August 2001 Councilor's Report
Doug Coe

The American Chemical Society continued its celebration of  its 125th Anniversary at the 222nd National Meeting in Chicago.  Attendance was 15,290 with 6006 technical papers given.  A record number of companies were represented at the Exhibition.

The actions of the ACS Council at the Fall 2001 Chicago meeting, were reported in the October 1st issue of Chemical and Engineering News.

The Council considered three petitions:

Your councilor voted for a Petition on Meeting Registration Categories that deleted reference to members based on United States residence.  This petition passed.   This means that ACS members will pay the same meeting registration fees, whether they reside inside or outside of the U.S.  Previously foreign members could attend national meetings more cheaply than U.S. residents.  Concern over the increased costs for foreign non-member speakers to attend the meeting will be addressed by developing mechanisms to assist invited speakers. 

Your councilor voted for a Petition to Clarify Requirements for Membership that would allow individuals holding an associate degree or equivalent in a chemical science or chemical technology and five years of employment in a chemical science to be eligible for membership.  The petition passed.

A Petition To Increase the Size of Society Committees (only the Budget and Finance Committee and the Education Committee would have been affected) submitted FOR URGENT ACTION was withdrawn.  The need for urgent action was not evident and the Committee on Nominations and Elections suggested that in view of the recent flurry of activity and petitions regarding committee size an overall examination of committee structure in the society was warranted.

The Committee on Budget and Finance reported that the Society experienced a net loss of ~ $8M, mostly due to poor performance in the stock market.  Publications and SciFinder Scholar continued to perform well., a customizable WEB portal, made is debut at the Chicago Meeting.

This coming year local sections that do not wish to be considered for the Outstanding Local Section Award can file EZ Annual Reports.  This should make filing the annual report simpler for many local sections.

National Chemistry Week, NCW, is scheduled this year from November 4th - 10th.   The theme for NCW this year is Celebrating Chemistry and Art.  The date of National Chemistry Week, NCW, has been changed starting in 2002 to October 20th - 26th to avoid conflicts with election day.  The theme in 2002 will be Chemistry Keeps Us Clean.

The Committee on Chemical Safety has produced a pamphlet on Chemical Safety for Teachers and Their Supervisors, Grades 7-12.

Stopgap funding of $150,000 a year has been approved for local sections or divisions with revenue to expense ratios less than 1.00 and fund balances (2000 fund balance / 2001 total expense) less than 0.50.  Eight divisions and five local sections were designated to receive the initial round of funding.

The Committee on Professional Training completed an extensive survey of the accessibility and affordability of electronic resources to Bachelors and Masters degree granting institutions.  Concerns were raised by this survey.  The ACS continues to adjust the pricing for SciFinder Scholar to make it affordable for schools offering only Bachelors and Masters degrees.

The Governing Board for Publishing has deferred a decision on how to deal with accessibility to back issues.  Science and a number of other journals now provide free access to issues older than a certain date.  A new journal, the Journal of Proteome Research, will debut in 2002, while Chemical Innovation will cease publication.

ACS is lending its voice to the debate on energy policy, which will be the subject of a symposium at the Spring meeting in Orlando, FL.

The ACS has established trial bilateral agreements with sister societies in Canada, Japan, China, Taipei, Israel, and Egypt that will allow members of these sister societies to access some of our member privileges and vice versa.  Success of this program would lead to additional agreements with other societies.

ACS President, Attila E. Pavlath reported on an electronic poll of 82,000+ ACS members (you may have seen or responded to this poll).  There were 8,000 responses (a 9.7% return rate, which is high for these types of polls).  Results of this poll will be made available to ACS members in the near future.

The Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs, responding to concerns over job competition from foreign students and scientists, recommended that the U.S. government enforce its current immigration policies.  This committee also recommended continuation of the Senior Chemists Task Force.

The ACS is participating with the National Science Foundation on a program to end the shortage of women and minorities in the high technology workforce called BEST (Building Engineering and Science Talent).

A new division, The Division of Laboratory Automation, has been proposed and granted probationary status.

Your Councilor has been appointed as a full member of the Membership Affairs Committee (he has, since spring, been an associate member).  This committee, in light of the recent increase in layoffs in the chemical industry, reduced from 30 years to 25 years of service the time required for retired status.  The committee is also negotiating reduced rates for members at mid-priced hotels (Best Western, etc.) and is developing a membership category that should be attractive to pre-college teachers.