What better place to showcase the broad role and impact that computers have on chemistry than in San Diego, a hotbed of biotech and high tech. That’s where more than 16,000 people in the chemical sciences gathered last week to share some of the most exciting developments in their fields during the 251st American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition.
The plenary session focused on the ways that computational work is aiding catalysis and energy conversion, drug design and discovery, and the design of proteins and functional materials. And on Monday, Kavli Foundation lecturers Rommie Amaro of the University of California, San Diego, and Emily Carter of Princeton University showcased the power of computation.
In addition, the meeting featured presidential symposia focusing on work by the ACS President’s Task Force on Employment and on efforts to increase diversity in the chemical sciences.
Diversity was highlighted throughout the meeting. During the Committee on Minority Affairs luncheon, National Institute of Standards & Technology Director Willie E. May recounted his path from growing up in a segregated city to becoming the highest-ranking chemist in the federal government. A special symposium honored the legacy of the late Stanley C. Israel, a champion of diversity in the chemical sciences. And ACS’s Spanish resources were on full display at the International reception.
Attendance: 16,398 (as of March 17)
Papers presented: 12,530
Exhibiting companies: 274
Job seekers at the ACS Career Fair: 739
Employers at the ACS Career Fair: 30
Positions available at the ACS Career Fair: 106
In society news, among other actions, the ACS Board of Directors voted to allow for national awards and ACS Fellow designations to be rescinded when reasonable grounds are found to exist. It also approved an endowment to support the E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy.
At the ACS Council meeting, councilors selected two candidates for 2017 ACS president-elect: Peter K. Dorhout, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Kansas State University, and Thomas R. Gilbert, acting chair of the department of chemistry and chemical biology at Northeastern University.
The Committee on Budget & Finance reported on the society’s 2015 financial performance at the council meeting. Revenues totaled $511.7 million, and net contribution from operations reached $16.6 million, $3.2 million more than had been budgeted. The society’s unrestricted net assets bounced back, increasing from $144.7 million at the end of 2014 to $163.3 million by the end of 2015.
Furthermore, the council voted to approve a $4.00 increase in ACS dues to $166 for 2017. It also voted to approve the revised Academic Professional Guidelines submitted by the Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs. The document now goes to the ACS Board for consideration.