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ACS Advocacy

May 19, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 20

In his recent letter, Theodore L. Brown elucidated the many areas in which chemists can engage in advocacy and he asked the questions, “What is the American Chemical Society doing? Where does it stand?” I’m grateful to Brown for providing this opportunity to share just a few of the actions and activities in this area from the ACS Committee on Environmental Improvement (CEI) (C&EN, March 24, page 2).

We, too, share the desire to get more members involved in activities related to sustainability. Our committee annually funds four minigrants to help local sections carry out sustainability activities. We had only two applications for those grants last year, and we would be thrilled to be inundated with vibrant proposals for our August grant cycle and to support a corresponding uptick in sustainability activities at the grassroots level.

On the policy front, at the end of 2013, the ACS Board of Directors adopted the new policy statement on Chemical Risk Assessment & Regulatory Decision Making ( A joint product of CEI and the Committee on Corporation Associates and the Committee on Science, this statement lays out the ACS-wide position on appropriate use of science in regulatory policy. This statement joins our existing statements on biomonitoring and on endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the regulatory policy arena.

Policy statements are reviewed every three years to ensure they address current issues. CEI is currently leading a multicommittee writing team that is updating the policy statement on Sustainability of the Chemical Enterprise. Because I, too, wish for all chemists to take ownership of their special advocacy opportunities, I invite all interested ACS members to comment on the existing statement and how it can be changed.

The current statement can be found at; comments can be sent to I am proud to be part of a strong ACS commitment to policy and advocacy, and I invite all of my fellow members to join me.

Laura Pence
Chair, ACS Committee on Environmental Improvement
West Hartford, Conn.



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