American Chemical Society, Chicago Section

Report of Council Meeting Held on April 10, 2002 at the Orange County Convention Center

By Barbara Moriarty...

The 223nd National Meeting of the ACS was held in Orlando, FL from April 7 - April 11, 2002. Attendance at this meeting was reported to be 14,308 people, including 12,246 meeting attendees and 2,062 exhibition-only attendees. The Chicago section was fully represented. The councilors for the section are: Dr. Roy H. Bible Jr. (1964-2002), Dr. Cherlyn Bradley (1993-2004), Dr. Charles E. Cannon (2001-2002), Dr. David S. Crumrine (2001-2003), Mr. Nathaniel L. Gilham (1988-2002), Dr. Russell W. Johnson (2001-2004), Ms. Fran K. Kravitz (1992-2003), Dr. Thomas J. Kucera (1970-2002). Dr. Claude A. Lucchesi (1974-2003), Dr. Barbara E. Moriarty (1996-2004), Dr. Seymour H. Patinkin (1978-2004), Ms. Marsha Anne Phillips (1998-2003) and Mr. Stephen Sichak (1980-2003). Jim Shoffner was present at the meeting as a Director-at-Large, while Ellis Fields was present as a past president of the society. Both Jim and Ellis are ex officio councilors.

Presidential Themes for 2001: President Eli Pearce has a number of themes that he is promoting during his year as President. One of his themes is diversity. The Women Chemists Committee (WCC) is celebrating their 75th anniversary, while the National Organization for Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) is celebrating their 30th anniversary. This year there are several initiatives to increase the number and involvement of minorities in the ACS. One of these projects, named PROGRESS, chaired by Helen Free, will develop, test and evaluate programs aimed at the full participation and advancement of women chemists and chemical engineers. Another theme is outreach to governmental officials. President Pearce would like all of us to become members of the Legislative Action Network (LAN), which is a program to keep ACS members informed of issues being considered in the US Congress, and provides us with a quick and easy way to contact our representatives in Washington, DC. (See the ACS website for details). The board mentioned that they had met with John Marburger, III, the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). An editorial describing some of the discussions was printed in C&E News in late April.

Meetings: This was the second largest meeting in terms of the number of booths, after Chicago last August. It should be noted that attendance at Orlando exceeded the estimate, and thus may be more profitable than expected. In recent years, there has been a push to promote regional meetings. In 2001, despite 9/11, there were 8 successful regional meetings with a total attendance of 6,268. In his address to Council, President Eli Pearce said that one of his goals is to make the regional meetings have the same status as the national meetings. To this end, he promoted a program begun last year, where Local sections and divisions could receive a grant for combined technical programs at regional meetings. All four regional meetings scheduled for this spring have applied for these grants.

Governance: The two candidates for 2003 President-Elect were selected. They are Charles P. Casey of the University of Wisconsin and Alvin L. Kwiram from the University of Washington. One of the issues that was raised recently was the size of the national committees. Last year the council voted to increase the size of standing committees. A vote on an amendment to increase the size of society committees was postponed until later.

Budget: 2001 was the first year in many that the society will experience a deficit. This is because of unfavorable conditions in our investments. However, the deficit was less than originally expected; the deficit was $8.3 million, instead of the expected $9.5 million. The Board of Directors has approved a deficit budget of $2 million for the year 2002 and a smaller deficit budget of $1 million for 2003. The council voted to approve an increase of $4 in dues for 2003 to $116.

Awards: At this meeting the following national awards were received by section members at an elegant Awards Program and Ceremony on Tuesday. The ACS Award in Industrial Chemistry was presented to Bipin V. Vora, of UOP, LLC, in Des Plaines, IL. The ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences was presented to James P. Shoffner, retired from UOP, LLC, in Des Plaines, IL. The Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal was presented to Marion C. Thurnauer, of Argonne National Laboratory. The E. V. Murphree Award in Industrial and Engineering was presented to George R. Lester, retired from Allied Signal, Inc. At council on Wednesday morning, an announcement was made that Zafra Lerman has been awarded the Parsons Award.

International Activities: The ACS continues to explore being an international organization. A 3-year pilot project is underway to provide bilateral memberships in the chemical societies of Canada, Japan, Israel, Chile and Taiwan. ACS members can join and participate in the chemical societies of these countries and receive a 20% discount.

Membership Affairs: At the end of 2001, there were 163,503 ACS members, with a retention rate of almost 94%; this is an increase of 486 members over 2002. Direct mail brought in 2000 less members in 2001, compared to 2000. Improvements to ACS services and benefits are continuing. This year, the back of your membership card appears different than in past years. Some of the benefits to you are listed on the back of your membership cards for the first time. In addition, efforts are underway to increase the use of electronic means to communicate with members. One example is a new online dues renewal system, which was successfully launched to a pilot group in December.

Economic and Professional Affairs: If you considered data provided by the National Employment Clearinghouse (NECH), employment continued to be good for chemists. There were 131 employers at the clearinghouse interviewing for 988 potential hires; there were 867 candidates. In addition, there were many programs at the Career Resource Center, offered by the ACS Department of Career Services. One widely-used program is the Career Consultant program, which provides career assistance using experienced chemists who serve as trained volunteer career consultants. If you are interested in becoming a career consultant, contact Fran Kravitz or myself. The assessment of the Professional Employment Guidelines (PEG) in order to determine if the publication is in need of revision has begun. If you haven't read either PEG or APEG (Academic PEG), they are available on the ACS web site. If you have comments on PEG that you feel should be included in the next draft, please contact Fran Kravitz (, who will relay your comments to the subcommittee beginning the review.

ACS Publications: Two volumes of the publication "Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories" were approved for publication, to be available form ACS. Plans for revised and web-based versions of other Chemical Safety publications were discussed. An updated version of "What Every Chemist Should Know About Patents" is available on the ACS web site. The 125th volume of JACS will be published in 2003.

Outreach: The Committee on Local Section Activities reported that the theme of the 2002 National Chemistry Week celebration would be "Chemistry Keeps Us Clean." In 2002, National Chemistry Week will be celebrated the fourth week in October (October 20 - 26, 2002), instead of the first week in November. Activities and publications on the chemistry of soaps, detergents and other cleaning products will be available at the Boston national meeting. The theme for 2003 will be based on the chemistry of the atmosphere. A request from the council floor was made that the focus of the 2003 event should be chemistry and flight in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers first flight.

Since 1968, more than 6,000 high school students have participated in Project Seed. This year 348 Summer I students and 115 Summer II students will participant in Project SEED research programs. The Chicago Section will have programs for 4 students at FUHS/The Chicago Medical School and at UIC. In addition, 27 students were selected for SEED College Scholarship, including Victor Sanchez, who was a SEED student at FUHS/The Chicago Medical School. On average 50% of the states do not participate regularly in SEED programs. Currently, there are 10 "healthy" state programs, 11 "wobbly" programs and another 3-5 wobbly new programs. Resources are being developed to encourage both the newest least-stable programs and convince non-participating regions of the worth of the SEED program.

If you have any questions and/or comments about the above actions, please contact me (W 630 305-2224, or by email or one of the other councilors.

      --- Barbara Moriarty with help from Cherlyn Bradley, Steve Sichak, Jim Shoffner, Marsha Phillips and Seymour Patinkin