March 18, 2005 Meeting
Public Affairs Award Meeting  
Dr. Thomas Kucera   Dr. Thomas Kucera
Topic:   The Shifting Paradigm of the Central Science
Café La Cave
2777 Mannheim Road
Des Plaines, IL

Abstract:   Since the end of WW II, there has been an ever-increasing understanding of the role of chemistry in American life. This has led to greater involvement of ACS as a society as well as individual ACS members with the American body politic. Increased awareness of the importance of chemistry to many public and private problems has led to changes in emphasis in the organization of the ACS and in the attitudes of the public. The areas of particular interest and their impact on laws and regulation as well as on the ACS divisions and local sections will be explored.  

Awardee:   Tom Kucera certainly does not need any kind of introduction to most of us, given the fact that he has been involved in the affairs and business of the section and the society for more than fifty years. But as this year's Public Affairs Awardee he deserves an appropriate introduction such as we traditionally give for those who have received this award since it was first given more than twenty years ago. When I began my activities with the section, Tom was already a veteran, having already served on many committees as well as editor of the Chemical Bulletin.

In 1986, the Chicago Section was one of a half-dozen sections that were invited to participate in and serve as a pilot for a new program called "Chemistry Day." Working with the late Lou Sacco, who served as the initial chair, Tom was a major force in organizing the first Chemistry Day Activity at the Museum of Science and Industry. After the successful pilot program, the program eventually became "Chemistry Week," with involvement by nearly all Sections of the American Chemical Society.

When Lou passed away several years later, Tom became Chair of the Section's Chemistry Day/Week Committee, and has led the effort since. It this continuous and diligent effort in bringing chemical science to the public through National Chemistry Week that the Section is recognizing in conferring this award.

Of course, there are so many other important activities that Tom has carried out for the section. Tom is above all else, extremely, modest, does not want tot be lauded for all the good work he does for the section, the society, and the community, but when we honor him we are, in a very real sense, doing it for ourselves. We need to do this to show that we are not unappreciative when one is so generous and gives so much of himself. So, Tom, thanks very much, for being such an inspiration to all of us; for so long. With permission of our editor, I am going to list as an appendix to this column a detailed list of activities that Tom has served for the section and the society below.

Tom received his B.S. from Loyola in 1945, M.S. from I.I.T in 1952 and Ph.D. from Purdue in 1953. He was a Fulbright Scholar in 1953-54. He retired from Apeco Co. in 1981 as VP for research and development, and established T.J. Kucera Consultants. He has served both the Section and the Society diligently in many capacities. He has been especially active with the Division of Professional Relations, serving as program chair.  He has received both the Henry Hill and Lou Sacco Award from DPR, as well as the Chicago Section's Distinguished Service Award. He is active in the Chicago Chemists Club, serving as treasurer for many years. Of course, you can't think of Tom without also thinking of his lovely wife, Dorothy, who has for many years accompanied him to section meetings, board meetings, and many national meetings.

A meeting of the Chicago Section JOB CLUB will be held at Café La Cave at 5 PM.   The JOB CLUB provides a continuing opportunity for unemployed members of the Section to meet one another, share their experiences and develop a network that may help in identifying employment opportunities.  Bring plenty of resumes and business cards to distribute to your colleagues.

The Job Club is also for employers seeking chemists.   Employers need to be prepared to describe the positions to be filled and requirements for these positions.

Should you wish to attend the Section meeting following the JOB CLUB, the fee for unemployed members is only $15 and you can continue your networking activities over dinner.  You can make your reservation on line, and indicate if you are unemployed to qualify for the discount.

WCC Panel Discussion -- 5:00 PM

A panel of distinguished women chemists will answer questions on their careers as chemists.  The women who will be part of this discussion include Alanah Fitch (Loyola), Gretchen Shearer (McCrone), and Marion Thurnauer (Argonne).

Date:  Friday, March 18, 2005
Where:   Café La Cave

WCC Panel Discussion :  5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Job Club: 5:15 PM - 6:15 PM
Social Hour: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM -- complementry hors d'
oeuvres and cash bar
Dinner: 7:00 PM

Cost:  $30.00 for members of ACS/ $32.00 for non-members/ $15.00 for students

Reservations:   (847) 647-8405
                    by noon, Tuesday, March 15
Please honor your reservations. We must pay for all dinners ordered. No-shows will be billed.
Map and Directions -- See map page.
PARKING: Go directly to parking lot for self-parking.  Valet parking is also available


Cream of Tomato Soup with Spinach and Pasta
Squillo Salad with Walnuts and Cranberries
Choice of:

Medley of fresh vegetables
Chocolate cake with Raspberry Sauce

Updated 2/18/05