Message from the Chair

Greetings from sunny Philadelphia!

Judith Currano

It was wonderful to see many of you at the ACS National Meeting in Dallas.  Hopefully, those who attended were able to enjoy many riveting talks, as well as take opportunities to network, discuss research, and simply hang out with friends. For those who did not attend, many presenters have graciously allowed us to post their slides online; visit http://bulletin.acscinf.org/node/557 to browse the program and see those slides that are available. If you are a presenter and you have not supplied a copy of your slides, please consider doing so!

At the Saturday Executive Committee meeting, we discussed several topics that may be of broad interest. This spring, we will be reviewing our bylaws to ensure that our current practices are in compliance with our codified procedures; one of the changes that we hope to propose is a lessening of the restrictions on committee membership. Our current bylaws state that a committee appointment is for a single year, and that an individual may serve no more than three one-year terms on a committee. This is much more restrictive than the term limits on ACS National Committees, which allow members to serve three terms of three years each, and we propose to relax this restriction. To encourage more CINF members to become aware of and take part in the good work that our committees do, we will be hosting a “Committee Dinner” on Saturday evening at the Fall ACS National Meeting in San Francisco. Any CINF member is welcome to attend, talk to representatives from the various CINF committees, and then sit down to dinner with the committee of his or her choice to do some one-time committee work or (hopefully) begin a longer-term involvement! 

The Executive Committee also discussed ACS Innovative Project Grants (http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/funding-and-awards/grants/acscommunity/tdinnovativegrant.html), which are awarded twice annually to technical divisions. These grants, of up to $7,500 per project or $12,500 per division per year, are given for new projects, activities, or initiatives proposed by the division.  Projects may be proposed by any division member, but they must be accompanied by a letter of support from the chair. CINF has been particularly successful in securing IPGs for many of our initiatives, including recording national meeting presentations, producing career vignettes, and, most recently, a collaboration with the Division of Chemical Health and Safety (CHAS) to build a “Web platform and information management process to support a laboratory chemical risk assessment tool.”  Many of the recent IPGs that CINF has put forward have been funded, but we are always looking for new ideas; if you have an idea for an innovative project, please contact the CINF Secretary, Leah McEwen (lrm1@cornell.edu).

CINF is actively seeking opportunities to partner with other scholarly societies and ACS technical divisions, local sections, and regions.  We are a co-organizer of the International Conference on Chemical Structures (ICCS), which will take place from June 1 - 4, 2014, in Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands (http://www.int-conf-chem-structures.org/home.html), and we will be organizing a symposium on open chemistry at the 2015 Pacifichem conference. We are also collaborating with the Special Libraries Association’s Chemistry Division (DCHE) to plan the next Bi-Society Symposium, which DCHE hopes to host at the 2015 SLA Annual Conference in Boston. The theme of that program will be chemical information in support of health and safety. Please stay tuned for more information on both the Pacifichem and Bi-Society programs! However, in addition to programming on a national level, we would like to become more involved with regional and local section programs. If you have an upcoming regional meeting in your area, please let us know, and consider volunteering to organize a symposium, session, or short-course surrounding an appropriate topic in chemical information!

Finally, following up on the long-range planning dinner that Tony Williams organized at the New Orleans National Meeting, the CINF Membership Committee will be embarking upon a number of projects, which include distributing a broad-reaching member survey and creating some more detailed member profiles. More information will be broadcast in the coming months; I hope that you will consider taking part in both projects, letting us know what you do and why you love it, why you value your CINF membership, and what CINF can do for you both now and in the future!

With best wishes for a healthy and productive spring,

Judith Currano, Chair, ACS Division of Chemical Information