Message from the Chair

ImageI realize that I begin almost every CINF bulletin “Message from the Chair” commenting regarding where we are relative to the national meeting.  The message either becomes a recap of what happened at the past national meeting, or an advertisement of what to expect from the CINF program and social events in the meeting yet to come.  A major topic of discussion at the CINF executive meeting during the national meetings is what value we can provide, as a division, for the majority of our division members who do not attend a national meeting.  We can provide them with slides, summaries and videos of the talks at our division symposia that they missed because they did not attend the national meeting.  But again this is “national meeting-centric.”  What is the value of CINF Division Membership?

Networking is routinely listed as one of the major reasons people join an ACS division or attend a national meeting. Membership in CINF can provide interactive networking opportunities but most of the networking occurs during social events at national meetings.  Is there some way in which we can extend networking to “virtual” online networking throughout the year through topical discussions related to chemical information or through chat and social media or tools such as “trello” or “slack,” or other networking or virtual meeting tools? CINF is currently developing an effective member email list group so that we will be able to more directly interact with our membership and share information.  Hopefully with more direct interactions we will encourage more of our membership to be involved and share ideas and more effectively network outside of the national meeting venue.

Another way to provide value to CINF division members would be to reach membership locally by having symposia at regional meetings or have local “brown bag CINF” groups in areas where there is a sufficient group or cluster of CINF members.  CINF also participates in the development of online educational tools, webinars and tutorials such as the OLCC (http://olcc.ccce.divched.org/) or our webinar series (http://www.acscinf.org/content/webinars) , open source tools or programs in the area of chemical information or cheminformatics. If you are interested in participating as a speaker in our webinar series, please let us know. We are looking for engaging speakers in the area of chemical information and cheminformatics or related topics.

This bulletin is one way in which we reach out to our membership.  If you have any ideas how CINF can serve you more effectively or what activities you feel CINF should engage in to be more responsive to membership, please let us know!  The name and email addresses of all CINF officers are listed on our website (http://www.acscinf.org/content/executive-committee), so please reach out to us with your suggestions. Or, better yet, contact us and join a committee, run for office, or start a new committee based on an idea of a new service/function CINF can provide its members!

CINF members will be receiving ballots shortly, so please don’t forget to vote! Voting information and candidate statements appear on the CINF website (http://www.acscinf.org/content/cinf-2016-elections-candidate-statements).

In a few weeks we will be meeting in Philadelphia.  We have an excellent program planned, including a session cosponsored by MEDI, “Effectively Harnessing the World’s Literature to Inform Rational Compound Design”, and a session cosponsored with CHED on “Bringing Cheminformatics Into the College Chemistry Classroom”, and with BIOT, COMP and MEDI “Shedding Light on the Dark Genome” and CINF is cosponsoring a ANYL symposium on “New Directions in Chemometrics: Making Sense of Big and Small Chemical Data Sets”.

On Tuesday, please come and listen to our Herman Skolnik awardees, Dr. Evan Bolton and Dr. Stephen Bryant, and Skolnik symposium speakers.  I want to invite all who will be attending the Philadelphia meeting to our welcoming reception and poster session on Sunday evening August 21st 6:30-8:30 in the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Howe room.  If you are attending, please approach me with your ideas of how CINF can serve you, its members.

Rachelle J. Bienstock, Chair,
ACS Division of Chemical Information
Rachelleb1@gmail.com