Advancing Chemistry and
Do you have any questions relating
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in our studies, we are immersed in exploring the wonders of science. We use the world of formulas, equations, and technical language— all critical to successful communication with each other. But the skill of communicating outside the classroom and laboratory is equally essential. Each of us in the
chemical sciences must become adept at explaining the relevancy of chemistry
to the non-scientist, be they family members, friends, or government officials.
The importance of lay communication cannot be overstated. Through
communication we inform, educate, engage, advocate, and persuade others.
We advance chemistry through research, education, and innovation, all of
which require focus, diligence, perseverance, creativity, and funding. The better we explain our science to others and convince them of the progress that
chemistry offers, the better our chances of adding to their appreciation of science and its role in society.
One of my passions is demonstrating the benefits and progress that
chemistry can provide to society. That’s why I chose Advancing Chemistry and
Communicating Chemistry as my ACS presidential theme. Let me share some
details about two initiatives we have undertaken this year.
Many of us are at land-grant schools and may know that 2012 is the
150th anniversary of the Morrill Land Grant Act. This Act gave federal lands
to states as a means to raise money to establish colleges that focus on teaching agriculture, science, and engineering in addition to liberal arts. ACS will
celebrate this sesquicentennial with a retrospective and a prospective look at
chemistry. For the retrospective, I have sent letters to land-grant institutions
asking them to share what their chemistry departments have accomplished
over the past 150 years and how these accomplishments have contributed
to society. On the prospective side, at this year’s ACS national meetings there
will be special symposia to address the future of chemistry and society and
the role of the chemical sciences in addressing human needs.
Another initiative is the appointment of a blue-ribbon commission to
examine the purposes of graduate education in the chemical sciences and
the needs and aspirations of graduate students. The expectation for this
commission is to help find ways to best use our country’s vast educational,
industrial, and government resources to successfully prepare students for
their professional careers.
The ACS mission is “to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its
practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people.” I invite you to join me
so that together we can do our best for ACS, for science, and for society. Your
participation is essential.
A: New and newly reinstated chapters are not required to submit a chapter report before
applying for a chapter grant, but your chapter is
required to have at least six ACS student members
who have up-to-date ACS memberships.
A: Each Chapter Awards Ceremony at the ACS spring national meeting features a video honoring the accomplishments of ACS student chapters. Each
award-winning chapter receives a copy of the video. If
your chapter wishes to receive a copy of the video, send
an e-mail to email@example.com. If copies of the video
are still available, we will send the DVD to your faculty
advisor in April.
A: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and an ACS representative will assist you.
A: A Faculty Advisor Manual is available upon request by sending an e-mail to undergrad@
acs.org. Also, there are many resources on the web at
www.acs.org/undergrad— click on the Educators and
Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, President of the ACS, is a professor of chemistry at
the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of the multi-volume
series Chemical Demonstrations: A Handbook for Teachers of Chemistry.
Robin Lindsey is a program administrator
in the ACS Undergraduate Programs Office.
She finds Ask ACS answers for you.
inChemistry • www.acs.org/undergrad