Message from the Chair

Rachelle Bienstock I attended my first ACS National Meeting in 2001, a starry- eyed undergraduate researcher visiting San Diego for the first time. It was almost dizzying, all the talks, all the posters, all the social events geared towards undergrads. I really had no concept of how broad and in-depth the world of research could be beyond the small drug discovery group I was a part of. I took a lot away from that meeting. Even now as a well- seasoned National Meeting attendee, I come away from each one completely exhausted with new ideas, new plans, and new connections. The National Meeting is an invaluable part of ACS membership, and can open up the world to students or early career scientists. CINF programming and networking is inarguably the strongest divisional value at national meetings, and our continued engagement with early career services is a key focal point. It is important to remember how much of an impact these meetings can have when we look to planning the next one.

Yet less than 10% of ACS members attend an ACS National Meeting, speaking to the need to focus our service offerings on those who cannot. With costs rising in the large cities, and travel budgets shrinking, this number is not likely to grow. CINF has been making some strides to increase the value of division membership beyond the National Meeting, and I look forward to focusing on this mission during my term as divisional chair. I am hoping that soon the answer to the question “What value do I get with my CINF membership” will be “a lot!”

One of the items on our divisional-value docket this year is an Innovative Projects Grant to create a new CINF website. This is geared at reaching all of the division with improved communication, resources, and regular content. We hope that this will engage the entirety of the division in discussion and contribution, especially those that cannot attend the National Meetings. While this is slated to go live at the end of the year, we hope to have a beta ready for review well before. Keep an eye out for an invitation to explore, contribute, and provide feedback!

I have been delighted to see the programming at National Meetings grow and diversify over the past few years. We have experimented with new formatting and themes, more often than not with resounding success. You will notice in the upcoming San Francisco National Meeting that the CINF programming is packed through Wednesday, with no programming on Thursday. We hope that this can better accommodate speakers and attendees in one of the more expensive locations. You will also notice that CINF programming is all located in a nearby hotel. With the Moscone center undergoing renovations during the meeting, many divisions have been assigned to nearby hotels (including the other divisions we are closely connected to such as COMP, CHED, CHAS, CHAL, and ANYL). When planning your attendance, please be sure to pay attention to locations and account for commute time between them. I doubt I will be the only person frantically running between hotels.

I am super excited to work with the division on all our goals, and getting to know the members. As always, we would love to get members involved with the divisional operations; we could use more thoughts, input, and volunteers. If you are interested in helping shape CINF, drop me a line! Or if you are at a National Meeting, join us for one of our many open committee meetings

Looking forward to meeting you!,

Erin Davis, PhD
Chair, ACS Division of Chemical Information (CINF)