Kalamazoo Section of the American Chemical Society

We are a dynamic and visionary organization committed to improving people’s lives in our community through the transforming power of chemistry.  We strive to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Kalamazoo, Allegan and Van Buren counties.

256th ACS National Meeting

By Lydia Hines

Actions of the Council

Election Results: Elected Committees of Council

  • By electronic ballot, the Council elected Ella L. Davis, Lissa A. Dulany, Lisa Houston, and Martin D. Rudd for three-year terms (2019-2021), and Will E. Lynch for a one-year term (2019) on the Council Policy Committee (CPC).
  • By electronic ballot, the Council elected Allison Aldridge, Christopher J. Bannochie, Mary K. Engelman, Silvia Ronco, and Frankie K. Wood-Black for three-year terms (2019-2021) on the Committee on Nominations and Elections (N&E).
  • By electronic ballot, the Council elected Rodney M. Bennett, Jacqueline A. Erickson, Judith M. Iriarte-Gross, Donivan R. Porterfield, and Carolyn Ribes for three-year terms (2019-2021) on the Committee on Committees (ConC).

Other Council Actions

Amendments to the ACS Bylaws

A recommendation by the Committee on Membership Affairs that Council approve the Petition on International Chemical Sciences Chapters achieved the two-thirds majority required to amend Bylaw XI, Section 3 accordingly (additions bold; deletions struck through):

Affiliations of SOCIETY Local Sections or Divisions shall become effective upon authorization by their governing body, approval by their respective Council committees governing Local Sections and Divisions, and by confirmation by the Council Committee on Constitution and Bylaws acting for the Council, that the provisions of Section 1 of this Bylaw are met.

A recommendation by the Committee on Membership Affairs that Council approve the Petition on International Chemical Sciences Chapters achieved the two-thirds majority required to amend Bylaw IX, Section 4 accordingly (additions bold; deletions struck through):

An International Chemical Sciences Chapter shall receive no allotment of funds from the SOCIETY and shall not be entitled to elected representation on the Council. A Chapter may assess its members local Chapter dues to be expended for its own purposes in harmony with the objects of the SOCIETY.

Special Discussion

President Dorhout introduced and led a special discussion on what role(s) ACS should play in preventing sexual harassment in the sciences. He highlighted several recent articles, workshops and studies that have called attention to the issue, notably a symposium, Science of Sexual Harassment organized during the ACS National Meeting in New Orleans (Spring 2018) by the Women Chemists Committee and Chemical & Engineering News; and a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine consensus study report: Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2018). He directed Council’s attention to existing ACS codes and initiatives to address sexual harassment, and offered items for discussion and possible action:

  • More signs/information at National Meetings regarding our policies and supporting information
  • Trained volunteers at national meetings for reporting sexual harassment
  • A webinar on preventing sexual harassment for local sections or divisions

To further inform the discussion and Councilor input, a brief survey was conducted using the audience electronic response system. The results of the survey are listed below. The ACS Volunteer/National Meeting Attendee Conduct Policy can be found here.

Have you ever witnessed or experienced sexual harassment at an ACS meeting or ACS event? (413 responses)
Yes - 23% (94)
No - 77% (319)
Have you ever witnessed or experienced sexual harassment at an ACS meeting or ACS event, or in your professional workplace or learning environment? (182 women / 223 men responded)
Yes77% (141)57% (127)
No23% (41)43% (96)
How familiar are you with the ACS Codes and initiatives for professional conduct? (417 responses)
Very Familiar - 38% (157)
Vaguely Familiar - 46% (192)
Not Familiar - 16% (68)
Has your local section or division instituted a sexual harassment policy of its own? (419 responses)
Yes - 3% (12)
No - 73% (309)
Don't Know - 23% (98)

Highlights from Committee Reports

Nominations and Elections

The Committee on Nominations and Elections solicits Councilors’ input of qualified individuals for President-Elect and/or Directors for future consideration. Suggestions can be sent to nomelect@acs.org.

Ballots for the 2018 fall national election will be distributed October 1-3, with a voting deadline four weeks later, on October 31. ACS members eligible to vote and with an email address on file will receive an electronic ballot with the option to request a paper ballot. Those members with no email address on file will be sent a paper ballot but with the option to vote electronically. The ACS election vendor, Survey & Ballot Systems, will send three email reminders during the voting period to those who have not voted as of the reminder date.

Budget and Finance

The Committee considered one 2019 program funding reauthorization request, and on its recommendation, the Board subsequently approved funding the ACS Festival Series for inclusion in the 2019 Proposed Budget and the 2020-2021 Forecast Budgets. The Society is expected to end the year in compliance with each of the five Board-established financial guidelines. Additional information can be found at acs.org.

Boston Meeting Attendance

The theme of the 256th ACS National Meeting was Nanoscience, Nanotechnology, and Beyond. As of Tuesday evening, August 21, attendance was 14,235.

Membership Affairs

As of August 21, ACS had 149,584 members, which is a decline of only eight-tenths of one percent from the over 150,000 members in 2017. This year-to-date figure represents an increase of over 1,200 members when compared to the last two years. It was noted that five of last seven months have been respectively the best months for membership since at least 2014. The current membership count positions ACS for a strong close to the year, and there is cautious optimism that total membership will rise for the first time since 2011.

Actions of the Board of Directors

The Board’s Executive Session

The Board’s Committees

The Board of Directors received and discussed reports from its committees on Corporation Associates, Professional and Member Relations, Executive Compensation, the Governing Board for Publishing, and the Society Committee on Budget and Finance. On the basis of those reports and with regard to the Board’s strategic vision for the Society:

  • The Board approved, on the recommendation of the Committee on Professional and Member Relations, the Society’s nominees for the 2019 Perkin Medal and the 2019 National Science Board Public Service Award.
  • The Board voted to approve the appointments or reappointments of several editors-in-chief for ACS journals as recommended by the Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications and Editor Selection Committees. Information about those appointments will appear in C&EN once the individuals concerned have been notified.
  • In light of the recent financial performance of the technical-meeting component of our national meetings, the Board voted to approve an advance member registration fee of $490 for national meetings held in 2019 (i.e., the current advance member registration fee escalated to account for inflation only); to reauthorize a program funding request for the Chemistry Festival program; and in accordance with past practice, to allocate on a pro-rated basis to qualified ACS Divisions any net revenues accrued to the Society from the 2020 and future International Chemical Congresses of the Pacific Basin Societies (Pacifichem).
  • The Board expressed support for the value of industry to ACS and acknowledged Corporation Associates as being positioned within the Society to represent the voice of industry to the Board and ACS.
  • The Board’s Society Programs global liaison offered an update on efforts to strengthen the global presence of Society programs to better serve our international members and the global chemistry enterprise. Efforts are underway to clarify and articulate the current state of international activities, products, and services; to clarify the challenges associated with globalization of existing domestic activities; and to offer recommendations for moving forward. Next steps include interviewing key stakeholders, reviewing past efforts, and exploiting existing market research with a view toward developing a strategic plan, activities, and timelines for Board consideration.
  • The Board liaison to the Leadership Advisory Board (LAB) provided an update on initial efforts geared towards the development of a next-generation ACS Leadership Program. A small task force has been charged with investigating the state of the art in leadership development, assessing the future needs of the Society as well as those of individual members and their employers, and then proposing, by the end of 2019, a strategic vision for and the specifications of a next-generation ACS leadership program focused on 2030 and beyond.

Other Society Business

The Board approved the foundation documents of the newly created endowment for the Henry H. Storch Award in Energy Chemistry, which originally was established as a national award in 1964.

The Board’s Regular Session

The Board held a well-attended regular session on Sunday, August 19, that featured a presentation by Nobel Laureate Sir Fraser Stoddart who spoke on transformative research and reviewed his contributions in supramolecular chemistry and molecular recognition. Also, as a Champion of the program, he advocated for ACS Project SEED on the 50th Anniversary of the program.