Committee reports from the spring American Chemical Society national meeting—which was held in Dallas in March—appear below. The major actions taken by the ACS Board of Directors and Council during the meeting were reported previously in C&EN.
BUDGET & FINANCE
The Society Committee on Budget & Finance (B&F) met on March 15 to review the American Chemical Society’s 2013 financial performance. ACS ended 2013 with a net contribution from operations of $15.1 million, on revenues of $490.5 million and expenses of $475.4 million. This was $2.0 million favorable to the approved budget. After including the results of the member insurance program, the society’s overall net contribution for 2013 was $16.6 million, which was $3.4 million favorable to the approved budget. In addition, the society ended the year in compliance with four of the five financial guidelines established by the ACS Board of Directors. The reserve adequacy guideline, measured by the fund balance ratio, was not met. However, the ratio improved significantly in 2013, primarily as a result of the reversal of accounting charges recorded in previous years related to the society’s postretirement benefit plans as well as investment gains.
In other actions, the committee elected Joseph Heppert as vice chair and voted to recommend to the ACS Council that dues for 2015 be set at the fully escalated dues rate of $158, an increase of $4.00 versus the 2014 dues rate. In addition, the committee received a report from its Subcommittee on Communications, and the Subcommittee on Program Funding Requests provided an update on the schedule and process to be followed for the 2015 new program funding and program funding reauthorization requests. The Board Oversight Group on Society Program Portfolio Management provided the committee with a status report on the oversight group’s plans for 2014. Lastly, the committee received a report on the actual 2014 expenses for the society’s postretirement benefit plans as compared to the expenses included in the 2014 approved budget.—Bonnie A. Charpentier, Chair
The Society Committee on Education (SOCED) approved a pilot program to form ACS International Student Chapters. This expansion reflects the globalization of the chemistry enterprise and the ACS, and is responsive to requests from students outside the U.S. who have expressed interest in forming student chapters affiliated with ACS.
The committee received an update on the American Association of Chemistry Teachers, which will launch this summer and serve K–12 teachers of chemistry with resources, networking, and professional development.
SOCED voted to establish a new ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad programs. The first award will be given in Boston in 2015 in recognition of accomplishments in 2014.
The committee discussed three expiring policy statements, which address the teaching of evolution, the importance of hands-on laboratory activities, and visa restrictions. SOCED supports continuing the evolution statement without change, subject to approval by the Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations. SOCED appointed working groups to revise the policy statements on hands-on activities and visa restrictions. The policy statement on visa restrictions will be revised in collaboration with the International Activities Committee.
The new College to Career website (www.acs.org/collegetocareer) features career options within the five traditional areas of chemistry, 35 chemistry-related career descriptions, and more than 60 career profiles.—Andrew D. Jorgensen, Chair
GRANTS & AWARDS
The Committee on Grants & Awards (G&A) met virtually on March 5 and voted to recommend the following to the Board:
◾ a screened list of six nominees for the 2015 Priestley Medal
◾ a screened list of five nominees for the 2015 Award for Volunteer Service to the ACS
◾ a screened list of five nominees for the 2015 Charles Lathrop Parsons Award
◾ upon recommendation from the Committee on Science, an ACS nominee for the 2014 National Medal of Science
The 2014 committee and subcommittee mission and goals were reviewed.
The ACS treasurer reviewed the status of the ACS award endowments, including the 2013 actual revenues and expenses as well as the 2014 projections. Seven of the endowments did not generate sufficient income to cover the 2013 award expenses; however, temporarily restricted net assets were available to cover the 2013 expenses. The 2014 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.
Sponsor renewal invitations have been sent to two sponsors. AkzoNobel has canceled its North American Science Award. Two awards are still in need of a sponsor: the ACS Award in Theoretical Chemistry and the Arthur W. Adamson Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Surface Chemistry.
A survey was sent to all 2015 national award nominees to obtain baseline demographic data to determine how well the nominee pool reflects the diversity of the ACS membership. The results indicate that women, industrial chemists, and members employed by the government are underrepresented in the nominee pool for national awards, when compared to the data for ACS membership as a whole.
The director of the Office of Research Grants and the ACS Petroleum Research Fund reported that at the end of 2013, the fund’s reserve was at a historic high value of $26.4 million.—Valerie J. Kuck, Chair
PROFESSIONAL & MEMBER RELATIONS
The Committee on Professional & Member Relations (P&MR) met on March 3. The committee reviewed its modified structure and its priority issue areas for 2014, including the key ACS committees with which to work on those issues.
The Subcommittee on Web Strategy & Innovation briefed the committee on several technology issues relating to the national meeting, including the new mobile app and the upgraded national meeting registration platform. The subcommittee also reviewed key issues surrounding the need for new ACS policies on recording of national meeting content. Members were also briefed on the new system for submitting and processing abstracts and pending training sessions for volunteers.
The chair of the Board Task Force on National Meetings & Expositions discussed the background, charge, members, and next steps for the task force, which is just getting under way. The task force will provide recommendations by year-end. The Board Task Force on the ACS Network provided a similar briefing and noted the group would be meeting in March toward the development of a recommendation for P&MR consideration in June 2014.
The committee received an update on key science and human rights activities since the December 2013 meeting, including case monitoring and webinars. It was also noted that petitions for two new international chapters in Malaysia and South Korea will be brought before the ACS Council and are contingent on ACS Board approval. The chair provided an update on key activities of the Leadership Advisory Board and a brief overview of the new ACS Career Navigator, which will consist of career services, professional education and leadership development courses, and market intelligence relating to professional advancement.—Barbara A. Sawrey, Chair
PUBLIC AFFAIRS & PUBLIC RELATIONS
The Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations (PA&PR) met virtually on Feb. 26. The chair highlighted the following items:
◾ Messages for ACS public policy priorities, which committee members were encouraged to use often with policymakers, the media, colleagues, friends, and family
◾ Governance advocacy activities since the December 2013 committee meeting
◾ ACS participation in the March 25 and 26 Congressional Visits Day of the Science, Engineering & Technology Working Group
◾ ACS April 28 and 29 Legislative Summit with visits to Capitol Hill and key federal agencies
◾ Four scheduled National Historic Chemical Landmark designation ceremonies (www.acs.org/landmarks):
◾ I. M. Kolthoff and Modern Analytical Chemistry
◾ Rachael Holloway Lloyd, Pioneer Woman in Chemistry
◾ Thomas Edison, Chemist (two ceremonies)
Public Policy Prioritization
The chair reminded committee members that the ACS biennial public policy priority document is set for renewal at the committee’s December meeting, and staff explained the process to gather input from more than a dozen ACS governance units.
The chair introduced the annual exercise to prioritize individual ACS public policy statements and thanked committee members for submitting their input via a survey instrument. Staff presented the background for the prioritization process and explained how the committee’s input helps set the ACS advocacy agenda. Based on survey input received from both PA&PR members and staff, policy statements were put into four tiers. The committee reviewed each tier and discussed the statements proposed for inclusion in each tier. After discussion on all four tiers, the committee voted to approve the advocacy priorities for 2014.
Increasing Effectiveness of Member Engagement
The chair introduced two staff presentations focused on improving engagement of ACS members in the areas of advocacy and communications with a variety of audiences.
Advocacy staff described a pilot program focused on longer-term relationship building between ACS members and key policymakers at the local level. Staff outlined a plan to link ACS members with key policymakers in areas key to ACS policy priorities. Committee members provided guidance and suggestions for incorporation into the pilot. Progress on this pilot will be reported at future committee meetings.
Communications staff updated the committee on the Chemistry Ambassadors, ACS Experts, and Sparkle/PR chair activities. Notable observations: the number of Chemistry Ambassadors topped 10,000 in 2013; member public relations chairs numbered 116 (local sections, divisions and student chapters); the ACS Experts initiative trained 20 ACS members in 2013 and will train another 20 in 2014. Committee members discussed challenges to effectively engage and sustain member involvement and provided guidance and suggestions for future outreach member-engagement activities. The chair concluded the discussion by requesting that committee members share additional thoughts and suggestions for increasing ACS member engagement directly with her and ACS Office of Public Affairs (OPA) staff.
ACS Productions Video Projects
The committee received an update from communications staff on 2013 accomplishments and plans for ACS videos in 2014. Successful production of more than 350 ACS videos in 2013 at significant cost-savings for the society was noted. The popular Bytesize Science video series was replaced by the Reactions video series, which seeks to expand viewership by increasing frequency of the videos and focusing on areas of interest to the general public. Since its January 2014 launch, Reactions has received 500,000 views and attracted more than 5,000 subscribers in a fraction of the time required for Byteseize Science to achieve that number of subscribers. Committee members shared their ideas for future Reactions episodes.
ACS Press Room at the Dallas National Meeting
OPA communications staff reviewed plans for a different approach to press activities at the Dallas national meeting in March. The revised strategy, based on feedback from ACS media contacts, is to have fewer press conferences and press releases, and focus more on topics of interest to the general public in the host city. Committee members expressed support for this new media strategy and expressed interest in hearing the results of this experiment.
The chair requested that staff provide an update on the STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics] Education Coalition, an organization that ACS helped create in conjunction with the National Science Teachers Association more than a decade ago. The coalition is seeking formal nonprofit status (501c3 and 501c4) that will allow for continued advocacy on Capitol Hill, while also promoting a nonadvocacy policy forum supporting STEM education. The transition to a nonprofit will allow more organizations to join the coalition, thus increasing and broadening the member base. The committee discussed the transition and encouraged OPA staff to continue to play a leadership role in the coalition and to keep the committee informed.—Kathleen M. Schulz, Chair
CHEMICAL ABSTRACTS SERVICE
The Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service (CCAS) met in executive session on March 14. CAS President Manuel Guzman shared his vision for CAS, and management reported on highlights from 2013.
The CAS databases achieved record growth for indexed articles, patents, and reactions. In November 2013, CAS registered the 75 millionth small molecule in the CAS Registry; the substance was published in a chemical catalog, highlighting one example of the variety of sources of disclosed chemical information CAS covers.
SciFinder was enhanced, strengthening its value to researchers with workflow improvements including quick links to patent PDFs, structure drawing options, and tools to share content and data between software applications. Customers are embracing multiyear SciFinder agreements, and the ACS Member SciFinder Benefit has been overwhelmingly popular.
CAS and PerkinElmer announced a collaborative effort that will allow ChemBioDraw users to launch a SciFinder search from the ChemBioDraw interface. Committee members were also pleased to learn that the new non-Java CAS structure editor is now available in SciFinder. STN Version Two was released, featuring full text patent content and integrated patent family content for a complete view of an invention.
CAS announced an exciting collaboration with C&EN to publish patentpicks, a monthly feature highlighting hot topics found in the patent literature from the CAS databases. CAS is also producing an informative video series to give visitors to cas.org an inside look into how CAS builds its databases.
CCAS continues its role as a conduit of information between society members (and users of CAS services), the ACS Governing Board for Publishing, and CAS management.—Grace Baysinger, Chair
The Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS) publishes a two-volume set of “Safety in Academic Chemical Laboratories” (SACL). The 7th Edition of SACL was published in 2003, and CCS has begun steps to prepare the 8th Edition. The updated edition will include stories of notable incidents, sections on safety culture, new changes in the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard to reflect the use of the Globally Harmonized System, and some reorganization. The release of Volume 1 of the 8th Edition of SACL is expected in early 2015. CCS solicits comments and suggestions for the next revision of SACL at email@example.com.
CCS has been concerned about adverse incidents with chemical demonstrations in high schools. In early December, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board released the video “After the Rainbow.” The video focused on preventing incidents from chemical demonstrations, and it featured a victim of a flash fire from a “Rainbow” demonstration. In early January a similar incident with the “Rainbow” demonstration injured two students, one seriously. CCS developed and widely distributed the safety alert available at www.acs.org/safety asking high school science teachers to discontinue “Rainbow” demonstrations involving flammable solvents such as methanol on open benches.
CCS is forming a new Task Force for Safety Education Guidelines. The task force will develop guidelines for laboratory safety education for secondary, undergraduate, and graduate education. These guidelines will identify safety topics and areas that should be taught and competencies that should be tested at various levels throughout the entire educational process.—Robert H. Hill Jr., Chair
CHEMISTRY & PUBLIC AFFAIRS
The Committee on Chemistry & Public Affairs advises and recommends ACS action on public policy matters involving the chemical sciences and technologies. CCPA also encourages and facilitates ACS member participation in government relations.
In Dallas, CCPA unveiled a new committee strategic plan and committee members continued the work of prioritizing and deciding how to execute the plan.
Annually, the CCPA selects and ACS supports two congressional fellows 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 Dallas, ACS Congressional Fellow Sam Bockenhauer reported on his fellowship experiences. The CCPA Fellowship subcommittee is planning events to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the fellowships during the fall ACS national meeting in San Francisco.
CCPA is partnering with representatives from the Society Committee on Education, the Committee on Corporation Associates, the Committee on Science, and the Committee on Environmental Improvement to consider two ACS policy statements due for review in 2014: Science & Technology Funding and Business Climate.
The Member Advocacy subcommittee, which is working on development of a local district-focused advocacy strategy, discussed ways for CCPA to effectively support ACS member advocacy activities at the individual, local section, state, and federal levels.—Susan B. Butts, Chair
CHEMISTS WITH DISABILITIES
The Committee on Chemists with Disabilities (CWD) open and executive meeting in Dallas marked the completion of several projects.
CWD, in collaboration with the Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical School for the Deaf, has updated and digitized the committee’s publication “Teaching Chemistry to Students with Disabilities.” The new format of CWD’s flagship publication should be accessible by the end of April and linked to the committee’s website.
Merck has graciously volunteered to support a CWD Travel Award which would allow two to three students with disabilities per year to present their research at ACS national meetings.
In San Francisco, CWD will roll out a traveling poster series that highlights both historical and contemporary scientists with disabilities and their accomplishments. The committee anticipates that there will be 12 posters in all; the first three in the series will feature Thomas Edison, Joseph Priestley, and Sir Humphry Davy.—Karl S. Booksh, Chair
During the Dallas national meeting, the Committee on Community Activities (CCA) held a public outreach event at the Perot Museum of Nature & Science. Thirty five volunteers from student groups and members of CCA presented eight tables of hands-on activities on March 17, reaching an estimated 400 members of the public. CCA also hosted a presidential outreach event at the Audubon Zoo on March 16.
CCA adopted a new vision and mission. The vision is “Improving the public understanding and appreciation of chemistry through excellence in outreach,” and the mission is “Supporting ACS members and volunteers by facilitating safe, fun, and effective community outreach.” Along with the new vision and mission, a new subcommittee, Tools & Training (T&T), replaced the former Evaluation & Technology Subcommittee.
The theme titles for 2015 were also decided. The theme for Chemists Celebrate Earth Day 2015 is “Climate Science: More Than Just a Weather Report.” The National Chemistry Week 2015 theme is “Chemistry Colors Our World.” CCA is looking for theme team members for 2016 and beyond. Those interested in joining a theme team should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.—George L. Heard, Chair
The Committee on Environmental Improvement (CEI) continued its efforts to highlight sustainability in chemistry at the Dallas national meeting. The committee awarded the fifth annual ACS-CEI Awards for Incorporation of Sustainability in Chemical Education during a symposium sponsored with the Division of Chemical Education. This year’s winners bring the total number of awardees to 26 and their collective efforts highlight the many opportunities to help students at all educational levels and in all settings to better understand the broader connections between the chemistry they are learning and the wider world it affects.
The committee also continued cosponsoring with the Society Committee on Education an environmental film series as a featured element of the undergraduate program during the Tuesday lunch hour of the spring national meeting. In Dallas, the featured documentary was “Trashed” from Green Planet Films. The 67-minute movie was followed by a panel discussion highlighting both the science of municipal solid waste and how students can get involved in minimizing and handling waste.
In total, CEI cosponsored 17 symposia hosted by seven divisions during the meeting. Work is under way for an equally active schedule at the fall meeting featuring a “hot topic” symposium on understanding chemical risk that will contribute to future public policy work.
During its committee meeting, CEI began work on its 2014 public policy recommendations to the ACS Board of Directors on six subjects including updates to the statements on sustainability in the chemical enterprise and on the role of scientific insight and integrity in public policy. The committee also continued work to engage more members and local sections in sustainability activities and to advance the ACS climate and water initiatives.—Laura E. Pence, Chair
At its meeting in Dallas, the Committee on International Activities (IAC):
◾ reviewed and approved five-year reports from our international chemical sciences chapters in Hong Kong, Hungary, and Saudi Arabia
◾ received ACS Council approval to establish two new ACS International Chemical Sciences Chapters, in Malaysia and South Korea
◾ created a task force to begin work on formulating a short, medium, and long-term strategic plan for the development of new ACS international chapters.
◾ learned of the outcomes of the first joint ACS technical division and international chapter event to advance member networks in agricultural and food chemistry in Thailand, the region, and worldwide in the areas of food bioactives and health, food safety, dairy products, and flavor chemistry
◾ sponsored a general-purpose presentation on ACS international activities at the Dallas Convention Center Theater on Tuesday afternoon
◾ heard progress reports on its International Younger Chemists Network and social media outreach and an update on the impacts of the 2011 International Year of Chemistry
◾ revised and approved an ACS policy statement on Freedom of International Scientific Exchange
IAC continues to build momentum toward a robust presence at the ACS national meeting in San Francisco in August, including event plans for:
◾ ACS International Day: Mentoring toward Successful Study Abroad in Chemistry
◾ Asia-America Chemical Symposium
◾ Innovation from International Collaborations (in collaboration with the ACS divisions of Business Development & Management and of Professional Relations, and the Senior Chemists Committee)
◾ Redefining the Mole and Kilogram: Impact on Chemistry (IAC cosponsored; organized and sponsored by the Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology & Symbols)
◾ Women Leaders in the Global Chemistry Enterprise (IAC cosponsored, organized and sponsored by the Women Chemists Committee)
◾ an International Student Summit on Global Climate Change (IAC cosponsored, organized and sponsored by the Division of Chemical Education)
IAC continues to work hard to help ACS be more welcoming to people with global interests and to advance ACS international strategies.—H.N. Cheng, Chair
The Committee on Minority Affairs (CMA) continued with its overarching strategic goal of increasing the visibility of minorities in the society by partnering with divisions, having a programmatic presence at meetings, and recognizing achievements of minority chemists. In Dallas, CMA organized a symposium in partnership with the Division of Energy and Fuels titled, “Fracking & its Impact on our Energy, Security & the Environment.” CMA also cosponsored a symposium on “Women Chemists of Color in Government” with the Division on Professional Relations.
CMA is organizing a symposium for San Francisco featuring former awardees of the Stanley C. Israel Award. This award recognizes those who have advanced diversity in the chemical sciences. CMA will also cosponsor a full-day symposium titled, “Advancing the Chemical Sciences Through Diversity in Participation” honoring Rigoberto Hernandez, the 2014 Recipient of the ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences.
The committee formed a task force charged with identifying sponsors to finance eligible minority student travel to ACS National meetings. The task force will be looking for companies or institutions that would be interested in sponsoring this program over the next year.
It was noted that the ACS Scholars program will celebrate its 20th Anniversary in 2015. Over the course of those 20 years the program has enabled 1,400 students to achieve university degrees in the chemical sciences.—Al Ribes, Chair
PATENTS & RELATED MATTERS
The Committee on Patents & Related Matters (CPRM) has worked to help reform the patent system over the past few years. This effort culminated with the passage of the America Invents Act. CPRM is monitoring the implementation of this new law.
The committee engaged in a discussion of several of the pending bills regarding “nonpracticing entities.” It was CPRM’s consensus that ACS should not support such legislation.
CPRM focuses on three areas: providing members and the general public with information about patents and other intellectual property issues; proposing nominations of notable inventors for external national awards recognizing the innovations and inventions of chemists; and monitoring legislative and regulatory developments that influence intellectual property in ways that impact the chemical enterprise.
CPRM has created numerous educational materials, many of which provide guidance regarding second careers in the area of intellectual property. These materials are available on the committee’s website.
CPRM recommends nominees for the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the National Medal of Technology & Innovation, and the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and welcomes suggestions for deserving nominees.—Brian G. R. Treco, Chair
At the August 2014 meeting, the Committee on Professional Training (CPT) evaluated 40 periodic reports from currently approved programs, and five site visit reports from schools that are applying for ACS approval. CPT held conferences with eight departments beginning the application process and voted to approve three new chemistry programs. Currently, 676 colleges and universities offer an ACS-approved bachelor’s degree program in chemistry.
The committee continued its discussion of the guidelines revision and reviewed data collected through a short survey on the coverage of polymer chemistry at non-Ph.D.-granting chemistry departments. A summary of the survey results will be published in the spring issue of the CPT newsletter. Editorial review of the draft guidelines document will continue over the summer, and the committee anticipates approval of the new guidelines at the August meeting.
The committee received an update on the release of the 2014 edition of the ACS Directory of Graduate Research (DGRweb), which is now published annually and is available only as a searchable, online database. The committee reviewed plans for two upcoming symposia: At the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education in August, contributed talks will address the professional skill development of undergraduates, and a symposium to be held at the ACS National Meeting in August will offer a global perspective on best practices in chemistry education.—Anne B. McCoy, Chair
The committee elected Nicole Sampson as vice chair; she will serve in that capacity from March 14 to Dec. 31.
The committee accepted the editorial monitoring reports for Environmental Science & Technology and Environmental Science & Technology Letters, ACS Catalysis, ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters, and Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data; deliberated regarding editor reappointments; and submitted recommendations to the ACS Board of Directors for their consideration. ACS Combinatorial Science, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Macromolecules, ACS Macro Letters, and Journal of Proteome Research will be monitored next.
The Conference of Editors of ACS Publications was held in January. The agenda for that meeting and an overview of the proceedings was shared with the committee.
The president of the ACS Publications Division presented a written overview of the division’s operational highlights for the year and new initiatives.
Staff presented highlights from the results of two studies for the strategic analysis of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN). The first study involved qualitative research conducted through exhaustive interviews with focus groups in November 2013. The second study involved quantitative surveys of more than 4,000 C&EN readers, including nonmembers who visit the C&EN website. The final report of the strategic analysis will include recommendations to help C&EN to become even more valuable to its readers and to ACS.
The Committee on Planning presented issues emerging from a study on the ACS Environmental Scan. The presentation was well received and the committee was invited to provide input to inform and update the environmental scan.—Stephanie L. Brock, Chair
Following an online survey and other outreach last year, the Committee on Science (ComSci) identified two multidisciplinary areas that hold great promise for fostering innovation and opportunities for chemistry-related scientists worldwide: advanced materials and the chemistry of clean and renewable energy. ComSci will work with technical divisions and other groups to coordinate and facilitate increased awareness and progress in these two areas, including joint multidisciplinary programming at future national meetings.
The committee will also continue to hold forums of eminent scientists and young investigator awardees to help illuminate emerging frontiers in science. This will include a young investigator awardee forum scheduled for the San Francisco national meeting in August. Last year’s initiative to create on-demand video interviews with Nobel laureates and other eminent scientists has drawn extremely favorable reviews. Three videos sponsored by ComSci with chemistry Nobel laureates are now available online at the ACS Chemistry over Coffee site at acs.org. A fourth video will be uploaded in April.
The ACS Board approved ComSci’s recommendation for the annual Presidential National Medal of Science, which was submitted to the White House in April. The Board also identified the high-profile Grand Prix Award in France as one warranting a nomination from the society. The committee recommended a candidate, who was approved by the Board and submitted to the Grand Prix Foundation in March.
ComSci has assumed a lead role in the development of a new policy statement on responsible fracking, in collaboration with other committees. The committee is also lending its expertise toward policy statements on visa and immigration policy, sustainability, scientific integrity, federal R&D, and a competitive U.S. business climate for innovation and jobs.—Katherine C. Glasgow, Chair
In Dallas, the Senior Chemists Committee (SCC) participated in the Undergraduate Speed Networking event for both chemistry professionals and undergraduates. SCC members also staffed a resource table and sponsored a reception at the International Lounge to encourage senior involvement in our international chapters.
After a review of the 2013 local section annual reports, SCC was pleased to see a 35% increase in local senior groups and an increase of 72% in reported senior activities. At regional meetings, SCC members staff a resource table and sponsor senior events to encourage local involvement. SCC will sponsor two ChemLuminary awards at the fall 2015 national meeting to recognize outstanding senior activity in local sections.
The December 2013 Senior Chemists newsletter, which has a distribution of 50,000, drew so many comments and queries that SCC has established a group to respond in an effort to keep seniors active in their local areas.
The SCC breakfast was again a sold-out event. William F. Carroll Jr., chair of the ACS Board of Directors, provided a lighthearted presentation entitled “Reese’s Pieces: The Best of Newscripts and K. M. Reese”; and Kitty Hach, cofounder of the Hach Chemical Co. and the Hach Scientific Foundation, also gave a very personal and delightful synopsis of her business career.
At the SCC meeting, members listened to a presentation on the ACS Environmental Scan and called for comments and suggestions for SCC implementation. A report was provided on SCC programming for the San Francisco meeting, which will include several symposia in collaboration with other ACS groups. SCC will post a guide on the Silver Circle website to encourage and help seniors get more involved in local schools to promote science education.—George E. Heinze, Chair
In Dallas, the Women Chemists Committee (WCC) was most excited to announce the third annual WCC Rising Star Award Winners in our continued effort to promote the retention of women in the chemical enterprise, and celebrated with a full-day symposium highlighting the accomplishments of these exceptional 2014 winners. Following the symposium, the awardees were honored at the now established and well-attended WCC “Just Cocktails.”
At the WCC luncheon, Marsha Lester was presented with the 2014 Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal, and the committee had the opportunity to hear her insights on “Finding Your Own Career Path Through Chemistry.” At the luncheon, and throughout the meeting, WCC celebrated the eight new 2014 Spring Eli Lilly/WCC Travel Award winners. The committee also sponsored a symposium to celebrate the contributions of Sandra C. Greer, who was honored with the 2014 ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences.
At the San Francisco meeting in the fall, there are two very exciting symposia coming out of the WCC. First, in collaboration with Immediate Past President Marinda Li Wu, we will be hosting a full day symposium on “Women Leaders of the Global Chemistry Enterprise.” It is expected to be a truly unique opportunity to hear from successful women chemists from around the world. Secondly, the WCC in collaboration with Springer is producing a book entitled, “Mom, the Chemistry Professor.” There will be an all-day symposium for the contributing authors to share brief and candid stories and insight on the topic of blending professor-hood and motherhood.
Finally, we look forward to programing involving the “How Tos of the Nomination Process” in WCC’s effort to increase the diversity in the nominations for ACS national technical awards.—Amber F. Charlebois, Chair
At the national meeting in Dallas, the Younger Chemists Committee (YCC) continued the effort to bring quality programming to the younger chemist constituency as well as the broader ACS. The meeting in Dallas included events such as our new and innovative evening social event using social media advertising. These “pop ins” occurred twice during the meeting in addition to a number of other events targeted at our constituency, including the networking social with graduate school recruiters, the undergraduate social, and speed networking. The YCC also participated in a number of programming activities including “Starting a Successful Graduate Research Program in a Predominantly Undergraduate Institution,” “Beneﬁts of Undergraduate Internships,” and “How to Network.”
The committee had significant turnover with regard to members and associates, with nearly 30% being new faces or people in new leadership roles. This included the new chair, Douglas B. Hausner, who has served on the committee since 2009. This level of change is not uncommon given the committee’s age requirements, and this dynamic is helpful in enriching the creativity and enthusiasm that has become the hallmark of the YCC.
The YCC is continuing its partnership with the Committee on Local Section Activities and ACS Webinars to engage the local section constituency through the highly successful Webinar in a Box program. This program has garnered some of the highest participation rates ever recorded for ACS Webinars. We will continue to grow and promote this program, as we have with many others that are now standing programs within ACS.—Douglas B. Hausner, Chair
The Committee on Committees (ConC) held its annual training in January for eight new chairs and their staff liaisons, as part of the ACS Leadership Institute.
ConC has begun developing recommendations for 2015 committee chair appointments for consideration by the President-Elect and the Chair of the Board of Directors. The committee continues to focus efforts to identify members with the requisite skills and expertise, using information provided from the online preference forms and the enrollment from ACS Leadership Development courses for councilors and noncouncilors.
ConC recommended to Council that the committees on Chemical Safety, Chemistry & Public Affairs, and Minority Affairs be continued, based on successful performance reviews. Council approved this recommendation, subject to concurrence by the Board of Directors. ConC’s recommendation for the continuation of the Committees on Patents & Related Matters and Technician Affairs will appear on the Council agenda for the fall national meeting in San Francisco.
The online committee preference form will be available on April 7. 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 Town Hall Meeting for Nominees for President-Elect 2015, which was sponsored by the Committee on Nominations & Elections (N&E) and held on March 16, was very successful, with very good feedback from the attendees and nominees.
N&E is responsible for reviewing annually the distribution of member populations within the six electoral districts to assure that the districts have equitable representation. According to ACS bylaws, the year-end member population of each electoral district must be within 10% of the average number of members residing in each district. The distribution in the Dec. 31, 2013, year-end report was not in compliance with that requirement, but with the new redistricting that went into effect Jan. 1, 2014, ACS should be in compliance by year-end 2014.
N&E reminds all divisions and local sections that their elections must be conducted in compliance with both their own bylaws and with ACS bylaws. ACS bylaws state that “The Secretary of each Local Section or Division shall certify to the Executive Director of the SOCIETY not later than December 1 of each year, much earlier if possible, the names, addresses, and terms of the elected Councilors.”
The committee developed slates of potential candidates for the Council Policy Committee (CPC) and the Committee on Committees for 2015–17 terms. The names of the candidates will appear in the Council agenda for the fall national meeting in San Francisco.
The Task Force on Campaign Services and the Joint N&E/CPC Task Force on Election Timelines both continue to consider improvements to the election process so that nominees and candidates are served more effectively.
N&E solicits input of qualified individuals for President-Elect and/or directors for future consideration. You can send your suggestions by e-mail to the committee at email@example.com.—D. Richard Cobb, Chair
CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS
The Committee on Constitution & Bylaws (C&B) has certified six bylaws this year. All certified bylaws and the status report are available at www.acs.org/bulletin5. Since the fall 2013 national meeting in Indianapolis, C&B has submitted detailed bylaw reviews toeight local sections and one division.
The Kansas City Section was the first unit to take advantage of C&B’s expedited bylaws review process, for which the section took less than one month to request the process, vote, and get newly certified bylaws.
At the Dallas national meeting, C&B announced yet another way for local sections and divisions to prepare bylaw revisions for C&B review. The unit must first indicate its desire to update its bylaws; C&B will then offer to create a first draft of proposed bylaw changes for consideration by the unit. Alternatively, the unit may follow the normal process and prepare its own draft changes for C&B review. With all processes, the unit still must submit the proposed bylaw changes to its members for vote in accordance with its current bylaws. The vote results must then be submitted to C&B, which will certify the bylaws on behalf of Council. Please contact C&B at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to update your bylaws.
New petitions to amend the Constitution or Bylaws must be received by the society’s executive director by April 23 to be included in the Council agenda, for consideration at the fall 2014 national meeting. Petition guidelines are in Bulletin 5.—Donna G. Friedman, Chair
At least once every three years, at a spring national meeting, the Committee on Divisional Activities (DAC) is required to bring to Council a formula for allocating dues funds to the divisions. At the Dallas national meeting, Council approved DAC’s recommendation to update this formula by increasing the base allotment to 15% from 12.5%, and by decreasing the total programming allotment to 62.5% from 65%.
Through recommending this change, DAC’s intent is to provide small divisions with a modest increase in funding to help them organize an additional symposium or two each year. This new formula will become effective with respect to 2015 division performance, and the related dues funds that will be distributed to divisions in 2016.
DAC voted to fund 16 Innovative Project Grants totaling $84,000. The committee will consider another set of IPG proposals at the San Francisco national meeting; the deadline for that round of submissions is July 1.
DAC updated its process for acting on division name change requests. The document has been posted on the DAC website and is also available upon request.
DAC is partnering with the International Activities Committee to catalog ACS technical divisions’ best practices to engage international scientists. This is part of our efforts to support the society as it develops a strategy to increase international collaboration.
Operating as a DAC subcommittee, the Multidisciplinary Program Planning Group is proposing the following 2017 national meeting themes to the divisions for their consideration: spring, San Francisco, “Advanced Materials, Technologies, Systems & Processes”; and fall, Washington, D.C., “Chemistry’s Impact on the Global Economy.”—Michael J. Morello, Chair
ECONOMIC & PROFESSIONAL AFFAIRS
The Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs (CEPA), met to update its mission, vision, and goals for 2014 and beyond. CEPA remains committed to monitoring the employment status of ACS members and to promoting programs, products, and services that help them get jobs and progress throughout their careers.
The new ACS Career Navigator brings together ACS’s leadership development, professional education, career services, and market intelligence resources under one unified brand. This important new tool provides our members and potential members, at all career stages, with a one-stop shop for the professional training and career advice they require to remain competitive in a globalizing world. The combined offering officially launched in Dallas, with further exciting enhancements and synergies to look forward to by year end.
Statistics for the ACS Career Fair and the Virtual Career Fair are shown. The number of employers on-site is comparable to the fall 2013 Indianapolis meeting. Thirty two workshops and hundreds of mock interviews and résumé reviews were conducted at this meeting.
Findings from the 2013 ACS survey of new graduates have been compiled and reveal some troubling news. Overall unemployment among new graduates rose from 12.6% in 2012 to 14.9% in 2013. This is primarily due to the high unemployment among recent bachelor’s degree earners.
The highest paid graduates employed full-time are in development and design with a median salary of $62,000, followed by those in professional services at $56,000 and management at $45,000.
The median salary of inexperienced bachelors is down slightly from 2012, moving from $40,000 to $39,560 in 2013. Salaries for inexperienced Ph.D.s are down from a median of $80,000 in 2012 to $75,750 in 2013.
For the second year in a row the gender wage gap between inexperienced full-time permanent workers got smaller; males made a median of $44,000 in 2013 while females made a median of $40,000. In 2012, this gap was $6,000, and in 2011 the gap was $8,000.
The total number of employees working for a company has a significant impact on salaries. The larger the company the higher the salary; bachelors in companies with 25,000 or more employees had a median salary of $49,000. Meanwhile, at companies with 50 or less employees, the median salary for graduating bachelor’s earners was $31,100.
These findings indicate that new graduates must be at the top of our priority list for employment assistance in 2014.—Louise M. Lawter, Chair
LOCAL SECTION ACTIVITIES
The Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC) recognized the local sections celebrating an anniversary in 2014: 50th–South Plains; 75th–Baton Rouge, Green Mountain, Illinois Heartland, Memphis, Penn-York, Sioux Valley, and Texas A&M; and 100th–Maryland.
LSAC thanked the 154 out of 186 local sections that completed their 2013 annual reports. In addition, through the online FORMS program, local sections submitted a total of 1,397 events as well as 194 ChemLuminary nominations. LSAC is reviewing the annual reports and will have all reviews completed by June 1.
LSAC awarded 19 Innovative Project Grants for a total of $40,475 in 2013. LSAC developed a mini-grant for local sections that attended the 2014 Leadership Institute to partner with neighboring sections to host an activity that would bring value to all members in a specific geographic region. LSAC has awarded five $300 grants in support of this initiative. Sections may apply for this grant until May 31. More information about all LSAC grants is available at www.acs.org/getinvolved.
LSAC heard a report from the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) group and is developing a funding opportunity that will encourage local sections to host activities and events that will promote AACT and other chemistry-related K–12 educational resources.
LSAC will initiate the process to dissolve the Ocean County local section as a result of the group’s failure to meet the criteria to remain an active section. LSAC approved the petition for the North Jersey Local Section to include the area of the former Monmouth County Local Section in its territory, effective immediately, and the Council Policy Committee concurred.—Martin D. Rudd, Chair
MEETINGS & EXPOSITIONS
The Committee on Meetings & Expositions (M&E) is happy to report that 10,050 papers were accepted for the national meeting in Dallas. The total attendance for this meeting was 13,709. The exposition had 376 booths with 246 exhibiting companies.
M&E is also happy to report the launch of the new ACS mobile application that members can use to find meeting information throughout the meeting. Initial reports indicate a very favorable reaction to this new attendee benefit; Dallas meeting attendees downloaded more than 6,000 copies of the app.
M&E recommends to the ACS Board of Directors that San Francisco be designated as the site for national meeting in August 2023, August 2026, and March 2029. This block of meetings was approved to strengthen ACS’s position when negotiating the convention center lease. If this pilot program with San Francisco proves a benefit to the society, the committee anticipates expanding this block scheduling to additional Tier 1 cities. M&E further recommends the spring national meetings be sited in Indianapolis in late March of 2023 and New Orleans in late March or early April 2024.
M&E reviewed a presentation from Visit Chicago that highlighted the significant changes that have been made with the union labor agreements, hotels, and transportation improvements since we were last there in 2007. M&E is considering reinstating Chicago as a future national meeting site pending more investigation.
M&E received an update on the replacement of the online PACS abstract submission system, which is on target to launch in August 2014 for the spring 2015 Denver national meeting. Several demo sessions were held during the Dallas meeting to introduce divisions and regional meeting program planners to the new system.
In the committee’s ongoing commitment to “greening” the national meetings and to additional cost containment, M&E voted to eliminate the author index in the hard copy program book beginning with the spring 2015 meeting in Denver. The searchable author index is now available via the mobile app and other electronic means. M&E is investigating an expansion of the index to include coauthors of the presentation in addition to the primary author.—Will E. Lynch, Chair
The Membership Affairs Committee (MAC) continues to focus on new efforts to recruit and retain members. The past two years had disappointing results, but the trend in 2014 is positive year-to-date, and we are optimistic for the year overall.
The committee initiated a market data collection test at the Dallas national meeting that authorized an individual member test for India. This test addresses the income disparity between chemists in India and the U.S. and is consistent with the World Bank model. The test for all new and renewing members residing in India will allow for a $52 full member dues annual rate for three years.
MAC discussed a group membership model and voted unanimously to direct staff to develop proposals for tests in collaboration with Chemical Abstracts Service and the ACS Publications Division.
The committee continued to seek partners who will provide benefits for ACS members both domestically and internationally. MAC is pleased to announce the addition of three new affinity partners: Lenovo Computers, Budget Truck Rental, and Office Max.
With the chairs of the Local Section Activities Committee and the Divisional Activities Committee, the chair of MAC will discuss future collaborations to recruit and retain members.
All divisions and local sections are invited to join the effort of increasing member engagement. As was said many times during the Dallas meeting, “an engaged member is a retained member.” MAC has the resources to help in this effort, so please let the committee know if help is needed.
Individual councilors are invited to participate in the Member-Get-A-Member program and local sections are encouraged to be active in the 2014 President’s Challenge to expand ACS membership.—James M. Landis Jr., Chair
The Committee on Ethics (ETHX) continues to focus on aggregating, facilitating, and encouraging the society’s ethics programming, education, and awareness. The committee invites ACS members to contact ETHX with related interests and needs. Please be aware that the society’s charge for ETHX forbids adjudication. This is important for the successful function of the committee.
Safety education is a critical component of ethics education, particularly for chemistry and related disciplines. The committee enthusiastically agreed to participate in the Committee on Chemical Safety’s newly formed Task Force for Safety Education Guidelines. Its purpose is “to develop guidelines for laboratory safety education for primary, secondary, undergraduate, and graduate education.”
Thanks to the Chemical Information Division, the Division of Professional Relations (PROF), the Division of Chemical Education, the Division of Chemistry & the Law, and the Younger Chemists Committee for cosponsoring with us the important and well-attended “Ethical Considerations in Digital Scientific Communication & Publishing” symposium and panel discussion in Dallas. Thanks also to the speakers who made this an exceptional and positive event. All ACS divisions and committees are invited to contact ETHX regarding opportunities for cosponsoring symposia. The committee is enthusiastic to promote your programing that has a strong connection to increasing ethics awareness in the community of chemistry and related disciplines.
In an opportunity catalyzed by organization of this symposium, ETHX met with a representative from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) to explore themes of mutual interest, such as publication ethics education. COPE is an independent registered charity in the U.K. that promotes integrity in research publication. COPE provides advice to editors and publishers on all aspects of publication ethics and created and maintain the Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.
ETHX met with representatives from the Committee on Planning to discuss the ACS Environmental Scan and explore the possibility of engaging the society in a Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SORC). SORC, which was developed by the National Center for Professional & Research Ethics, is a validated instrument designed to measure the research integrity climate in organizations.
ETHX heard reports from several ACS units at our open executive session at the Dallas national meeting. These included the Committee on Patents & Related Matters, the Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs, and PROF. ETHX maintains formal and informal liaison relationships with several ACS units. ACS divisions and committee chairs are asked to contact the ETHX chair if they see an ongoing or ad hoc liaison need with ETHX.
ETHX has been continuing to update and closely align its strategic plan with the current ACS Strategic Plan for 2014 & Beyond. At the open executive session, a series of strategies were approved aimed at realizing ETHX strategic goals. More information may be found on this and other aspect of ETHX at www.acs.org/ethics.—Gregory M. Ferrence, Chair
NOMENCLATURE, TERMINOLOGY & SYMBOLS
An executive meeting of the Council Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology & Symbols (NTS) convened in Dallas on March 17, with 26 persons attending. Reports came in from International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry Division VIII regarding the publication of the most comprehensive nomenclature recommendations for organic chemistry in a single volume; a summary on IUPAC’s project-driven system for new activities; and the IUPAC- International Union of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Joint Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature, which is developing a glossary of biochemical molecules.
A review of the current state on InChi (IUPAC International Chemical Identifier), which provides rules to generate and decode unique chemical substance representations, shows that the linear InChi character strings do not replace conventional chemical names and are best suited to electronic media searches.
A presentation of an extensive document from the ACS Board, “An Environmental Scanning Model,” focused on information generated by an environmental scan of matters relevant to governance committees. The discussion identified emerging trends of most interest to NTS with action items to be determined later this year.
Requirements by the European Union for a registry of every unique substance is gaining attention on nomenclature of unknown or variable composition, and biological materials (UVCB) chemical products. Comparison of EU UVCB names with those used by other regulatory agencies raise questions regarding misleading or uninformative names as well as legal issues.
Stimulated by proposed revisions in the definitions of the mole and the kilogram, the committee has organized a symposium for the San Francisco ACS meeting in August, with focus on implications for chemists and chemical education. Speakers at the symposium will be drawn from the international scientific community.
The next NTS open meeting will take place at the San Francisco ACS meeting on Monday afternoon, Aug. 11.—Albert C. Censullo, Chair
The ACS Project SEED program provides hands-on research experiences and scholarships to economically disadvantaged high school students. Since 1968, Project SEED students have been engaged in chemically related research in academic, government, and industrial laboratories. At the spring 2014 meeting in Dallas, the committee reviewed the 2013 student surveys, which showed that 97% rated their summer experience as excellent, 79% expected to graduate from college, 40% planned to pursue science degrees, and 83% declared that the program helped them decide to pursue a career in science. Of mentors surveyed, 94% indicated they would participate again.
The Programs Subcommittee reported that for 2014, 484 research projects with 510 students were reviewed, of which 28 projects are pending approval upon receipt of additional information and five were denied. The projected cost of the program is $1,351,500. The committee reviewed the program application form and criteria for selection and recommended changes for next year. The committee continued to work on strategies to expand the program to all 50 states. Committee members reported on presentations made at the 2013 Northeast Regional Meeting promoting Project SEED. This summer, Project SEED will have a presence in four new states—Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, and South Dakota—and looks forward to including the remaining 11 states. The Scholarship Subcommittee reported that 43 applications had been received for the nonrenewable college scholarships for the 2014–15 academic year and that it will award 27 in May.
The committee encourages ACS members to support Project SEED via the check-off on their ACS membership renewal form.—Sandra J. Bonetti, Chair
During the ACS meeting in Dallas, the Committee on Technician Affairs (CTS) kicked off its 50th anniversary with an event at Gilley’s Dallas, where members enjoyed a night of barbecue and country music. CTA also held its annual National Chemical Technician Award (NCTA) ceremony to honor the 2014 recipient, Diana Deese, an R&D Reliability/Analytical Technician for Kelly Services assigned to Dow Chemical. The NCTA award recognizes technical and communication skills, safety, reliability, leadership, teamwork, publications, and presentations of technicians. In addition, CTA sponsored scholarships for members to attend leadership courses in Dallas.
Looking forward to San Francisco, CTA will continue its 50th anniversary celebration. CTA will hold a symposium on “The Role of the Chemical Technician through the Decades” in addition to a final celebration to close its 50th anniversary year.—Susan S. Marine, Chair