and map is available on the N&E website. Please read through the proposal and share any concerns with N&E through our e-mail address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
N&E continues to remind all ACS technical divisions and local sections that their elections must be conducted in compliance with their own bylaws and with ACS bylaws.
The committee developed slates of potential candidates for the Council Policy Committee and the Committee on Committees for the 2014–2016 term.
The Task Force on Town Hall Meetings and the Task Force on Campaign Services are still considering possible improvements to aid nominees and candidates throughout the election process.
N&E continues to solicit names of qualified individuals for ACS president-elect and/or directors for future consideration. Please submit suggestions to email@example.com.
N&E considered the Petition to Amend National Election Procedures. The committee hears and supports the petitioner’s intent to shorten the election timelines for president-elect and the Board of Directors. However, N&E still does not support the petition as presented. N&E strives to improve the election process through our task force on election timelines.—William H. Breazeale, Jr., Chair
CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS
In 2012, the Committee on Constitution & Bylaws (C&B) certified 21 bylaws, which is the second largest number of bylaws certified in one year. Since the beginning of 2013, C&B has certified five additional sets of bylaws. All certified bylaws and the status report are available at www.acs.org/bulletin5. At the same address, the ACS Governing Documents (Bulletin 5) have been updated as of Jan. 1.
Since the fall 2012 ACS national meeting in Philadelphia, C&B has submitted detailed bylaw reviews toseven local sections and two ACS technical divisions. The certification process is not complete until all required information and the vote outcomes are sent to C&B, which certifies all unit bylaws on behalf of Council. If your bylaws on elections include words such as “mail” and “envelope,” you cannot conduct electronic balloting. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need or wish to update your bylaws.
The Petition to Amend National Election Procedures, which was up for action in New Orleans, was not approved by Council. C&B presented revised charter bylaws for new International Chemical Sciences Chapters to Council for approval, which was granted.
New petitions to amend the constitution or bylaws needed to be received by the society’s executive director by May 22 to be included in the Council agenda, for consideration at the fall 2013 meeting.
If you are a councilor and are interested in making an impact on the society’s governing documents and unit bylaws, you should consider membership on C&B; contact us at email@example.com.—Harmon B. Abrahamson, Chair
The Committee on Divisional Activities (DAC) received a request from the Division of Colloid & Surface Chemistry to change its name to the Division of Colloids, Surfaces & Nanomaterials. Six divisions have registered opposition to the proposed name, largely due to the use of the term “nanomaterials.” DAC will ask Council to vote on the new name during the fall ACS national meeting in Indianapolis, with a recommendation to approve.
DAC received a briefing from staff regarding the replacement of the PACS abstract submission system. Recently, staff and a volunteer advisory group reviewed four possible replacement systems. Soon, the list of four will be reduced to two candidates. The top vendor candidates will be asked to present prototypes that will be tested by the advisory group, along with active program chairs, symposium organizers, and staff.
DAC will partner with the International Activities Committee to help divisions identify and pursue overseas opportunities that will help them advance their missions. A key first step in this process will be a DAC effort to develop an inventory of all current division activities that engage chemists outside the U.S.
DAC voted to fund seven Innovative Project Grants totaling $47,500. The committee will consider another set of IPG proposals at the Indianapolis national meeting; the deadline for new submissions was July 1.
The 2014 national meeting themes have been slightly modified. For the spring meeting in Dallas the theme will be “Chemistry & Materials for Energy.” For the fall meeting in San Francisco, the theme will be “Chemistry & Global Stewardship.”—Michael J. Morello, Chair
ECONOMIC & PROFESSIONAL AFFAIRS
The unemployment rate for all ACS chemists was 4.2% as of March 2012. The unemployment rate for new chemistry graduates as measured in August 2012 was 12.6%, down slightly from the prior year, but still three times greater than the rate for all ACS chemists as a group. The Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs is especially distressed about the plight of new graduates, postdocs, and long-term unemployed workers. CEPA continues to develop and deliver programs for these most affected groups.
Demand for workers in the U.S., including chemists, remains weak. Starting salaries are one measure of demand for new chemistry graduates. The greatest demand for graduating chemists is in product development. Graduating chemists are also in higher demand than average in the areas of management and professional services. Traditional career paths like industrial research and academic employment show weaker demand.
The difference in median salaries for newly graduated women and men remains high, with men out-earning women by $6,000, but modest gains in parity can be seen when compared with figures from 2011. Unfortunately, the lessening of this gap has more to do with falling salaries for men than with gains in women’s salaries.
On a happier note, applications were being accepted for the ACS Entrepreneurial Training Program and the ACS Entrepreneurial Resources Center. Both programs have received rave reviews from program participants, and ACS members considering an entrepreneurial career were encouraged to apply through the Entrepreneurial Initiative website, www.acs.org/ei. The application window closed on May 28.
The ACS Academic Professional Guidelines were brought before Council for action. The revised guidelines were approved and were forwarded to the ACS Board of Directors for approval during their June meeting.
Statistics from the New Orleans meeting for the ACS on-site Career Fair and the Virtual Career Fair are shown below .
The number of employers on-site was down slightly from Philadelphia. The addition of the virtual component provided access to more than 500 additional job seekers and 11 additional employers. Some 31 workshops, 252 mock interviews, 449 resume reviews, and four live webinar events were conducted at this meeting.—Lisa M. Balbes, Chair
LOCAL SECTION ACTIVITIES
The Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC) recognized the Alabama Section for the celebration of its 100th anniversary.
LSAC thanked the 170 out of 187 local sections that completed their 2012 annual reports. Local sections submitted a total of 1,221 events that were completed in 2012. LSAC intended to complete its review of all the annual reports by early summer. Sections should check FORMS to read and respond to their reviews, if applicable.
LSAC awarded 21 Innovative Project Grants for a total of $45,550. Five mini grants in support of the Science Café initiative were also awarded in the amount of $1,225. LSAC planned to issue a call for Local Section Leadership Development System proposals for the limited number of grants available for hosting ACS Leadership Development System courses within the sections. More information about all local section grants can be found at www.acs.org/getinvolved.
LSAC passed a motion to support the joint webinar initiative sponsored by the Younger Chemists Committee and the ACS Member Communities Group/Virtual Content. LSAC will work with YCC to establish a grant program that will allow local sections to host these exciting webinar programs.
LSAC completed its review and revision of the local section allocation distribution formula. The committee determined that the current formula was not tied directly to the funds available and that the current formula was not sustainable. The proposed distribution formula that is based on percentages and will be tied directly to the available amount of funds was passed by Council. Beginning in 2014, the local section allocation distribution will be calculated as follows: base allotment, 49%; per member allotment, 43%; LSAC program funds, 8%.—Mitchell R.M. Bruce, Chair
MEETINGS & EXPOSITIONS
The Committee on Meetings & Expositions (M&E) is pleased to report that the 245th ACS National Meeting in New Orleans hosted 15,606 attendees and accepted 11,232 papers. The exposition had 415 booths with 274 exhibiting companies.
In keeping with the objective of the national meeting long range financial plan previously approved by the ACS Board of Directors and Council, M&E planned to recommend to the Committee on Budget & Finance an early member registration fee of $380 for the 2014 national meetings.
The Board of Directors has established a Task Force on Financial Goals for National Meetings & Expositions. This group is to review and recommend appropriate methodology for establishing the ACS national meeting registration fee on an annual basis. In addition, the group will develop a long-range financial goal for national meetings that establishes an appropriate return on revenue guideline.
M&E committee members heard a report from staff regarding the abstract system replacement project. A volunteer advisory group consisting of 14 members representing the Committee on Divisional Activities, the PACS Advisory Board, national meeting program chairs, and M&E have been working with ACS staff to review various abstract collection systems to ensure that the new system will meet all of the programming needs of the ACS. The vendor selection process was expected to be completed by the end of June and development for the new system was due to begin at that time.
The Subcommittee on Expositions has recommended a price increase of $100 for exhibit booth rental space; the full committee approved this recommendation effective spring 2014. In response to exhibitor interest, the committee will evaluate the concept of streaming exhibitor workshops at national meetings to improve market access to these presentations for the vendors and attendees.
M&E will reevaluate the criteria for the regional meeting ChemLuminary award in an attempt to formalize the process. Historically “no shows” for both posters and technical sessions have been an issue. M&E now is happy to report that its efforts in this area have virtually eliminated the no-show problem and the committee no longer considers this an issue.
In response to an increase in the use of hashtags and landing pages in abstract titles, M&E is investigating a policy related to this issue.—Will E. Lynch, Chair
As of December 31, 2012, the society had more than 163,000 members. While the number of student member undergraduates and all new members continues to grow, the society also saw some increase in the number of members who did not renew their membership.
Building on the bylaw change from 2012 to allow market testing, the Membership Affairs Committee (MAC) is creating new opportunities to enhance both recruitment and retention by initiating a series of five new tests designed to increase membership: 1) extending the two-year dues waiver for unemployed members to three years, 2) allowing members to automatically renew their membership by credit card on an annual basis, 3) offering incentives for early renewal, 4) providing introductory offers for individuals who join ACS at conference events, and 5) offering a $15 membership recruitment commission to the ACS International Chemical Sciences Chapters as a cost-effective, grassroots, international recruitment effort. In each case, the test is meant to identify new ways to grow ACS membership while increasing society income and/or membership or decreasing expenses.
MAC is continuing to examine new benefits and opportunities to bundle current ACS resources to promote membership. The most recent example is the successful partnership with Chemical Abstracts Service that now provides ACS members with 25 free SciFinder activities annually as a member benefit.—Wayne E. Jones, Jr., Chair
The Committee on Ethics continues to focus on aggregating, facilitating, and encouraging the society’s ethics programming, education, and awareness. To help with our mission, we invite ACS members to contact us vis-à-vis your related interests and needs. Learn more about us online at www.acs.org/ethics.
Over the past year, the committee has reached out to form and strengthen relationships with other organizations that focus on professional ethics and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), including The Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics & American Institutions, the Association for Practical & Professional Ethics, and the National Center for Professional & Research Ethics (NCPRE). During the New Orleans national meeting, the committee met with the NCPRE director to expand collaboration. In particular, materials developed by the Committee on Ethics are now available on the “Ethics CORE” website (nationalethicscenter.org), a National Science Foundation-supported collaborative online resource environment (CORE) for ethics and RCR.
Ethics heard reports from several ACS units at our open executive session at the New Orleans national meeting including the Graduate Education Advisory Board, the Committee on Chemists with Disabilities, the Division of Professional Relations (PROF), and Division of Chemistry & the Law (CHAL). We are delighted to see expanding interest in programming, education, and awareness in matters of professional ethics and RCR.
In particular, the Committee on Ethics cosponsored symposia at the New Orleans national meeting, including “Ethics Programs in Corporations & Institutions” with PROF, CHAL, the Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs, and the Division of Small Chemical Businesses; and “Proposing & Administering a Successful REU Program” with PROF, the Division of Chemical Education, and the Committee on Minority Affairs. We invite all ACS technical divisions and committees to contact us regarding opportunities for inclusion of professional ethics and RCR in their future programming.—Gregory M. Ferrence, Chair
NOMENCLATURE, TERMINOLOGY & SYMBOLS
The Council Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology & Symbols (NTS) met in executive session at the ACS national meeting in New Orleans on April 8, with 28 persons in attendance. After much discussion on the aims and philosophy of committee duties, an updated and revised statement was approved and will be submitted to Council as a recommendation. The new committee operations manual was reviewed and will be considered a living document, subject to revision as needed, and will be accessible on the NTS committee page on the ACS website.
Committee chair Albert Censullo identified and clarified the current status of the new definitions of SI units proposal as developed by the International Consultative Committee on Units of the International Bureau of Weights & Measures. Committee consensus is that the proposed redefinitions will be troublesome to present to students but will actually have little practical effect on chemists. A subcommittee is charged to study the issue and bring forth recommendations for action.
New subcommittees are being organized to study and to recommend actions related to communications (within the society and outside it); long-range planning; and liaison, outreach and education.
The next open meeting of NTS will be Monday, Sept. 9, at the ACS national meeting in Indianapolis.—Albert C. Censullo, Chair
Since 1968, the Project SEED program has helped nearly 9,500 high school students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds explore the world of chemistry through laboratory research experiences. Each Project SEED student works with a mentor scientist to perform research and learn about careers and educational opportunities in chemistry and related fields. Evaluations show that Project SEED is successful in stimulating participants’ interest in science.
The Programs Subcommittee reviewed nearly 500 research projects; at this meeting the committee voted to accept the projects approved by the subcommittee and to classify as pending 70 projects that will be reevaluated after receipt of additional information. This summer, approximately 500 students are expected to participate in research experiences at an estimated cost of $1.43 million. The Scholarship Subcommittee reported that there were 49 applicants for the Project SEED college freshman scholarships with final selection of 28 awardees in May.
The committee approved the draft of the Project SEED Strategic Plan for 2013 and beyond after minor modifications. The Geographic Expansion Task Force reported that Project SEED talks were presented at ACS’s 2012 Northwest, Southeastern, and Rocky Mountain regional meetings. The committee will continue to work on program expansion to the 13 states that do not have Project SEED programs.
The committee greatly appreciates the generous contributions it has received from industry, academia, local sections, and the ACS community and encourages ACS members to support Project SEED via the check-off option on their ACS membership renewal form.—Sandra J. Bonetti, 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 hosted the National Chemical Technician Award (NCTA) banquet at the ACS national meeting in New Orleans on Sunday, April 7. The winner of this year’s award was Shane K. Kirk, technologist associate at Eastman Chemical. The NCTA is presented in recognition of outstanding technical and communication skills, safety, reliability, leadership, teamwork, publications, and presentations.
CTA served as a cosponsor with the ACS Division of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry (I&EC) for the Industrial & Engineering Applied Chemical Technology Fellow Symposium in Honor of Christopher Menzies on April 7 and the Academia & Industrial Pilot Plant Operations & Safety symposia (cosponsored with I&EC, the Committee on Chemical Safety, and the ACS Division of Chemical Health & Safety) on April 9.
CTA is encouraging all local sections and divisions to submit nominations for the ChemLuminary Award for the Best Activity for the Applied Chemical Technology Professional Community. The award will be presented for the first time in August 2014 for a 2013 event or program.
CTA will celebrate its 50th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of the NCTA in 2014. Additionally, CTA is pleased to recognize the I&EC Applied Chemical Technology Subdivision’s fifth anniversary in 2014. A CTA anniversary working group has been established; it met in New Orleans to discuss programming and event options to recognize these important milestones.—Mary K. Moore, Chair