If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.




October 31, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 42


Letters to the editor

Diversity in ads

“Your Next Chemistry Job Awaits You.” That is the caption of the full-page ad that has been running frequently in print C&EN. A recent appearance is on page 4 of the Oct. 5 issue. I have seen this ad in C&EN at least five times since the end of June/beginning of July, and I am sure that I saw it many times before I began keeping count.

The ad features a graphic of a white male in a lab coat. A white male was the face of chemistry when I began my studies in the 1960s. As a (white) woman, I didn’t see many of my peers when I was looking for employment.

I have not seen many variations of this ad in C&EN. A recent exception was on page 40 of the Aug. 24 issue. There I see a white person of indeterminate sex who is wearing a necktie. An ad that I remember seeing last year showed both men and women, all white.

On Aug. 31, American Chemical Society members received an email from President Luis Echegoyen on “ACS Diversity, Inclusion & Respect Commitments and Activities.” To mention a few recent C&EN articles, I point to page 43 of the July 20 issue, which had a Comment piece by Dr. Echegoyen on eliminating systemic racism, and the cover story in the Sept. 7 issue, which was titled “Helping Black Chemists Blossom.” It shouldn’t be difficult to run ads that show diversity, inclusion, and respect.

I have tried several times to contact ACS leadership about this problem, to no effect. I am reaching out to the membership to express my concern.

(The white male in the offending ad is at the bench with test tubes and a Bunsen burner but wearing eyeglasses, not safety goggles.)

Marjorie Kandel
Port Jefferson Station, New York

PRF grants

I enjoyed the recent article in C&EN on the 65th anniversary of the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (PRF) grants (Sept. 21, 2020, page 37). As a young first-year assistant professor of chemistry at California State University, Los Angeles, in 1970, I received a $7,500 3-year PRF starter grant. This allowed me to pay my undergraduate research students a small stipend, and the results from this grant led to one publication in Tetrahedron Letters and five articles in the Journal of Organic Chemistry. Thus, the groundwork for my very enjoyable 36-year research and teaching career at Cal State LA was nurtured by the PRF program. I am very grateful for that early opportunity.

Don Paulson
Ouray, Colorado



This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.