Official Reports From The ACS National San Francisco | March 23, 2015 Issue - Vol. 93 Issue 12 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 93 Issue 12 | Web Exclusive
Issue Date: March 23, 2015

Official Reports From The ACS National San Francisco

Department: ACS News
Keywords: ACS, national meetings, ACS committees

Committee reports from the fall 2014 American Chemical Society national meeting—which was held in San Francisco last August—appear below. The major actions taken by the ACS Board of Directors and Council during the meeting were reported previously in C&EN.

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REPORTS OF SOCIETY COMMITTEES

 

BUDGET & FINANCE

The Committee on Budget & Finance (B&F) met on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, to review the society’s probable financial results for 2014. ACS is projected to end the year with a net contribution from operations of $14.4 million, or $752,000 favorable to the approved budget. With the exception of the fund balance ratio, a measure of the adequacy of unrestricted net assets, the society is projected to end the year in compliance with the other four board-established financial guidelines.

The committee received a report from its Subcommittee on Communications. The subcommittee reported that brief B&F reports are to be presented at each councilor caucus meeting in San Francisco; that web analytics are available for the B&F web pages; and that the ACS public website has been updated with the society’s 2013 financial information.

The committee received an update from the Board Oversight Group – Society Program Portfolio Management summarizing its progress to date. The new process for Society Program Portfolio Management will be fully implemented in 2015.—Bonnie A. Charpentier, Chair

EDUCATION

The Society Committee on Education (SOCED) voted to approve revisions to the current policy statements on hands-on laboratory science, science and technology funding, and visa restrictions. The committee received an update on the new American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT), which is now accepting members at teachchemistry.org, and was officially launched on Sept. 2, 2014. AACT member benefits include access to curricular resources, such as lesson plans and multimedia; professional development opportunities; a subscription to ChemMatters; and an online member network. The chair of the Chemistry Olympiad Subcommittee reported that the U.S. team earned one gold medal and three silver medals at the International Chemistry Olympiad held in Vietnam in July 2014. SOCED received updates from Education Division staff on the 2013 ACS Graduate Student Survey; the launch of the K-8 website, Adventures in Chemistry; the ACS-Hach program, which supports high school chemistry teachers; and new directions for the 9th Edition of the textbook “Chemistry in Context.” SOCED voted to establish a task force to continue analysis and research on data gathered through the Graduate Student Survey.—Andrew D. Jorgensen, Chair

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REPORTS OF BOARD COMMITTEES

 

STANDING COMMITTEES

GRANTS & AWARDS

The Committee on Grants & Awards met virtually on July 29, 2014.

The chair of the Fellows Oversight Committee reported that 222 nominations were received for the 2014 ACS Fellows designation and 99 Fellows were selected, for a 44% selection rate. It was also noted that the number of women selected increased from 22% in 2013 to 33% in 2014, and the number of recipients from industry increased from 17% in 2013 to 18% in 2014. By nomination type, 40% of the nominations were received from technical divisions, 27% from individuals, 24% from local sections, and 9% from committees.

The chair of the Awards Equity Implementation Team reported that the group met virtually on June 26, and discussed the pilot phase of the Selection Committee rubric template that was sent to six committees; reviewed the Selection Committee balloting email, the National Awards Best Practice draft document, and the Selection Committee invitation letter that was amended to include a disclosure of Selection Committee service; and discussed a list of suggested ideas for the awards publicity program, including how to raise the visibility of the ACS Diversity Statement on the ACS website.

The committee approved a policy whereby National Award Selection Committee discussions and membership on a specified committee are confidential in perpetuity, but unspecified National Award Selection Committee service can be disclosed after the national awards are announced.

The chair of the Awards Review Subcommittee reported that the group is currently reviewing the at-risk national awards and will submit a final report to the committee for review in December.

Staff reviewed nominating activity and gender statistics with the committee. The number of women and industrial scientists nominated for national awards remains low, with some awards without a single female nominee.

The committee voted to recommend to the ACS Board Chair a list of candidates for new appointments to the ACS Petroleum Research Fund Advisory Board and a list of candidates for possible appointment as Chair of the ACS PRF Advisory Board.

The committee approved increasing the cash prize for the Kathryn C. Hach Award for Entrepreneurial Success from $15,000 to $20,000, effective for the 2015 presentation.—Valerie J. Kuck, Chair

PROFESSIONAL & MEMBER RELATIONS

The Committee on Professional & Member Relations (P&MR) met on July 30, 2014. The chair alerted the committee to the approval of a nominal cosponsorship meeting request from the American Meteorological Society. The chair also updated the committee on recent activities regarding the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board, following P&MR guidance to the group in June. In lieu of a national meeting breakfast, P&MR will arrange a virtual meeting with committee chairs in October.

The ACS alliance with the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies (FACS) will expire soon. Staff is working with FACS to renew the agreement, which will be presented to P&MR for its consideration later this year. Following ACS Council action on a petition to establish an International Chemical Sciences Chapter in South Africa, the ACS Board will be asked to vote later this year.

Leaders of the International Activities Committee briefed P&MR on its draft recommendations on international chapter development. P&MR provided comments on the recommendations, which will be incorporated. P&MR also voted to recommend board approval for a resolution recognizing the contributions of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The committee received an update on ACS membership data and market data collection tests. Staff will schedule individual phone conversations with board members to seek guidance on a comprehensive membership overview to frame a discussion in December.—Barbara A. Sawrey, Chair

PUBLIC AFFAIRS & PUBLIC RELATIONS

The Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations (PA&PR) met virtually on July 28, 2014. The chair highlighted several items:

• PA&PR information sheet;

• talking points for ACS Policy Priority Statements;

• snapshot of governance advocacy outreach, including two letters from ACS President Tom Barton endorsing legislation supported by ACS policy statements;

• a new one-page chart on coalitions resulting from the committee’s June brainstorming session. This chart lists ACS public policy priorities, and related coalitions in which ACS participates, as well as major partners in those coalitions.

Office of Public Affairs (OPA) Update

Items shared with the committee included:

• review of major OPA activities at the San Francisco national meeting;

• status of 13 ACS public policy statements being worked on by ACS committees;

• National Historic Chemical Landmark designation ceremonies;

• advocacy outreach initiative of President-elect Diane Grob Schmidt;

• efforts to further facilitate travel of U.S. government scientists to scientific meetings;

• a new infographic initiative undertaken by OPA’s Science Communications unit.

Brainstorming Session

The chair led a continuation of the brainstorming session begun at PA&PR’s June 5, 2014, meeting. The focus of the session was how to improve ACS member involvement in, and overall effectiveness of, the society’s advocacy and communications outreach. The committee discussed two follow-on documents prepared by the chair, in collaboration with OPA staff.

The first document, entitled, “Strategic Focus Areas–ACS Public Affairs & Public Relations,” distilled the largely tactical input from the June brainstorm session and was organized into three major strategic categories: public policy advocacy, public outreach, and best practices. The committee discussed each category and agreed that the document provided an accurate, high-level view of the committee’s major roles, responsibilities, and focus of its work with OPA. The document was shared at an Aug. 12, 2014, breakfast at the San Francisco national meeting, which was attended by chairs from the Committee on Chemistry & Public Affairs, Committee on Public Relations & Communications, the Committee on Community Activities, and the Corporation Associates Public Policy Subcommittee. The purpose of the breakfast is to increase understanding and collaboration among the ACS public affairs- and public relations- related committees.

The second document, “Strategic Questions for Further Discussion,” outlined three big-picture questions, with sub-questions under each, for possible further OPA/PA&PR discussion. The chair made two requests: first, that committee members review and provide feedback on the questions prior to the committee’s meeting in December; and second, that OPA staff and the committee consider using the list of questions to guide future OPA/PA&PR discussions. It was also suggested that the questions might also be used for future discussions by the full ACS Board of Directors or at the Board Open Session at national meetings.

Anatomy of the ACS PressPac: How ACS Generates Media Coverage

OPA Science Communication staff provided background to the committee on how they successfully garner national and international news coverage for research published in ACS journals and presented at ACS national meetings. The presentation examined success of media placements in 2013, which resulted in nearly 22,000 published news articles (print and online); the criteria for selecting research to highlight in the weekly ACS PressPac; and staff efforts to make the technical information relevant and compelling to the general public. The committee expressed its thanks for the impact of these media efforts in communicating the value of chemistry and its practitioners.

Finally, the chair updated committee members on the outcome of activity to nominate ACS members to fill the vacant Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State position. The committee assessed the input and unanimously agreed on its nominee for the position.—Kathleen M. Schulz, Chair

Planning

The Planning Committee met virtually on Jan. 22 and July 29, 2014, to prepare the ACS Strategic Plan for 2015 and Beyond for ACS Board of Directors consideration in December. The plan identifies key challenges and opportunities that form the basis for new objectives in support of the ACS mission, vision, and core values, and the four unchanged ACS goals. These goals are to provide information, advance member careers, improve education, and communicate chemistry’s value. The strategic plan will launch at strategy.acs.org in early January 2015. The draft plan is based upon findings of the ongoing environmental scan, which has been discussed extensively with ACS leadership groups, committees, and staff. This research into the forces affecting the future of the chemistry enterprise uses a “three horizons” approach to consider key trends, future scenarios, and possible uncertainties and turning points that will affect chemistry, chemists, and the society.—Neil D. Jespersen, Chair

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JOINT BOARD-COUNCIL COMMITTEES

 

CHEMICAL ABSTRACTS SERVICE

The Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service (CCAS) met in executive session on Aug. 8, 2014, engaging with CAS management in a lively discussion on recent developments that provide researchers with access to the most comprehensive, authoritative scientific content and enhance their workflows and productivity.

• The CAS databases now contain more than 400 million cited references from journals, conference proceedings, and basic patents from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, European Patent Office, and German patent offices (1997 to the present).

• One-click access to SciFinder is now available to customers from ChemDraw, providing scientists with a highly sought-after shared research solution.

• The new non-Java CAS structure editor continues to be updated and is approaching full functionality.

• Ongoing content and functionality enhancements to STN continue to drive increased engagement and usage.

• Global patent coverage was expanded with the launch of full-text content from Korea, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

• New STN Global Value Pricing provides unlimited access for customers of all sizes at a fixed price while maximizing the value and power of STN.

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, providing CAS management with valuable and enthusiastic feedback on current and future initiatives throughout the discussions in San Francisco. For example, as a result of feedback, CAS will be conducting user research to understand the value of the CASSI Search Tool to help evaluate enhancement requests such as adding old, very short journal abbreviations.—Grace Baysinger, Chair

CHEMICAL SAFETY

The Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS) is in the process of revising “Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories,” or SACL. The last revision of SACL took place in 2003 and CS is incorporating a number of changes to this hallmark safety publication. If you have comments or suggestions, please forward those to safety@acs.org. CCS has formed the Task Force for Safety Education Guidelines (TFSEG) to develop guidance for laboratory safety education for secondary, undergraduate, and graduate schools, as well as faculty and staff. This guidance would identify safety topics and areas that should be taught and competencies that should be achieved and tested at various levels throughout the educational process. TFSEG has representatives from CCS, Committee on Professional Training, Society Committee on Education, Graduate Education Advisory Board, Corporation Associates, Committee on Ethics, Two-Year College Advisory Board, Division of Chemical Health & Safety, Division of Chemical Education, and the American Association of Chemistry Teachers. An initial meeting of TFSEG is planned in Washington at the end of October. If you have suggestions or comments, please contact CCS. CCS has incorporated comments on “Identifying & Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories”–the final version will be posted on the CCS website at www.acs.org/safety. CCS will have a strategic planning retreat in early October to plan programs and initiatives for the next three years. Comments or suggestions are welcome.—Robert H. Hill Jr., Chair

CHEMISTRY & PUBLIC AFFAIRS

The Committee on Chemistry & Public Affairs (CCPA) is responsible for providing ACS with advice and recommendations for action on public policy matters that impact the chemical sciences and technology.

This year marks 40 years of the ACS Public Policy fellowships. In 1974, the ACS Board of Directors established the ground¬breaking Congressional Fellowship Program to place Ph.D.-level scientists and engineers directly on Capitol Hill. In 1986, ACS created the Science Policy Fellowship Program for ACS members to work in the Office of Public Affairs. To celebrate four decades of ACS public policy fellowships, more than 20 former fellows gathered in San Francisco; six of them spoke about their experiences and the program at a symposium sponsored by the Division of Professional Relations and CCPA.

Recent graduates as well as seasoned chemical professionals are encouraged to apply for the ACS Public Policy fellowships. The deadline to apply for the 2015-2016 fellowships is Dec. 31, 2014. More information can be found on the ACS website at www.acs.org/policyfellow.

CCPA considered two draft ACS Policy Statements: Science & Technology Funding & Business Climate, and Hydraulic Fracturing. CCPA partnered with representatives from the Society Committee on Education, the Committee on Corporation Associates, the Committee on Science, and the Committee on Environmental Improvement to draft these statements.

CCPA welcomed guest speaker Michael Rogers from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, who shared program highlights and how his program is faring in the current budget environment.—Susan B. Butts, Chair

CHEMISTS WITH DISABILITIES

The Committee on Chemists with Disabilities (CWD) open and executive meeting in San Francisco featured the following activities:

The ACS Office of International Activities presented the current status of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) treaty, which advocates for human rights for all people, inclusive of the disabled. CWD is committed to encouraging its constituency to contact their state senators to advocate ratification of this treaty.

CWD in collaboration with Rochester Institute of Technology, National Technical School for the Deaf, has updated and digitized CWD’s publication, “Teaching Chemistry to Students with Disabilities.” CWD is making an initial evaluation of the publication to determine the most useful format. The new digital version should be accessible by year’s end and linked to the CWD website.

CWD reviewed a sample of posters that highlight accomplishments of scientists who are differently abled. The committee advised ways to improve the visibility of the posters and how the posters could best be used on national and regional levels.

Collaborative interactions between CWD and the ACS Accessibility Working Group have resulted in the creation and approval of an ACS accessibility statement that will be inserted on all ACS web properties.—Karl S. Booksh, Chair

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

The Committee on Community Activities (CCA) held its Presidential Outreach Event at the Children’s Creativity Museum on Aug. 8, 2014, from 10 AM to 2 PM. Some 44 volunteers from the California and Santa Clara Local Sections and members of CCA presented eight tables of hands-on activities, reaching an estimated 250 members of the public.

CCA formed a new taskforce for coordinating outreach events at national meetings. The purpose of this group is to get more involved in the process of selecting a venue and collaborating with the meeting’s host local section. We believe these task forces will result in a more meaningful collaboration with the host local section for better streamlining of logistics downstream.

Preparations for National Chemistry Week (NCW) and Chemists Celebrate Earth Day (CCED) 2015 are well under way. Materials for NCW and CCED were made available earlier in 2014 and we are poised to have them even earlier in 2015. The titles for CCED and NCW 2015 are “Climate Science–More than Just a Weather Report” and “Chemistry Colors our World,” respectively. CCA is looking for theme team members for 2016 and beyond. Details of a new mini-grant for local sections to conduct outreach outside of National Chemistry Week or Chemists Celebrate Earth Day will be released in September.

Those interested in joining a theme team should contact outreach@acs.org for more information.—George L. Heard, Chair

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT

At the San Francisco national meeting, the Committee on Environmental Improvement (CEI) continued its efforts to highlight sustainability in chemistry. As part of increasing engagement with local sections to provide sustainability activities to their members, the committee awarded a grant to the Lehigh Valley local section to work with Boy Scouts, and recognized the Louisiana Local Section with the annual ChemLuminary Award for Sustainability Activities for their biofuels programming.

The committee also supported programming in San Francisco both as part of the meeting theme and in celebration of the centennial of the Division of Environmental Chemistry. CEI continued to explore upcoming programming opportunities in support of future meeting themes, as well as prospects to coordinate with the technical divisions to provide more sustainability and public policy content.

Related to chemistry education, CEI agreed to make members of the American Association of Chemistry Teachers eligible for the committee’s annual awards for the inclusion of sustainability in the chemistry classroom. CEI intends this coordination to initiate a partnership with AACT on matters of common interest and encourages other ACS units to seek out options to work more closely with K-12 chemistry teachers through AACT.

Finally, CEI continued work on its 2014 public policy recommendations to the ACS Board of Directors on five subjects including updates to the statements on sustainability in the chemical enterprise, the role of scientific insight, and integrity in public policy, as well as new statements on water and on hydraulic fracturing in fossil fuel extraction.—Laura E. Pence, Chair

INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES

The ACS national meeting in San Francisco was notable for its international reach. More than 3,500 international chemical scientists, engineers, and allied practitioners attended, with more than 400 of them joining the committee for the IAC reception on Sunday evening.

As part of its contributions to the meeting’s success, IAC worked with the ACS Office of International Activities to organize or co-sponsor seven symposia; convened four soft-skills training sessions for young Brazilian scholars studying in the U.S.; conducted an experimental networking event for Chinese chemists and allied practitioners; and initiated a soft launch of the ACS International Chemical Sciences Chapter in South Korea, which the Council had approved in April 2014 in Dallas.

At the IAC meeting the committee was pleased to welcome as the luncheon speaker Barbara Sawrey of the ACS Board of Directors and chair of its Subcommittee on Professional & Member Relations. Dr. Sawrey spoke on the topic of “Positioning the Society for Member-Serving Global Engagement.”

In the committee meeting, reports were heard on the IAC International Chapter Development Task Force; preparations for the Latin American Federation of Chemical Associations meeting in October 2014; the plan for the ACS PITTCON program for Central America and the Caribbean scheduled for 2015; the placement of U.S. chemistry students in Europe and Southeast Asia for international research experiences; the programs in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State for the training of young scientists and engineers in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand; outcomes from the ACS Chemistry Festival in Beijing; and a report on ACS interactions with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). IAC approved the revised Visa Restrictions & Scientific Progress Statement produced by IAC and the Society Committee on Education (SOCED). The committee heard about the progress on the IAC social media and International Network of Young Chemists initiative and an update of the IAC-Committee on Professional Training-SOCED Task Force. Finally, the committee reviewed, discussed, and approved to move forward to the ACS Council and the ACS Board new applications to establish ACS International Chemical Sciences Chapters in India and Taiwan and provided guidance to Australia to help strengthen its application.

ACS has 186 local sections but only eight international chapters, with six chapters in Asia and two in Europe. IAC was pleased to present a successful motion to ACS Council to establish a new International Chemical Sciences Chapter in South Africa (subject to board approval), which had strong support from the South African Chemical Institute (SACI) and constituted fulfillment of a provision of the ACS/SACI Alliance Agreement. IAC was also pleased that the ACS Board approved a resolution to honor OPCW on the occasion of its 2013 Nobel Peace Prize for its work in the peaceful application of chemistry for the benefit of humankind.—H. N. Cheng, Chair

MINORITY AFFAIRS

In alignment with the Committee on Minority Affairs (CMA) strategic goal of increasing the visibility of minorities in the American Chemical Society, the committee partnered with ACS technical divisions to have a programmatic presence at the ACS national meeting in San Francisco. For the meeting, CMA organized a symposium in partnership with the Division of Chemical Education titled, “How to Foster Diversity in the Chemical Sciences; Lessons Learned and Taught Through the Stories of Recipients of the Stanley C. Israel Award.” CMA also co-sponsored a 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 heard a presentation from the National Consortium for Diversity in Science & Engineering (NCDSE), a graduate student-led, nationwide organization committed to improving the participation of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and math. NCDSE is seeking to establish an alliance with the committee to increase its chapters and presence within the ACS.

As part of the kickoff to the ACS Scholars program 20th Anniversary celebration in 2015, Madeleine Jacobs, a major champion of the ACS Scholars program, served as the CMA luncheon speaker during the San Francisco national meeting. She moderated a conversation with current and past ACS Scholars to discuss the program’s positive impact on their lives and careers. Over the course of 20 years, the program has enabled 1,400 students to obtain university degrees in the chemical sciences. If you are interested in donating to the ACS Scholars Program or just want more information, please visit www.acs.org/scholars.—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 culminated with the passage of the America Invents Act. CPRM is monitoring the implementation of this new law.

The committee also continues to monitor pending bills regarding “non-practicing entities.” CPRM believes that ACS should not support such legislation. CPRM discussed the new Patent Examiner Technical Training Program under which volunteers share their expertise with patent examiners. The committee will look for ways to assist this program.

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 that recognize 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 CPRM’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

PROFESSIONAL TRAINING

At the August 2014 national meeting, the Committee on Professional Training (CPT) evaluated 42 periodic reports from currently approved undergraduate chemistry programs and updates from eight programs applying for approval. CPT held conferences with three departments starting the process of applying for ACS approval. Four new programs were approved, and one institution was removed from the approved list. There are currently 679 colleges and universities offering ACS-approved bachelor’s degree programs in chemistry.

The committee concluded discussion of the revision of guidelines for obtaining program approval and voted provisional approval of the draft document. The draft guidelines will be distributed to the department chairs of chemistry programs this fall. Comments will be discussed at the CPT meeting in January 2015, and the new guidelines will be released following that meeting. The major changes from the 2008 edition include an increase in the minimum number of faculty in a chemistry department from four to five, an expanded requirement for instrument holdings, required coverage of polymer chemistry in the curriculum, and accommodations for the contact hour requirement for laboratory instructors.

On Sunday, the committee held a lunch meeting with chairs from 38 Ph.D.-granting chemistry departments. Among the topics discussed were capstone experiences for undergraduates, individual development plans for graduate students, and the “ACS Directory of Graduate Research.”

CPT approved the final report about a survey on chemical information resources that will be published in the fall 2014 CPT newsletter and on the ACS website. Plans were developed to conduct a survey of Ph.D. recipients to complement the regular surveys of graduate programs.—Anne B. McCoy, Chair

PUBLICATIONS

The editorial monitoring reports for ACS Combinatorial Science, ACS Macro Letters, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Journal of Proteome Research, and Macromolecules were presented, discussed thoroughly, and accepted with thanks. Editor reappointments were reviewed and recommendations were made. The next publications to be monitored will be ACS Synthetic Biology, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of Organic Chemistry, and Journal of Proteome Research.

It was announced that three Editor Search Committees had recommended, and the ACS Board of Directors had approved the following appointments:

• Professor Courtney C. Aldrich (University of Minnesota) to serve as the inaugural editor of the new ACS journal, ACS Infectious Diseases, effective in 2015;

• Professor Paul J. Chirik (Princeton University) to serve as the editor of Organometallics, effective in 2015;

• Professor David L. Kaplan (Tufts University) to serve as the inaugural editor of the new journal, ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, effective in 2015.

The ACS Publications Division president presented an overview of the division’s operational highlights, new product introductions, recent editor appointments, technology-based initiatives, and open access developments including the “ACS is Open” strategic initiative.

Staff presented the final report for the strategic analysis of C&EN, a project initiated in September 2013. As a result of the analysis, C&EN launched a number of initiatives.—Stephanie L. Brock, Chair

Public Relations & Communications

The Committee on Public Relations & Communications (CPRC) adopted a new strategic plan, with the following mission statement: CPRC supports the ACS goal of improving public understanding and appreciation of chemistry’s contributions to people’s lives. The goals and strategies focus on providing tools and resources to help ACS units and members communicate and conduct outreach with nontechnical and diverse audiences. The new plan is online at www.acs.org/cprc.

The committee has been working on a new model to provide local sections and divisions with more effective communications support, using a communication team approach. CPRC hopes to test this model with a few local sections before the end of the year.

The Chemistry Ambassador program that CPRC oversees piloted a new effort at the San Francisco national meeting called Chemistry Champions, or ChemChamps. This is an American Idol-style competition in which chemists describe their work in a compelling way for nonscientists, and it uses social media to reach a large audience. The pilot was successful and more details can be found at www.acs.org/chemchamps.

The committee continues to administer several awards, including the Helen Free Award for Public Outreach, which was presented to Susan V. Olesik of Ohio State University, and two awards for local section public relations, which were awarded to the Nashville and Kalamazoo local sections. All were presented at the ChemLuminary event. CPRC also canvases for the Grady-Stack Award, which honors authors and journalists who communicate chemistry to the public.—David S. Gottfried, Chair

SCIENCE

The Committee on Science (ComSci) identified two multidisciplinary areas that hold great promise for fostering innovation and opportunities for chemistry-related scientists: advanced materials and the chemistry of clean and renewable energy. The committee, working with ACS technical divisions and other groups, is organizing multidisciplinary forums to identify key technical, policy, and economic challenges to accelerate the development of advanced materials for solar energy, computation, and other critical areas. This series of forums will launch next spring and continue through 2017.

ComSci continues to identify other emerging frontiers by eliciting insights from top chemical scientists from industry, academia, and government—including eminent researchers and rising stars—through surveys, outreach, national meeting forums, and video interviews. ComSci held a successful session at the San Francisco national meeting showcasing cutting-edge science from young, national-award-winning researchers.

ComSci has been active developing, reviewing, and editing several ACS policy statements, and recommended for approval five statements at its last meeting—including new policies on fracking, visa restrictions, sustainability, scientific insight, and a competitive U.S. business climate. The proposed statement on fracking is particularly noteworthy; if supported by other committees and the Board, it would be the first ACS statement on this important issue.

Finally, ACS nominations for the Presidential National Medal of Science and the Grand Prix Award in France were submitted following the national meeting in Dallas. Announcements for these awards are pending.—Katherine C. Glasgow, Chair

SENIOR CHEMISTS

The Senior Chemists Committee (SCC) had a very productive meeting and sponsored many successful activities in San Francisco. The Senior Chemists Breakfast was again a sold-out event with Professor Jean M. J. Fréchet, vice president for research at the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology, as the keynote speaker. His talk focused on creating a new, private, western-style, graduate research university in Saudi Arabia with English as its official language.

A recent highlight of the committee’s work has been the overwhelming success of the recently initiated SCC Local Section Mini-Grant Program. In order to encourage and support senior groups at the local section level, SCC offered mini-grants up to $300. To date, 18 local sections have been funded.

The success of the Senior Chemists Newsletter has been very gratifying. The newsletter now has the highest open rate among ACS-published newsletters.

Also in San Francisco, the SCC was a coorganizer, with the International Activities Committee and the Division of Professional Relations, of a symposium entitled “Innovation in International Collaboration.” In addition, in collaboration with PROF, SCC sponsored a second symposium, “Over 50 & Got a Job.”

For the third consecutive ACS national meeting, SCC served as a cosponsor with Corporation Associates of the highly successful Undergraduate Speed Networking with Chemistry Professional event.

As a result of these initiatives, SCC has reconstituted a Strategic Planning Subcommittee to address how the committee can best go forward and respond to the needs that have been articulated.—George E. Heinze, Chair

WOMEN CHEMISTS

The Women Chemists Committee (WCC) is most excited to announce a continued effort to focus our programs that promote the retention of women in the chemical enterprise and that seek to increase the number of national technical awards awarded to women.

Springer Publishing, with direction from four editors and discussions with the WCC, recently published a new book—“Mom, the Chemistry Professor”—that compiled stories of successful women professors who are also mothers. By showcasing these women who’ve been able to balance motherhood and academe, the book aims to increase the participation and retention of women among higher education faculty. While the book is a great avenue for disseminating this information, and its main purpose is in alignment with the goals of the WCC, the committee recognizes some aspects of the book require improvement. The first edition of this book was narrow in scope and lacked the diversity that could have inspired a broader group of current and future chemists. Future editions will include a more diverse and inclusive collection of stories.

Looking into the future, the WCC has established an Awards Task Force that is focusing its energy on increasing the number of women nominated and eventually awarded ACS national technical awards. The Women in the Chemical Enterprise Breakfast at the San Francisco national meeting was the first WCC program centered on this effort. The task force is interested in creating tools and offering programming that will provide information and guidance about the award nomination process in an effort to increase the number of nominations.—Amber F. Charlebois, Chair

YOUNGER CHEMISTS

The Younger Chemists Committee (YCC) met on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 9 and 10, 2014, during the ACS national meeting, and continued the effort to bring quality programming to the younger chemist constituency, as well as to the broader society. The meeting in San Francisco included events such as the annual YCC/ACS Member Insurance Fun Run, and the innovate “Pop-up-Bar” social event utilizing social media advertising. Programming included “Young Investigators in Nuclear Chemistry” cosponsored with the Division of Nuclear Chemistry & Technology, and “Advances in Small Molecule Approaches to HIV” cosponsored with the Division of Professional Relations (PROF).

Over the course of the last few meetings, including in San Francisco, the committee continued to work with local section younger chemists to provide programming. For the San Francisco meeting, the YCC and PROF worked with graduate student Brian Leon of University of California, Santa Cruz, to provide financial, planning, and advertising support to put on the HIV symposium.

Outside of national meetings, the interaction with local section younger chemists continues through the Program-in-a-Box activity. This rapidly growing activity consists of a kit—put together by YCC and ACS Webinars—which is sent to local section groups that register. The kits include items that help the webinar to become a fun and interactive experience. Currently, two of these events are being held each year; the last one, on “The Chemistry of Scents and Fragrances,” drew more than 2000 participants through the use of 100 boxes.

On the international front, the next round of the Younger Chemists Crossing Borders Program will continue as ACS younger chemists head to the 5th Annual EuCheMS Chemistry Congress in Istanbul on Aug 31 to Sept. 4. Then later this fall a delegation will travel to Peru for the Congreso Latinoamericano de Química, as the YCC begins to establish relationships in South America. What began as a European exchange program during the International Year of Chemistry is expanding across the globe.

By continually providing quality international, national, regional, and local opportunities for younger members to participate in the society, the YCC strives to offer resources to help our members thrive in the increasingly global world.—Douglas B. Hausner, Chair

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REPORTS OF COUNCIL COMMITTEES

ELECTED COMMITTEES

 

COMMITTEES

The Committee on Committees (ConC) announced that its annual New Chairs Training Session will be held in Dallas from Jan. 23 to 25, 2015, as part of the ACS Leadership Institute.

Performance reviews for the committees on science and ethics have been completed, and ConC expects to take action on them at a national meeting next year.

In San Francisco, Council approved ConC’s recommendation that the Committee on Patents & Related Matters, subject to concurrence by the Board of Directors, and the Committee on Technician Affairs be continued.

ConC is developing its recommendations for 2015 committee chair, member, associate, and consultant appointments for consideration by the President-Elect and the Chair of the Board.

Finally, on behalf of Council, ConC recognized 43 Councilors who will have served the statutory limit or otherwise completed their service on ACS governance committees at the end of 2014; 12 committee chairs who will have served the statutory limit on the committee they chair; and 37 members who have served 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 years as Councilors.—Dawn A. Brooks, Chair

NOMINATIONS & ELECTIONS

The Committee on Nominations & Elections (N&E) will implement several procedural changes in 2015: the start of official campaigning for national elections will change from one month to one week after the conclusion of the spring national meeting, potential petition candidates will be asked to notify N&E of their intent to circulate petitions to be a candidate for national office so they can receive petition and campaign information in a timely manner, and the interval for balloting in national elections will be reduced from six to four weeks. Also, Councilors voting to select their two district director candidates from among four nominees will now have the option of voting by mail ballot or internet.

N&E is also working on a bylaw amendment that will introduce preferential balloting for all stages in national elections, including for Director-at-Large.

Ballots for the 2014 fall national election will be mailed on Oct. 3 with a voting deadline six weeks later on Nov. 14. Members will have the option to vote electronically or by the traditional paper ballot.

In its executive session, N&E developed slates of potential nominees for President-Elect 2016 and Directors of Districts I and V for 2016-18, as well as a slate of potential candidates for Director-at-Large, for 2016-18. The pertinent biographical information will appear in the Council agenda book for the 249th ACS national meeting, in Denver.—D. Richard Cobb, Chair

 

STANDING COMMITTEES

 

CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS

Since the beginning of 2014, the Committee on Constitution & Bylaws (C&B) certified bylaws for 10 local sections, one division, and two international chemical sciences chapters. All certified bylaws and the status report are available at www.acs.org/bulletin5. Since the spring 2014 ACS national meeting in Dallas, C&B has submitted detailed bylaw reviews and marked-up bylaws to eight local sections and two divisions, plus expedited bylaws to two local sections.

In addition, C&B voted on changes to model bylaws for local sections, divisions, and international chemical sciences chapters. The Committees on Local Section Activities, Divisional Activities, and International Activities, respectively, will be asked to review and approve C&B’s changes.

C&B urges councilors to inform their respective local section or division officers that they should contact bylaws@acs.org for information on how to update bylaws. It is extremely important to follow through until C&B certifies the bylaws on behalf of council.

New petitions to amend the constitution or bylaws must be received by the society’s executive director by Dec. 3 to be included in the council agenda, for consideration at the spring 2015 meeting. Petition guidelines are in Bulletin 5: www.acs.org/bulletin5.—Donna G. Friedman, Chair

DIVISIONAL ACTIVITIES

The Committee on Divisional Activities (DAC) conducted a pilot program at the San Francisco national meeting regarding a new type of recorded meeting content. DAC is assessing the value members attach to 3- to 5-minute video recordings that focus on the most notable aspects of a full-length presentation. The hope is that these recordings, known as ACS POD Shorts, will advance DAC’s goal to more broadly disseminate technical information delivered at ACS meetings.

DAC received an update on the Meeting Abstracts Programming System, also known as MAPS. The new system will launch on Aug. 25, 2014, in preparation for the Denver national meeting. Regional meetings and specialty conferences will begin to use MAPS in January2015.

The committee received an update from the Committee on Grants & Awards indicating women and industry chemists are underrepresented in nominations for national awards. DAC agreed to communicate these findings to the divisions, and ask them to consider ways to address this deficiency.

DAC wants to more effectively gather, evaluate, and disseminate division best practices. The committee believes that divisions–collectively–are implementing innovative solutions in a large number of areas, but lack the means to easily learn about and adapt these approaches. DAC is developing a process to more readily permit divisions to benefit from one another’s innovations.

DAC is collaborating with other ACS groups to review and update, if necessary, the society’s policy governing the use of devices to capture and/or disseminate content delivered at our meetings.—Michael J. Morello, Chair

ECONOMIC & PROFESSIONAL AFFAIRS

The unemployment rate for ACS chemists in the U.S. has dropped from 3.5% in March 2013 to 2.9% as of March 2014. However, the unemployment rate for new chemistry graduates as of August 2013 is at an all-time high of 14.6%. The rate for bachelor’s level graduates alone is even higher, at 15.8%.

Late in 2013, then-ACS President Marinda Wu appointed the Presidential Task Force “Vision 2025: Helping ACS Members to Thrive in the Global Chemistry Enterprise.” One of the recommendations of the task force was to investigate the supply and demand of chemists relative to jobs. To address this recommendation, a new task force was formed. Its official report will be published later in 2014.

The key finding from the report is that the production of bachelor’s degree chemists by U.S. institutions has outpaced demand. The surplus started in 2008 corresponding with the beginning of the Great Recession, and the number of bachelor’s degrees granted continues to ramp up. In contrast, the production of master’s and Ph.D. chemists in the U.S. has remained relatively constant and in line with demand. Our focus for assistance, therefore, must be directed to bachelors-level graduates.

To better address the career and employment development needs of ACS members, the Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs (CEPA) is assessing the current portfolio of programs and services available from ACS. This effort corresponds with the Board of Director’s newly launched Society Program Portfolio Management initiative.

Career and professional advancement tools available from the society continue to be added to the new ACS Career Navigator. A promotional campaign has been launched for the navigator including new branding, blogs, social media, print materials, and a website.

With the concurrence of the Council Policy Committee, the newest revision of the Professional Employment Guidelines was presented to council for action . The revised guidelines were approved, and will be forwarded to the ACS Board of Directors for ratification during their December 2014 meeting.

Statistics for the onsite ACS Career Fair and the Virtual Career Fair at the San Francisco meeting are shown in the table below.

Additionally, résumé reviews, mock interviews, business plan pitch reviews, and Career Navigator workshops were conducted during the meeting.—Louise M. Lawter, Chair

LOCAL SECTION ACTIVITIES

The Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC) presented the 2013 Awards for Outstanding Performance for Local Sections at the 15th Annual ChemLuminary Awards celebration. The winners were the Brazosport, California, Indiana, Midland, Kentucky Lake, and Nashville local sections. Four other sections received ChemLuminary Awards for their 2013 activities: Indiana, Nashville, Northeastern, and South Carolina.

LSAC reported that the reviews of the 178 annual reports submitted have been completed. Sections are encouraged to log into FORMS to download their review and to provide a response within six weeks. The statistical review, which shows a compilation of all local section activity, can be found at www.acs.org/getinvolved.

LSAC reviewed the June 30 Innovative Project Grant proposals and will award 14 grants totaling $30,033. This brings the total for 2014 to 33 IPG awards totaling over $70,000.

LSAC will be offering grants during the fall to assist local sections with hosting a strategic planning retreat, hosting a Leadership Development System course in their section, and traveling to the 2015 ACS Leadership Institute.

National Chemistry Week will be held Oct. 19-25 and LSAC encourages all local sections to celebrate the theme, “The Sweet Side of Chemistry: Candy.”

LSAC voted and recommended to the Council Policy Committee (CPC) that the council agenda for the 2014 fall ACS national meeting be amended to remove the petition regarding the Ocean County territory. CPC approved. LSAC voted to recommend to Council to dissolve the Ocean County Local Section due to inactivity and the lack of a response to an action plan that would have assisted with reviving the section.—Martin D. Rudd, Chair

MEETINGS & EXPOSITIONS

The Committee on Meetings & Expositions (M&E) accepted 11,847 papers for the national meeting in San Francisco. The total attendance for the meeting was 15,813; the exposition had 432 booths with 285 exhibiting companies.

The committee voted to recommend to the ACS Board of Directors the following cities for the sites of national meetings: Chicago (fall 2022), Boston (fall 2024, 2029, 2031), San Diego (spring 2025 and 2031, and fall 2027), and New Orleans (spring 2027, 2032).

The Democratic National Committee has Philadelphia as a finalist for the Presidential Convention in 2016, and the dates of the fall national meeting in 2016 conflict with these proposed dates. ACS has been asked to move its meeting forward one week should Philadelphia’s bid be accepted by the DNC. M&E voted to consider moving the meeting from Aug. 18-24 to Aug. 25-31 if the financial incentive provided to ACS by the city of Philadelphia is acceptable.

The committee spent considerable time debating the recording policy for attendees at our meetings. The current policy precludes all photography and recording of technical sessions and posters without the permission of ACS. Despite an expanded educational effort on this policy, M&E has noticed a significant increase in the number of attendees violating this policy. M&E voted to strengthen the recording policy by including enforcement language.—Will E. Lynch, Chair

MEMBERSHIP AFFAIRS

As of June 30, the ACS membership total was 158,869. The number of international members has grown to almost 25,000, while the number of unpaid members declined in June. The number of regular, full dues members who were unpaid in June 2014 was 13% lower than in June of last year.

ACS members now have a new, easier payment option. As of July 1, automatic renewal became available so that members can enroll to have their credit card automatically charged for membership renewal each year. Forty-five days in advance of the automatic charge, a reminder will be emailed saying that the renewal charge will soon occur and for what amount. Details will be included in the renewal notices for 2015, but are also available to members who are renewing now.

The committee received a report on the market data collection tests now underway. Details will be provided to the council in the Membership Affairs Committee’s written report for the Denver national meeting council agenda next spring. In the meantime, MAC authorized staff to test discounted dues to international members based on a tiered categorization of the gross annual income in their countries as published by the World Bank.

In addition, the committee voted to extend its test of an introductory membership offer to the graduate students and potential regular members who attend ACS on Campus events. ACS on Campus is often hosted by local faculty members who can be powerful advocates for the ACS, and the committee wants to support their efforts.—James M. Landis Jr., Chair

 

OTHER COMMITTEES

 

ETHICS

Focused on our vision for ethics to permeate the culture of chemistry, the Committee on Ethics continues to promote and support high standards of ethical conduct and integrity in the community of chemistry and related disciplines for the benefit of science and society.

Of particular significance is our strengthening relationship with the National Center for Professional & Research Ethics (NCPRE). In addition to participation in the recent NCPRE-hosted “Connecting Silos Ethics Curriculum Conference,” a Committee on Ethics member is currently in residence at NCPRE for a 2014-15 academic year sabbatical.

The focus of the sabbatical at NCPRE ties in to the Education & Materials subcommittee’s action plan to develop ethics education materials. Thank you to the Divisional Activities Committee for granting a Technical Division Innovative Project Grant titled “Developing Short Video Ethics Scenarios for Ethics Education in Chemistry” to the Division of Professional Relations to support part of this important collaboration.

At the open executive meeting in San Francisco, the Education & Materials subcommittee looked at topics such as educating students with respect to patents and industry protocols that differ from academia. The subcommittee is working to develop materials to address ethics education at all levels of training.

The Communications & Awareness Subcommittee has committed to producing a twice-yearly newsletter to concisely showcase current Committee on Ethics endeavors. Each single-page newsletter will be emailed to ACS local section, committee, division, and national leaders and will be made available to all ACS members via the ACS ethics website. The subcommittee is actively developing a facilitated workshop on ethics issues to be offered to local sections. The Committee on Ethics is seeking collaboration with local sections and divisions on projects to promote ethics awareness.

The Programming & Screening Subcommittee is seeking to cosponsor or help to embed ethics-related content and/or dialog into presentations and symposia. To this end we need the help of organizers and presenters to identify ethics concepts in their papers. For example, if you have a panel discussion, consider including a person who could provide an ethics perspective on the panel. The committee can help identify individuals for this role, and currently offers limited ability to provide interactive ethics presentations or workshops at regional meetings.

Collaborating with the Committee on Ethics is an excellent way to deliver crosscutting outcomes impacting a wide range of ACS local sections, divisions, and committees, and the committee is here to facilitate. Please contact the committee with opportunities.

More information may be found regarding aspects of ETHX at www.acs.org/ethics.—Gregory M. Ferrence, Chair

NOMENCLATURE, TERMINOLOGY & SYMBOLS

The Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology & Symbols (NTS) met in open meeting in San Francisco on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, with 32 attendees. A major report described the NTS-organized symposium, “Redefining the Mole and the Kilogram: Impact on Chemistry,” a technical program session immediately preceding the NTS meeting. At that symposium, five speakers and approximately 45 attendees reviewed the pending redefinitions and explored the potential problems for practicing chemists and for chemical educators. It was noted that there has been little consultation with chemists about changes in definitions of the mole, amount of substance and the kilogram. To address this issue, NTS will provide input to the United States National Committee for the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), per USNC’s request, on how these new definitions might affect the chemical enterprise.

Other reports included systemization work on biochemical and carbohydrate nomenclature, committee communications and outreach to ACS Divisions on NTS activities and expertise, and United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) revisions to labeling and safety issues, and the inclusion of pictograms for language-impaired users.

NTS continues its outreach to IUPAC and the National Academy of Sciences with ongoing interactive communications.—Albert C. Censullo, Chair

PROJECT SEED

In 2014, Project SEED celebrates its 46th year of providing summer research experiences to economically disadvantaged high school students. This summer, more than 400 high school students from 37 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico performed research with volunteer scientists in academic, governmental, and industrial laboratories. The number of high school students impacted by this program is approaching 10,000. Nonrenewable college scholarships for entering freshmen were awarded to 28 Project SEED alumni who participated in programs from 16 states and Puerto Rico, and who will be majoring in chemistry or chemically related fields.

At the San Francisco meeting, Project SEED held three events including a reception and poster presentations to honor Project SEED students, donors, and volunteers. At the Sci-Mix poster session, 22 Project SEED students from the California, Pittsburgh, Portland, and Snake River Local Sections and from Clark Atlanta, Stanford, and Western Kentucky Universities presented their research. At the ChemLuminary Awards, Project SEED recognized three finalists for the 2013 Outstanding Project SEED program: the California, Chemical Society of Washington, and New York Local Sections. The Chemical Society of Washington won the award.

The committee reviewed and approved changes to the project selection process and to the college scholarship application and selection process. To expand the Project SEED presence to all 50 states, the committee established the Geographic Expansion Subcommittee. And the committee worked with the ACS Ethics Task Force to implement student ethics guidelines as a requirement for all Project SEED programs.

The Project SEED Committee thanks donors and volunteers for their continued support and commitment.—Sandra J. Bonetti, Chair

TECHNICIAN AFFAIRS

2014 was the 50th Anniversary of the Committee on Technician Affairs (CTA). At the San Francisco national meeting, CTA concluded its celebration with a symposium on “The Role of the Chemical Technician through the Decades,” which was co-sponsored with the Division of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry (I&EC) and the Division of the History of Chemistry (HIST).

In honor of the 50th anniversary, CTA was honored to present three awards. First, the committee presented a Salute to Excellence to former CTA chair Mary Moore at the ACS Diversity Reception. Secondly, CTA presented K. Michael Shea Awards to Ken Chapman and Connie Murphy at the committee’s 50th anniversary dinner. This award recognizes outstanding service to the applied chemical technology community and/or profession. Outstanding service includes significant achievements or contributions beyond the call of duty. The last K. Michael Shea Award was given more than 5 years ago.

Finally, CTA was honored to present the first CTA ChemLuminary award to the Brazosport Local Section. CTA would like to encourage all local sections and divisions to submit nominations for the new ChemLuminary Award for the Best Technician-Related Event by a Local Section or Division.—Susan S. Marine, Chair  

 
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © American Chemical Society

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