Message from the Chair

Greetings from sweltering Philadelphia.

Judith CurranoThe crisp air and bustle of spring has given way to a hot, humid summer in Philadelphia.  Many colleagues and students are on vacation, so it is a great time for an academic to catch up on ongoing projects, perform research, and perhaps even produce a publication or two. It is also a good time to focus on one’s own professional development, including on the benefits gained and services that can be given to scholarly societies.  I have found, over the past fifteen years, that my involvement in ACS and, more particularly in CINF, has offered me leadership and scholarship opportunities that I could not have obtained in any other venue.  As the sole chemical information specialist at my university, CINF gives me the opportunity to network with colleagues in similar positions at other institutions and to stay up-to-date with the state-of-the-art in my field. 

The most obvious method of networking and learning is through attendance at national meetings, and I’m pleased to report that this fall’s ACS National Meeting in San Francisco offers a wealth of excellent symposia on a wide variety of topics in chemical information and informatics (http://abstracts.acs.org/chem/248nm/program/divisionindex.php select CINF). On Tuesday, help us to celebrate the achievements of Engelbert Zass as he receives the Herman Skolnik Award for his contributions to chemical information.  Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday evenings, engage with your colleagues at one of the various receptions and social events sponsored by CINF: the Welcome Reception on Sunday night, complete with the Scholarship for Scientific Excellence poster session and a brief business meeting; Harry’s Party on Monday; and the Herman Skolnik Award Reception on Tuesday.  Finally, for those individuals looking to become more active in CINF, please stay tuned for more details about the Committee Dinner, to be held on Saturday, August 9. This is an opportunity for all CINF members to learn about committee activities and get involved.

As we all know, networking and learning are becoming increasingly digital.  Even back in 1999, when I started my job, I “met” more of my chemical information colleagues over the CHMINF-L list than I did in person.  Making “remote connections” is key to our business, and I am delighted to announce a project, undertaken by the CINF Membership Committee, to begin profiling CINF members and publishing the profiles in the CIB.  The first profile appears in this issue; if you wish to be profiled or if you know a CINF member (new or experienced) whose story is particularly interesting, please contact Donna Wrublewski (dtwrub@caltech.edu).  I would also like to commend Belinda Hurley, Carmen Nitsche, and the Communications and Publications Committee on an excellent series of CINF Webinars.  If you missed any of them or want to know what subjects are forthcoming, please visit http://www.acscinf.org/content/webinars.  CINF even has its own YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/cinfacs!  Finally, I would like to thank the multitude of volunteers who responded to the call to join the Careers Committee. This is a very important committee and, among other activities, it will be partnering with the ACS Undergraduate Programs Office and the ACS Graduate & Postdoctoral Scholars Office to get out the word about careers in chemical information.

Before I close, I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome the almost 400 individuals who became CINF members during 2014.  I look forward to meeting you, working with you, and hearing your stories.  In the meanwhile, enjoy the rest of your summer!

With cool thoughts,

Judith Currano
Chair, ACS Division of Chemical Information
currano@pobox.upenn.edu