Committee Reports

CINF Communications and Publications Committee

CINF website and the new Drupal implementation

Danielle Dennie reported that content is being transferred over from the CINF to the Drupal websites. It’s going surely but slowly because of the “meetings” content, which is long and has many inconsistencies. It will be done by mid-October (at the earliest). If not, we may need to consider hiring someone else to do this painstaking work. Aside from the “meetings,” most of the content has been transferred.

The “Contact” module is also being installed, both on the CINF and CIB sites. It aims at helping with spam as the emails will be hidden and a contact form will open up for email to be sent to a person. Within our hosting service, the spam filtering option and settings were also changed to “ultra aggressive” so that spam emails are sent automatically to the “deleted items” folder rather than to the inbox.

Chemical Information Bulletin

Judith Currano reported that the Spring 2012 issue was challenging because many of our long-standing writers, Svetla Baykoucheva (interviews), Bob Buntrock (book reviews), and Song Yu (literature digests), were not able to contribute at this time. As a result, the issue had a single feature about the 2012 SLA Conference by Sue Cardinal.

For future issues it would be helpful to recruit some individuals who wish to serve as regular columnists. Perhaps we could get a second literature reviewer. Martin Braendle indicated his interest in writing occasional database or product reviews. He was not able to contribute to this issue. Judith will ask Martin again for the next Spring issue.

Bill Town started a nice trend of symposium organizers writing descriptive pieces about their upcoming symposia. Judith would like to highlight one or two symposia each fall/spring issue, perhaps looking at themes that would appeal to a broader base of our membership or symposia of “lower profile” compared to a high profile Herman Skolnik Award Symposium.

Judith would like to introduce a “Member News” section with announcements about people who received awards, or have changed jobs or responsibilities. She would also like to publish the names of CINF new members and brief member profiles (e.g. one new member and one member of longer standing, specifically members who do not regularly attend ACS meetings, so that we can get to know more division members). Getting information about members has not been easy. This would involve close work with the Membership Committee.

The Spring 2012 issue was organized as follows: Chair’s Message, Editorial, Features, Governance information, Sponsor News, Symposium Overview, Technical Program Schedule (CINF first, then COMP, then SCHB), Abstracts, Officers and Functionaries.

Schedules for all symposia in which CINF was a primary or a secondary sponsor were obtained. The program was divided up by primary sponsor, putting the CINF ones first and then everything else in alphabetical order. This year, it was also not possible to get the session letters (e.g., “Sunday Morning: CINF Session A”). All Technical Program listings were grouped together. Thus, anyone who wanted to print the program part, could simply print one block of pages. It was decided to include only the CINF-primary symposia abstracts in the interests of space (the issue was almost 90 pages!). Points of discussion for the Committee are: whether or not we want to include the co-sponsored symposia in future issues, whether the current organization of the technical program makes sense, and whether or not we want to include the abstracts for the co-sponsored symposia.

Concerning hyperlinks from the table of contents in the PDF version, the only way with Acrobat 7.0 Professional is to add the links manually so far. The following points need to be discussed: is there a way to automate this process that we did not find? If there is no way to automate the process, since we estimate that it is going to take a fair amount of time to do it manually, what is the value versus the time commitment? Right now, we are essentially building two separate publications. In some cases we need to actually change the text of the content to make sense for the format. The organization of both may be slightly different, too. We need to set our priorities for the two documents as a Committee, leading to a final decision once and for all.

Committee membership

David Martinsen will become Committee Chair for 2013-2015.

Graham Douglas will become Committee Assistant Chair for 2013.

Svetlana Korolev has renewed her committee membership and will continue as Editor of the Summer and Winter issues of CIB.

Judith Currano has been chosen as the 2013 CINF Division Chair-Elect and will not be able to continue as CIB Editor after the Spring 2013 issue, which she hopes to have time to co-edit with a new CIB Editor.

Other committee members: Svetla Baykoucheva, Bonnie Lawlor, Carmen Nitsche, Sara Rouhi, Song Yu.

Ex Officio: Gregory Banik (Membership Chair), Susanne Redalje (Bylaws & Procedures Manual), Fundraising Chair 2013 (TBD).

ACS Network

Graham Douglas reported on the continuing problems with the ACS Network.

Procedures manual

Work on this is still outstanding.

Bill Town, Chair, CINF Communications and Publications Committee

CINF Education Committee

The Education Committee met on Saturday, August 18, from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, in Philadelphia Convention Center, Room 118A.

Attended: Chuck Huber (Committee Chair), Grace Baysinger (upcoming Committee Chair 2013-14); Adrienne Koslowski (consultant). Donna Wrublewski (guest).

Review of the Fall 2012 ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia: The Education Committee was directly involved with the Thursday afternoon symposium “Legal, Patent and Digital Rights Management in Publishing” (Judith Currano, presiding; Judith Currano and Chuck Huber, organizers). The full day symposia “Hunting for Hidden Treasures: Chemical Information in Patents and Other Documents” (Sunday) and “Future of the History of Chemical Information” (Monday) were also recommended for their educational relevance.

Report of the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE), Penn State, University Park, PA, July 29–August 2, 2012: About 1500 chemical educators attended this year’s meeting. An all-day symposium “Before and After the Lab” was organized by several Education Committee members and former members: Grace Baysinger, Judith Currano, Andrea Twiss-Brooks and Adrienne Koslowski. It featured nine speakers, a mixture of librarians and chemistry faculty, and attracted thirty attendees at its peak. Presentations included: “Wikipedia in a Writing Assignment,” “Collaboration between Faculty and Librarians,” “Presentation Skills for Undergraduates,” “Ethical Issues” and “Chemical Information Literacy.” The latter, by Grace Baysinger, delved into the recommendations for chemical information literacy for undergraduates endorsed by CINF. (More information about BCCE 2012 is provided by Andrea Twiss-Brooks in this Bulletin).

Looking ahead to the Spring 2013 New Orleans ACS Meeting, April 7-11: Theme: Chemistry of Energy & Food.  Symposia of interest include: “What Chemists Need to Know about IP/Author Rights,” “Food Safety Information” (organizer: Andrea Twiss-Brooks), “Library Spaces” (organizer: Andrea Twiss-Brooks), and “Public Chemistry Databases” (organizer: Antony Williams). A symposium “Print Resources in the Electronic Era” (organizer: Grace Baysinger), originally slated for New Orleans, has been moved forward to the Fall 2013 Indianapolis Meeting.

Fall 2013 Indianapolis ACS Meeting, September 8-12: Theme: Chemistry in Motion. Symposia of interest include: “Print Resources in the Electronic Era” (see above), “Education for Cheminformatics” (suggested by the proximity of the Indiana University’s Cheminformatics Program, possible organizer: Jeremy Garritano), “Digital Archiving” (possible organizer: Andrea Twiss-Brooks), and a student-only session (whether poster or oral to be determined). A symposium “Chemical Information for Small Teaching Colleges,” originally slated for Indianapolis, has been deferred to the Fall 2014 San Francisco Meeting.

Spring 2014 Dallas ACS Meeting, March 16-20: The Committee deferred further program planning until the theme is known. (Theme: Chemistry of Energy/Advanced Materials for New Opportunities was made known to the Committee after 08/18/12).

BCCE 2014, Grand Valley State University, Annandale, MI, August 3-7, 2014: The theme for this meeting is “Sustainability: Greener on the Grand.” The conference website is: The call for workshops begins June 3, 2013 and for symposia, August 1, 2013. The deadline for abstract submissions for both is December 2, 2013. The committee will try to recruit a local liaison in the Michigan area for CINF. A complicating factor is how close BCCE 2014 is on the calendar to the San Francisco ACS National Meeting (the latter begins only a few days after the former ends).

Fall 2014 San Francisco ACS Meeting, August 10-14: The symposium “Chemical Information for Small Teaching Colleges” has been deferred to this meeting. As San Francisco Meetings are usually highly attended, the Committee wants to prepare many programs once the theme is available. (Theme: Chemistry and Stewardship of the World was made known to the Committee after 08/18/12).

Information Competencies for Chemistry Undergraduates: Grace Baysinger will add a link to the current version of the document from the CINF website. The committee will inform the ACS Committee on Professional Training (CPT) to get them to link to the document.

The Wikibooks link for the document is:

Information Competencies for Chemistry Graduates: Judith Currano has prepared an outline. Grace Baysinger will post it to the Education Committee group on the ACS Network.

XCITR: All agreed that we need to encourage more of our colleagues to deposit teaching materials (or links to teaching materials) in XCITR. How best this might be accomplished was not resolved.

Committee Membership: Selection of the Assistant Chair of the Education Committee was deferred to the Spring 2013 New Orleans Meeting.

Chuck Huber, Chair, CINF Education Committee

ACS Council

The Council of the American Chemical Society met in Philadelphia, PA on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 from 8:00am until approximately 12:15pm in the Grand Ballroom A - F of the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel. It opened with a resolution and moment of silence for deceased Councilors, a vote to accept the minutes of the Council meeting held on March 28, 2012, an announcement that Dr. Peter Stang will be awarded the Priestley Medal, and an announcement that after 36 years Rudy Baum will be leaving  Chemical & Engineering News, where he currently serves as Editor-in-Chief. The highlights of the meeting are as follows:

Nominations and Elections

Council Policy Committee: Council voted to fill four slots on the Council Policy Committee.  There were eight nominees as follows: Frank D. Blum, Mary K. Carroll, Joseph A. Heppert, Martha G. Hollomon, Lee H. Latimer, Willem R. Leenstra, Carolyn Ribes, and Ellen B. Stechel.  By electronic ballot, the Council elected Frank D. Blum, Mary K. Carroll, Lee H. Latimer, and Carolyn Ribes for the 2013-2015 term.

Committee on Committees: Council voted to fill seven slots on the Committee on Committees.  There were fourteen nominees as follows: Spiro D. Alexandratos, G. Bryan Balazs, Christopher J. Bannochie, Arindam Bose, Dawn A. Brooks, Michelle V. Buchanan, Alan B. Cooper, Judith Currano, Warren D. Hull, Jr. David J. Lohse, Christopher J. Masi, Ingrid Montes, Jason R. Ritchie, and Ralph A. Wheeler. By electronic ballot, the Council elected G. Bryan Balazs, Dawn A. Brooks, Michelle V. Buchanan, Alan B. Cooper, and Ingrid Montes for the 2013-2015 term; and Spiro D. Alexandratos and Judith Currano for  the remainder of a two-year (2013-2014) term.

Committee on Nominations and Elections: Council voted to fill five slots on the Committee on Nominations and Elections. There were ten nominees as follows: Cherlynvaughn Bradley, Dwight W. Chasar, Catherine E. Costello, Milagros Delgado, Kevin J. Edgar, Carol B. Libby, Les W. McQuire, Donivan R. Porterfield, Robert A. Pribush, and Steven W. Yates.  By electronic ballot, the Council elected Cherlynlavaughn Bradley, Milagros Delgado, Carol B. Libby, Les W. McQuire and Donivan R. Porterfield for the 2013-2015 term.

The committee on Nominations and Elections announced the names of candidates for national office that will appear on ballots that will be mailed in October. These are as follows: Candidates for the 2013 President-Elect: Dr. Thomas J. Barton, Distinguished Professor, Iowa State University, Ames, IA and Dr. Luis A. Echegoyen, Robert A. Welch Professor, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX; Candidates for Directors-at-Large 2013-15: Ms. Carol A. Duane, President, D&D Consultants of Mentor, Mentor, OH, Ms. Valerie J. Kuck, Retired, Lucent Technologies (Bell Labs), Murray Hill, NJ, Ms. Helen (Bonnie) A. Lawlor, Executive Director, National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS), Philadelphia, PA, and Dr. Ingrid Montes, Professor, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, San Juan, PR; Candidates for District I Director 2013-15: Dr. Thomas R. Gilbert, Associate Professor, Northeastern University, Boston, MA and Dr. Neil D. Jespersen, Professor of Chemistry, St. John’s University, Queens, NY; and Candidates for District V Director 2013-15: Dr. John E. Adams, Curators’ Teaching Professor of Chemistry, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO and Dr. Peter K. Dorhout, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS.

Society Estimated Financial Results for 2012 Looking Positive

The Committee on Budget and Finance presented estimated year-end results for 2012. They estimate that total revenues will be $491.6 million ($7.1 over budget) and expenses will be $474.2 million ($5.5 over budget), giving a net from operations of $17.4M.  If the estimate is correct, the year-end net will be $1.6M favorable to the budget.

Senior Chemists Committee to be Created upon Board Approval

Council approved a recommendation from the Committee on Committees to create a Senior Chemists Committee as a Joint Board-Council Committee. It will be established upon approval of the ACS Board of Directors. The mission of this committee will be to enrich the educational, technical, and cultural lives of the ACS Membership by ministering to and employing the talents of senior ACS members by: sharing with ACS members of all ages a rich variety of personal experiences and expertise gained over many years of professional service; fostering interest and participation in the science of chemistry through community outreach, especially in grades K-12; acting as science advisors/ambassadors for the purpose of cultural exchange at home and abroad; providing senior ACS members with challenging, diverse, and enjoyable professional experiences that enable them to contribute to the cultural experiences of their communities; and  recommending policies that address issues of interest to senior chemists. The committee is aimed primarily at members over 60 years of age.

Other Committees

Council voted to accept the recommendation put forth by the Committee on Committees (ConC) to authorize the continuation of the Committee on Chemists with Disabilities and the Committee on Professional Training. 

ConC honored all committee chairs and members who will reach their statutory limit of service this year and also recognized Councilors who have reached significant anniversaries of years of Council service.

Proposal to Transfer Two Local Sections Approved

The Committee on Nominations and Elections (N&E) recommended that the Hampton Roads and Western Maryland local sections be shifted from District II to District III.  The background on this recommendation is the following: N&E is responsible for annually reviewing the distribution of member population within the six electoral districts to assure that the districts have equitable representation. According to Bylaw V, Section 4a, the member populations of each district must be within ten percent of the result of dividing by six the number of members whose addresses lie within these districts. During its meeting in March 2012, N&E learned from year-end 2011 membership figures that the total membership in one electoral district was below the permissible minimum (the permissible range is 21,038–25,714). The District III population was 140 members below the permissible minimum and N&E must recommend to Council a redefinition of District boundaries to bring District III member population back into compliance with the Bylaw provision regarding population. The two local sections agreed to the shift.

The Council voted 58% to 42% (via clicker vote) to approve the shift. However, there was quite a bit of discussion on this issue with the net result that N&E has been asked to conduct a comprehensive review of the optimal alignment of local sections within districts.

Two Petitions Voted Down

Council voted on two petitions for changes to the ACS Bylaws.  The first was a Petition on Candidate Comment in C&EN. The wording to BYLAW V, Section 13 was recommended to have the following added with the objective of avoiding an unfair campaign advantage to incumbents who may choose to make official statements on their task force or committee activities prior to elections.

“Other than official position statements provided for in election procedures, the official organ of the SOCIETY shall not publish without charge any written material under the name of a candidate for any position on the Board of Directors, including President-Elect, at any time after May 1 in the year of the election.”

Council voted against the petition.

The second petition was a Petition on International Chemical Sciences Chapters Funds. This petition sought to clarify that the Board of Directors may grant funds to international chapters for specific purposes. The proposed wording of BYLAW IX, section 4 was as follows:

“An International Chemical Sciences Chapter shall receive no allotment of funds from the SOCIETY and shall not be entitled to elected representation on the Council. However, the Board of Directors may grant funds to a Chapter for a specific SOCIETY activity in which participation of the Chapter is deemed necessary for carrying out that SOCIETY activity effectively.”

The Council voted not to approve this petition as well (64% to 36% via clicker vote).

Bylaw Changes for Consideration Only

Petition to Amend National Election Procedures

The increasing demands of recent campaigns for electing the President-Elect of the Society have made it ever more difficult to recruit leaders in the chemical community to accept nomination. The problems are increased substantially by the process used to choose candidates from among nominees, as otherwise potentially excellent candidates are often voted off the ballot because they are not well known to Councilors.  Serving many years in ACS governance is not, and should not be, a pre-requisite for serving as President-Elect.

The proposed change will charge N&E to find two candidates for President-Elect. Others, as now, may be nominated by members by petition, and procedures for preferential balloting remain unchanged. All candidates could then be invited to a public forum, such as a Town Hall meeting, at the Fall National Meeting, and would appear on the ballot. This process would shorten the campaign period, allow all candidates to be seen by Council and other members, and ease the burden on N&E.

The financial impact is still being assessed and the petition will appear on the Council agenda in the spring of 2013.

Distribution Formula for Local Section Allotments Delayed

The Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC) had reported that they believe there is a deficiency in the current formula used to distribute the ACS Local Section annual allotments (LSAC reviews the calculations every three years or sooner, if deemed necessary). Their concern is that the total allotment for distribution will be greater than the funds available to distribute and they had planned to recommend a formula at this Council meeting to correct this deficiency for the 2013 allotments with a recommendation for a long-term solution coming in 2013. However, the Council Policy Committee (CPC) voted to remove this item from the agenda for this meeting and put it on the 2013 spring agenda.

Chemists’ Employment Issues

The Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs (CEPA) reported that the unemployment rate for chemists has declined slightly – from 4.6% to 4.2%, but that 8.2% of those unemployed report being in that position for four months or more. There were 999 job seekers at the job fair held at the conference. They were competing for 148 positions being offered by 45 employers. A virtual job fair held earlier attracted 1,499 job seekers, 13 employers, and only 41 positions. It was also reported that the salaries of PhD and MS chemists have declined in real dollars, but that the salaries of BS chemists have held the line.

Divisional Activities

The Committee on Divisional Activities reported that the Program and Abstract Creation System (PACS) will no longer be supported after December 31, 2012 and ACS will have to find a new vehicle for the submission of papers for the National Meetings.

Fall Meeting Attendance

As of August 22, 2012, the ACS Fall National Meeting had attracted 13,320 registrants. Totals in select categories are as follows: Regular attendees 7,817; Students 3,177; Guests 337; Exhibit Only 740 and Exhibitors 1,249. The history of attendance at ACS fall national meetings since 2004 is as follows:

2004:  Philadelphia, PA           14,025

2005:  Washington, DC           13,148

2006:  San Francisco, CA        15,714

2007:  Boston, MA                   15,554

2008:  Philadelphia, PA           13,805

2009:  Washington, DC           14,129

2010:  Boston, MA                    14,151

2011:  Denver, CO                    10,076 (decline assumed to be due to timing - the week before Labor Day)

2012:  Philadelphia, PA            13,251

Special Discussion Item

A special discussion item was put on the Council agenda for this meeting. ACS President Bassam Shakhashiri presented and moderated a discussion on “What major efforts should ACS pursue to help alleviate water and other global challenges?” Members of the ACS feel a responsibility as scientists and citizens to help address global challenges facing society in the 21st Century to help sustain Earth and its people. These challenges include increasing population growth, limited natural resources, malnutrition, disease, climate change, violence and war, and the denial of basic human rights, including the right to benefit from scientific and technological progress. This discussion focused primarily on the crisis of available water suitable for drinking, agriculture and industry.  Following the presentation, more than 30 Councilors engaged in a discussion of this global challenge and others and offered numerous suggestions. Councilors are invited to continue discussion of this topic within the ACS Network Councilor Group ( at

Resolution to Honor the Memory of Glenn T. Seaborg in the Centennial Year of His Birth

The Council passed a resolution to honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of Glenn T. Seaborg, Chemistry Nobel Laureate and past ACS President.

Update on ACS vs. Leadscope Litigation

The Chair of the Board gave an update on the ACS vs. Leadscope litigation.  As of this meeting, there was still no opinion announced by the Ohio Supreme Count on ACS’s appeal in this case, despite the fact that oral arguments were presented nearly a year ago. ACS has no information on when an opinion might be delivered.

Update on September 18, 2012: Statement on ACS vs. Leadscope decision from the Supreme Court of Ohio from Dr. William F. Carroll, Jr., Chair, ACS Board of Directors, on its behalf

The Supreme Court of Ohio today issued its decision in the case of ACS v Leadscope, Inc., originally filed in 2002. It is a complex decision and ACS needs to carefully review and assess the decision over the next several days.

Based upon initial review, the ACS Board of Directors is gratified that the Court, in a 5-2 vote, found that ACS did not defame the defendants and vacated the lower court’s award of damages on that issue, which constituted the majority of the damages award in this case.

As to the defendants’ claim of unfair competition, the Court acknowledged ACS’ First Amendment right to seek judicial review of its original claims. Although the Court also agreed with ACS’ legal arguments that the trial court had improperly instructed the jury on that claim, the Court, in a 4-3 vote, affirmed the lower courts’ decisions.

Today’s ruling will not impact ACS member dues; ACS products, programs or services; ACS staffing levels; or the ability of ACS to achieve its mission.

ACS also appreciates and acknowledges the strong support it received from the Ohio Attorney General, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio State Bar Association, the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association and the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants – all of which submitted briefs supporting ACS to the Supreme Court of Ohio.

To review the Supreme Court of Ohio decision click here:

To read a summary of the case prepared by the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Office of Public Information click here:

Actions of the Board of Directors

(This portion of the report is taken verbatim from the Councilor talking points provided by the ACS, for which this author is most grateful.)

The Board’s Committees and Working Groups

The Board of Directors received reports from its committees on Grants and Awards (G&A), Executive Compensation, and Budget and Finance (B&F); and from its working group on Society Program Portfolio Management.

On the recommendation of the Committee on Grants and Awards, the Board VOTED to approve Society nominations for the Perkin Medal and the National Science Board Public Service Award.  The Perkin Medal is the highest honor in American industrial chemistry, and the National Science Board Public Service Award honors individuals and groups that have made substantial contributions increasing public understanding of science and engineering in the US.

The Board received a briefing and approved a recommendation from its Committee on Executive Compensation. The compensation of the Society’s executive staff receives regular review from the Board.

On the recommendation of the Committee on Budget and Finance (B&F), the Board VOTED to approve an advance member registration fee of $370 for national meetings held in 2013. The Board also considered program funding requests, and on the recommendation of B&F VOTED to reauthorize funding for inclusion in the 2013 proposed budget the ACS Science Coaches program and the ACS Global Research Experiences, Exchanges, and Training Program (GREET).  

The Board of Directors considered two other recommendations from the Committee on Budget and Finance and VOTED that an in-depth review of the expectations for the financial goals for National Meetings be performed, and that a financial plan for the long-term viability of the ACS Presentations on Demand program (formerly known as Electronic Dissemination of Meeting Content) be developed and shared with B&F at its 2013 spring meeting.

The working group on Society Program Portfolio Management briefed the Board on its activities.  The working group is charged with recommending a process for portfolio management of Society programs in the divisions of Membership and Scientific Advancement, Education, the Office of Public Affairs and pilot programs.

The Executive Director/CEO Report

The Executive Director/CEO and her direct reports updated the Board on the following: security threats faced by the Society’s information technology systems and the measures in place to protect against them; a recommendation from the 2011 Financial Planning Conference that ACS identify additional revenue sources; and the activities of CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service), the ACS Publications Division, and the Society’s General Counsel. The General Counsel report included an update on the ACS vs. Leadscope litigation. As a follow-up to the Publications report, the Board VOTED to approve several journal editor re-appointments.

Strategic Assessment of ACS Information Services Divisions

As a result of the 2011 Financial Planning Conference, the ACS Board of Directors requested that the ACS Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer carry out a strategic assessment of the ACS Information Services Divisions. As a practical matter, these studies have been conducted approximately every three years to ensure that our information services divisions, CAS and ACS Publications are fulfilling ACS’s strategic goals. The study was conducted over a period of nine months, with the ACS Board of Directors and the Governing Board for Publishing discussing the study at key milestones along the way. The study affirmed the robust operating performance of CAS and ACS Publications, from both mission and financial viewpoints.  It commended the increasing collaboration between the divisions and their global presence, and identified areas of synergy where additional opportunities for innovation and growth should be explore.

Presidential Symposia at Philadelphia

ACS President Bassam Z. Shakhashiri hosted several well attended symposia under the presidential theme, “Advancing Chemistry and Communicating Chemistry”:  a plenary lecture on “Chemistry and Climate Change” delivered by Nobel Laureate Mario Molina; the 25th anniversary of National Chemistry Week; “Communicating Controversial Science” honoring Rudy Baum on the occasion of his retirement as Editor-in-Chief of C&EN; and “150 Years of Chemistry at Land Grant Institutions:  The Past as a Prelude to the Future” honoring the sesquicentennial of the Morrill Land Grant Act.

Other Society Business

The Board received reports from the Presidential Succession on their current and planned activities for the remainder of 2012 and 2013; approved the appointment of Dr. Jerauld Skotnicki as the Coordinating Editor, ACS Presentations on Demand; and welcomed and received reports from international guests representing the Canadian Society for Chemistry, the German Chemical Society, the Chemical Society of Japan, and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The Board held a well-attended open session which featured a special forum titled “What are the ‘real world’ ethics issues faced by students and practitioners of chemistry?” Members attending this standing-room only session offered personal observations about ethical issues they have observed or been challenged by and possible options to address them. 

The ACS Leadership Institute will be held in Dallas, Texas, January 25-27, 2013, for new committee, local section, and division chairs, and other volunteer governance members. 

In order to increase the available time for abstract submission for the ACS National Meetings, the Committee on Meetings and Expositions will be studying the feasibility of eliminating the print version on-site program books with a target of the 2013 fall national meeting in Indianapolis. 

The 25th anniversary of National Chemistry Week will be celebrated October 21-27 with the theme, “Nanotechnology – The Smallest BIG Idea in Science!” All local sections are encouraged to participate in NCW and plan an event that will recognize their coordinators. 

The 10th anniversary of Chemists Celebrate Earth Day will be celebrated in 2013. All local sections are encouraged to participate.


The following is a list of URLs and email addresses presented on slides at the Council meeting. You will find the information noted on these cites helpful. - Information on the Chemistry Ambassadors program - Chemistry Ambassadors group on Facebook - Details on Innovative Project Grants through the Committee on Local Section Activities - Information on the ACS Climate Science Toolkit - Contact email for more information on the Coins for Cleaner Water initiative - The ACS governing documents including certification information on unit bylaws - Contact email for submitting petitions and other questions regarding the governing documents - Information on the ACS Entrepreneurial Initiative - Email address for forwarding revisions on the Academic Professional Guidelines - Information on the Council Policy Committee including the Councilor Handbook and Strategy Café Toolkit - Location for committee reports posted following the Council meeting


Bonnie Lawlor and Andrea Twiss-Brooks, CINF Councilors

Council Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology and Symbols

The Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology and Symbols held its open meeting on Monday, August 20, 2012. We received a report on the discovery of two new elements: number 114 and 116.  The Committee found that the proposed names and symbols follow a long tradition of selecting element names from geographic place names. Thus, the names Flerovium (element 114; symbol Fl) and Livermorium (element 116; symbol Lv) honor the two laboratories that cooperated in the discoveries. They join other elements named for other laboratories such as: Berkelium (element 97), Dubnium (element 105), Darmstadtium (element 110).

In previous reports from this Committee, Council was informed regarding the redefinition of the kilogram and the mole. The Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology and Symbols began its work with two goals: 1) to understand what is being done; and 2) to understand what it means to the practice of chemistry.

At its meeting in October 2011, the General Conference on Weights and Measures endorsed the concept of re-defining all of the SI Base Units on physical constants deemed “invariants of nature.”  The proposed new definitions, however, were not adopted. Instead, the Conference encouraged further work on the values of the physical constants to reach a target uncertainty of 20 parts per billion. Presently, the Planck constant that will define the kilogram has an uncertainty of 44 parts per billion.

The re-definition of the mole will be based on the Avogadro constant causing the mass of Carbon-12 to be determined experimentally and no longer be defined as 12.0 exactly. Presently, the uncertainty in the Avogadro constant is also 44 parts per billion.

The next General Conference on Weights and Measures is scheduled for 2014 rather than after the normal four-year interval that would place it in 2015.  Provided the target uncertainties of the physical constants have been met, the new definitions should be adopted at that time.

The Committee has begun preparation of a series of descriptions of the new definitions of SI Base Units. These descriptions are designed to address the chemical education needs of different grade levels and will be available on the Committee’s web site.

Peter Rusch, Chair, Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology and Symbols

Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications

The open session of the ACS Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications (JBCCP) is usually scheduled on Friday afternoon before the national meeting commences and is open to any society members. Brian Crawford, President of the ACS Publications Division, presented an update to the ACS Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications and the ACS membership. Slides are posted here. Leah McEwen, Committee Member and CINF Secretary, provides the summary below. Questions may be directed to the Committee Chair, Ned D. Heindel, email:

Highlights from the ACS Publications Division operations included the following:

  • Several new journal publications on track for 2012-2014 and Editor-in-Chief search committees are underway for several key journal titles.
  • Maureen Rouhi has been promoted to the Editor-in-Chief of C&EN. Former C&EN Editor-in-Chief Rudy Baum retired on September 14. A symposium in his honor was held at the Fall Meeting
  • Web article requests are up 7% on an YTD basis; ACS articles have been downloaded over 40 million times at the mid-year point. The increased member access benefits are so far a success. 
  • New technical development efforts are focused on web and mobile product innovations, CAS collaborations, and infrastructure enhancements. 
  • The ACS Publications Division is focusing outreach to graduate students and post docs through the ACS on Campus program and its Graduate/PostDoc Summer Institute.
  • The Division’s expanded presence in China includes the hiring of CINF member Norah Xiao to the Editorial Development team in the newly-created position of Manager, Editorial Development (Asia). Xiao will pursue new publishing opportunities in Asia, as well as the strategic development of an expanded cadre of expert scientists to serve as trained peer reviewers and candidate editorial advisory board members and Associate Editors for ACS journals. The division is also planning expanded customer and user help capabilities for Asia.

A strategic assessment of the ACS Publications Division and CAS was recently conducted by the ACS Board. It indicated robust operating performance on mission and financial fronts, and encouraged increased collaboration between the two publishing arms and with the technical divisions. ACS Publications is also monitoring open access (OA) initiatives in the US and beyond, and engaging in outreach and advocacy. The ACS Governing Board approved a pilot project to explore a cross-publisher content linking initiative with the Department of Energy as alternative to government-mandated centralized deposit. Alternative business models regarding ACS journals and open access will also be evaluated.

Crawford presented some background on the OA landscape in publishing from the ACS Publications Division perspective. The two primary forms of OA are “Green” where the authors are able to self-archive a version of their published articles in an institutional repository, and “Gold” where the journals themselves are OA. Many society publishers support Green OA and some have been experimenting with Gold. Many commercial publishers also offer Gold OA journals. 6,000 journals were surveyed in 2010, and 25% offer some form of OA, predominately in some hybrid form (89%). There are very few established OA publishers. Springer now has an OA publishing arm. There are many new OA entrants: 2.6 new journals launched each day; over 7,000 available, but very few are proving to be successful. eLife ( is a new joint initiative between the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust. ACS Publications is concerned that it will be difficult for the public to distinguish “wheat from chaff,” and JBCCP plays a crucial role through membership involvement to keep the ACS reputation high as a purveyor of quality information.

The political climate is currently in a perfect storm around OA: the Research Works Act backlash, the failure of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect against Internet Piracy Act (PIPA), the reintroduction of the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), a pending report from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), a petition to the White House and Obama administration for response, institutional mandates and faculty engagement, and the recent Finch Report in the UK. The Finch report recommends a policy direction for research publishing in Europe towards more OA and hybrid journals through article publishing charges. A survey of the publishing industry conducted by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) in 2010 indicating the vast majority of revenues comes from paid circulation to institutions suggests the cultural magnitude of such a shift. ACS authors are roughly divided in thirds between the United States, Europe and Asia (East Asia & Pacific) with the remaining 10% distributed across the rest of the Western & Eastern Hemispheres. OA developments worldwide impact not only the publishers in regions creating publishing policies, but also authors who publish across international boundaries.

ACS Publications is monitoring these developments to consider policies that funding bodies should advocate, and emerging balanced and sustainable approaches to cultural change through close contact, dialogue, and thorough and reasoned study. JBCCP and all ACS members are encouraged to read the report: Currently on the OA front, the ACS offers: ACS articles on Request, ACS Author Choice (minimal uptake <1%), updated Journals Publishing Agreement, facilitation of NIH Public Access Policy, custom licensing agreements with the Wellcome Trust and other funding agencies, society position statement and advocacy regarding unfunded public mandates and trade association engagement.

Question from the floor: The NSF requirement for data management plans is another unfunded mandate. Is ACS Publications taking any action?

Crawford: Data can be divided broadly into two groups – the first is the raw output of the research process and the second is that which is published along with journal articles. A task force of ACS editors is investigating a possible role for the Society regarding data management support for investigators. This group is also coordinating with CAS. The Association of American Publishers (AAP) is in the process of reviewing potential intellectual property issues associated with published and processed data and it is generally recommended that researcher-validated primary data be made openly available. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is also considering issues around the public availability of published and primary data.

Suggestions from the floor: ACS Publications should ask authors to supply links to their primary data. Thomson Reuters is planning to launch the Data Citation Index later this year (see:

Leah McEwen, Member, Joint Board Council Committee on Publications

CINF Social Networking Events

The Division of Chemical Information hosted a fantastic set of social networking events at the recent ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia. The division was fortunate to receive several generous contributions from our sponsors to foster successful symposia and social gatherings where division members and associates gather, mingle, commune and link. Please see event photos at or at the Division of Chemical Information group on the ACS Network.

The Science and the Law Symposium, co-hosted with the Division of Chemistry and the Law, was heavily attended and a great success on Sunday. Many thanks to Kilmorie Clarke for snacks and refreshments.

The CINF Welcoming Reception was supported by five helpful sponsors drawing a varied group of almost 100 chemical information devotees to enjoy the fare and conversation, and to inaugurate the Philadelphia meeting on Sunday. Many thanks to our host of supporters: Bio-Rad Laboratories, InfoChem, Optibrium, PerkinElmer, and ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. The CINF Scholarship for Scientific Excellence poster session at the Welcoming Reception provided $1,000 awards to three student winners by our generous scholarship sponsor, FIZ CHEMIE Berlin.  Please let your students and interns know about these prizes at

Harry’s Party, also hosted by FIZ CHEMIE Berlin on Monday evening, rejoined the chemical information cast in the Governor Suite at the Sheraton Philadelphia City Center with great views of the Philadelphia Library and other sites. A crowd of comrades and acquaintances enjoyed excellent food and drink while renewing old friendships and building new rapport.

The CINF Tuesday Luncheon offered tasty fare and an engaging presentation to about 80 diners. Dr. William Brock spoke to The Case of the Poisonous Socks: Tales from Chemistry, a collection of anecdotes regarding chemistry and forensics. CINF thanks RSC Publishing for sponsoring this fun event again.

The Herman Skolnik Award Reception honoring Dr. Peter Murray-Rust & Prof. Henry Rzepa followed a well-attended Herman Skolnik Award Symposium and was visited by at least 100 division members and affiliates at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. The museum was open for viewing and the food and drink were well received.  It was fantastic to see the old and new faces enjoying a great celebration. No one wanted to leave. Many thanks for the support of our diverse group of co-sponsors: Imperial College, Microsoft Research, Schrodinger, Unilever and the Journal of Cheminformatics.

The CINF Division would not be able to host these social networking events without the generous support from all our sponsors to whom we extend our sincere thanks.

Graham Douglas, Chair, CINF Fundraising Committee