American Chemical Society, Chicago Section

Report of Fall 2003 Council Meeting
Held on September 10, 2003 in New York, NY

The 226th National Meeting of the ACS was held in New York, NY from September 7 - 11, 2003. Attendance at this meeting was reported to be 14,030 people, including 10,640 meeting attendees, 1949 exhibitors, 885 exhibition-only attendees and 556 guests. The Chicago section was fully represented by 13 councilors. The councilors who attended for the section were: Roy H. Bible Jr., Cherlynlavaughn Bradley, Charles E. Cannon, David S. Crumrine, Nathaniel L. Gilham, Russell W. Johnson, Fran K. Kravitz, Thomas J. Kucera, Claude A. Lucchesi, Barbara E. Moriarty, Seymour H. Patinkin, Marsha Anne Phillips, and Stephen Sichak. Jim Shoffner was present at the meeting as a Director-at-Large.

At the beginning of the meeting, Ellis Fields was recognized for his many contributions to the ACS. In addition, the following Chicago councilors were recognized for their years of service on the ACS Council: Claude Lucchesi (30 years), Jim Shoffner (30 years), Tom Kucera (35 years), Ellis Fields (35 years), and Roy Bible (40 years).

President's Report: President Reichmanis talked about meeting with top science advisors in the Administration, where she discussed the critical role that chemistry plays in enabling many other technologies that impact our daily lives. In addition, she has met with chemistry industry executives, as part of our continued cooperation with the American Chemistry Council (ACC). She discussed with them the impact that outsourcing R&D has on chemists.

President-Elect's Report: Dr. Casey said that he would have presidential events in Anaheim on nanoscience to highlight the recent NRC report "Beyond the Molecular Frontier." In Philadelphia he will have a symposium on graduate education. All divisions were asked to provide programming on these two topics during 2004.

Chair of the Board: The Chair of the Board of Directors, Nina McClelland, reported that the Board is continuing to deal with two major issues. The first is the Strategic Plan for 2004 - 2006. The focus of the strategic plan will probably be Science, Profession and Public (SP2). The plan is in a draft form. The second issue is the search for a new executive director, since John Crum will retire at the end of 2003. John Crum has been an ACS member since 1962, on the staff at ACS since 1964 and executive director since 1983. As of the deadline for receipt of applications, September 2, 2003, they had received 250 applications. They will be narrowing this list considerably, and still anticipate meeting their deadline to hire a replacement before the end of the year. A proposed merger with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) was also mentioned, but details were not discussed. David Schutt was named CFO and Denise Creech was named Director of the Membership Division.

Budget: There may be an unfavorable variance in the budget for 2003, but it will not be as large as it could have been. The net deficit is $3.1 million, which is $1.9 million unfavorable for the budget. The variance is due to lower advertising revenues, lower investment income and subscription defaults. This was partially offset by electronic journal subscriptions, STN and SciFinder. ACS staff was recognized for their efforts in keeping this unfavorable variance as small as possible.

Awards: Lee Marek won the Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach.

Education: An invitational conference was held in June entitled, "Exploring the Molecular Visions," in order to reinvent chemical education. Over 50 prominent molecular scientists attended this conference.

Local Section Affairs: The theme of the 2003 National Chemistry Week celebration, to be held October 19 - 25, 2003, is "Earth's Atmosphere and Beyond." The theme for 2004 will be "Health and Wellness". The Chicago Section received the award for "Best Overall Local Section Committee on Minority Affairs."

Project SEED: Project SEED celebrated its 35th anniversary this year, with a symposium and panel discussion titled "Project SEED 35 Years of Success, Investing in the Future." Since 1968, more than 6300 high school students have participated in Project SEED. In 2002 there were 291 Summer I students at 93 institutions and 115 Summer II students at 39 institutions. In addition, 30 students were selected for SEED College Scholarships. Forty former Project SEED students presented posters at a poster session during the reception following the symposium. A reception was also held to recognize long-time mentors and coordinators. From Chicago, Warren Sherman, Ken Neet, and Greg Kharas were honored. At the Sci-Mix activity the night prior to the symposium, 88 SEED students, mostly SEED I students, presented their research at the poster session. In concluding her final oral report to council as chair of the Council Committee on Project SEED, Milagros Delgado emphasized that the program is 35 years old and still going strong and that the Committee invites everyone to join in the celebration of past successes and ensure the future success of SEED by becoming a donor, coordinator, or mentor.

Membership Affairs: As of 6/30/02, the Society's membership was 156,374, which is 0.8% ahead of last year at the same time. Student members have increased over 2002 by >1000, while the number of unpaid memberships has decreased compared to 2002. New personal member benefits from Budget and Enterprise Rental Cars are being added. The membership cards will be modified to include both these benefits, as well as the dates of future national meetings.

There are proposals to change the membership qualifications for High School (pre-college) chemistry teachers.

Economic and Professional Affairs: As of the end of Tuesday, there were 1372 job seekers at the National Employment Clearinghouse (NECH); there were 153 representatives from 97 employers with 290 positions available. The number of interviews conducted in New York, as of the end of Tuesday, was 1564 interviews. An updated edition of the Professional Employment Guidelines (PEG) is on target for release in 2004. Concern has been raised about the reclassification of chemist by the US government. The net effect of the loss of 94,000 chemists may have a dramatic effect on membership.

Ethics: The Council Policy Committee continues to explore the possibility of the formation of a Committee on Ethics.

Chemical Safety: Copies of the two volumes of the 7th edition of Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories (SACL), the flagship publication of the Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS) were sent via the Project SEED staff to all the SEED students and their mentors for use in the summer 2003 research programs. One volume is for students and the other one for faculty/administrators. The revision of Chemical Safety Manual for Small Businesses is nearly completed. Chicago Section member Ken Fivizzani is doing the revision of the manual.

If you have any questions and/or comments about the above actions, please contact me by email ( or one of the other councilors.

(with help from Cherlyn Bradley)