Report of Council Meeting Held on August 29, 2001 at the Chicago Sheraton Hotel and Towers
By Barbara Moriarty...
The 222nd National Meeting of the ACS was held right here in Chicago. Attendance at this meeting was reported to be 15,290 people; there were 6,089 papers in 66 sessions and 328 exhibiting companies using 533 booths. Between the two meetings in 2001, more people attended the ACS national meetings in its 125th year, than in any prior year of the society's history. In addition, the Virtual Tradeshow, which was offered this year for the first time, was also popular; there were 128,000 hits on the tradeshow.
The council meeting was begun by the now customary trumpet fanfare by John Verkade. The Chicago section was fully represented by twelve councilors and one alternate councilor. 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 exofficio councilors.
This was the last council meeting for Halley Merrell. Halley is retiring at the end of the year after 38 years of dedicated service to the society. For the last 10 years Halley has been the Secretary of the society. Halley received not one but two standing ovations from the council for all his hard work.
Elections were held for the three elected committees of the Council. These committees are the Committee on Committees (ConC), the Council Policy Committee (CPC) and The Committee on Nominations and Elections (N & E). Congratulations to Tom Kucera who was elected to CPC.
At the last meeting, President Attila Pavlath mentioned that he had contracted an outside organization to do an online survey of ACS members. Judith Giordan gave a brief overview of the results from this ACS Member Electronic Poll survey, conducted by Greenfield Online. The survey was sent to 90,000 ACS members and 8009 surveys were returned for a 9.7% return rate. There were also ~ 10,000 bouncebacks. The number of surveys returned was said to be statistically representative of the ACS overall. Due to the short time allowed for the presentation, not many details from the survey results were provided. Two pieces of information provided were of interest to me. First, most (92%) members would suggest membership to their non-member colleagues based on the publications of the society. Second, most members did not participate and had little interest in local section activities. The survey results will be used as important indicators for activities in 2002. As more information from the survey is provided, we will continue to keep you informed. If you are one of those people who were not interested in local section activities, let us know why and what local section activities would interest you.
If you haven't looked at the ACS webpage lately, you are in for a big surprise. At the San Diego meeting, Chemistry.org was launched. At the Chicago meeting, a new version of Chemistry.org was launched, with accelerated application of portal technology. As an aside, you can access the ACS's 3-year strategic plan that defines the ten strategic thrusts, which focus on the three I's: the Individual needs of members, using the Internet and International collaboration via the internet.
A report from the Budget and Finance Committee indicated that 2001 would be the first year in many that the society will experience a deficit. This is because of unfavorable conditions in our investments. On a positive note, CAS is projected to provide a favorable performance because of better than expected revenues from SciFinder.
The presidential events for the year 2002 will focus on diversity, globalization, energy policy and technology, and interdisciplinary education. Anniversaries will be celebrated next year for the Women's Chemist Committee (75th), Corporate Associates (50th), the National Organization for Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE, 30th) and the Chinese American Chemical Society.
A petition was approved by the Council to change the meeting registration categories so that nonmember chemical scientists residing outside the US would pay a nonmember meeting registration fee. Before this change, nonmember chemical scientists residing outside the US paid a lower rate than nonmember chemical scientists residing in the US. Thus, a nonmember chemical scientist living in Canada would pay a meeting registration fee similar to the rate paid by members. Nina McClelland reported that there would be a pilot program with 5 other societies around the world to share memberships. The Meetings and Expositions Committee also announced that meeting registration fee for members would be increased in 2002 by $10 to $265.
A second petition was approved to clarify requirements for membership to include people who have an associate degree or equivalent in a chemical science or chemical technology and five years employment in a chemical science.
If you considered data provided by the National Employment Clearinghouse (NECH), employment continued to be good for chemists. The Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs (CEPA) reported that there were 169 employers at the clearinghouse interviewing for 1392 potential hires; there were 1105 candidates. In addition, there were 38 programs at the Career Resource Center, offered by the ACS Department of Career Services and some of the nearly 1000 career consultants. The ACS launched a new online employment service entitled JobSpectrum.org on June 1, 2001. This is expected to compete with current online employment services such as Monster.com.
The Committee on Local Section Activities reported that the theme of the 2002 National Chemistry Week celebration would be “Chemistry Keeps Us Clean.” Beginning in 2002, National Chemistry Week will be the fourth week in October, instead of the first week in November.
The Council approved a new division of Laboratory Automation (probationary status). The objective of the new division is to openly exchange and disseminate technical information regarding the use of computers, robotics, automation tools and other related technologies as applied to the study and practice of automation in chemical and related sciences.
If you have any questions and/or comments about the above actions, please contact me or one of the other councilors.
--- Barbara Moriarty