Committee Reports

Report from Council to the
Division of Chemical Information
253rd ACS National Meeting, San Francisco, CA
April 2 – 6, 2017

The following summary is adapted from selected talking points for Councilors provided by the ACS Office of the Secretary. Consult the full agenda book for the ACS Council ( meeting for more details on these and other items of Council business at the 253rd ACS National Meeting

Actions of the Council

Election Results

Candidates for President-Elect, 2018

  • The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to the Council the following nominees for selection as candidates for President-Elect, 2018:
    Nominee 1st Round 2nd Round 3rd Round
    *Bonnie A. Charpentier 200 210 242
    Mark D. Frishberg 73 80 -
    Anne M. Gaffney 26 - -
    *Willie E. May 132 141 158
  • 431 valid electronic ballots were cast, with 216 being the majority. The results of the first preference vote totals are shown in the 1st round column. No nominee attained a majority. Following the procedures ap-proved by Council, second-preference votes were distributed in two subsequent rounds. Bonnie A. Charpen-tier and Willie E. May were declared elected as candidates. These two candidates, along with any candi-dates selected via petitions, will stand for election in the fall national election.

Candidates for Districts III and VI

  • The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced the results of the election held prior to the San Francisco meeting to select candidates from the list of nominees for directors from District III and District VI on the Board of Directors for the term 2018-2020. By Internet preferential ballot, the councilors from these districts selected Alan B. Cooper and Teri Quinn Gray as District III candidates; and Rita R. Boggs and Paul W. Jagodzinski as District VI candidates. Ballots will be distributed on or before October 1 to all ACS mem-bers in District III and District VI for election of a director from each district.

Candidates for Directors-at-Large

  • The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced the selection of the following candidates for direc-tors-at-large for 2018-2020 terms: Kenneth P. Fivizzani, Wayne E. Jones, Bonnie A. Lawlor, and Barbara A. Sawrey. The election of two directors-at-large from among those candidates and any selected via petition will be conducted in the fall. Ballots will be distributed to the council on or before October 1, 2017.

Other Council Actions

Amendments to the ACS Bylaws

  • A recommendation by the Council Policy Committee to approve the Petition for the Removal of Officers and Councilors (Bylaw III, Sec. 1, i; Bylaw VII, Sec. 1, c; Bylaw VIII, Sec. 4, d) failed. The council had voted to approve the related Procedures for Removal of a Councilor or Alternate Councilor, contingent upon approval of the Petition for the Removal of Officers and Councilors. As the petition subsequently failed, given the in-terdependence of the petition and related procedures, the procedures will not take effect.
  • The council approved the Petition on the Rights of Affiliates (Bylaw II, Sec. 1, a, 2, a, 3, b, (3) and (4)).

2018 Member Dues

  • The council voted on the recommendation of the Committee on Budget and Finance to set the member dues for 2018 at the fully escalated rate of $171. This rate is established pursuant to an inflation-adjustment for-mula in the ACS Constitution and Bylaws.

Distribution Formula for Division Funding

  • On the recommendation of the Committee on Divisional Activities, the council approved a formula for allocating dues funds to divisions, effective with allocations for 2017 division performance. The allocation formula is based on these categories of division metrics and activities:
    Innovative Project Grants: 10%
    Base: 15%
    Per Member: 12.5%
    Number of Attendees at Oral Sessions: 31.25%
    Number of Division Members at National Meetings: 15.625%
    Number of Division Posters Presented at National Meetings: 15.625%

Continuation of Committees

  • The council approved the recommendation of the Committee on Committees that the Committee on Project SEED be continued; and that the committees on Chemists with Disabilities, on Public Relations and Communications, and on Women Chemists be continued contingent on approval of the Board of Directors.

Special Discussion

The council conducted a special discussion, “ACS Yesterday and Today: Paving the Way to Tomorrow,” to gath-er input for the Joint Board-CPC Task Force on Governance Design. Forty councilors approached the floor mi-crophones to share observations, comments, and suggestions to assist the task force in identifying opportunities and issues for governance improvement. The task force offered three questions to guide the discussion: What should the society and its governance do differently to achieve its objects? If you could change one thing about ACS governance, what would it be? What should the task force leave “as is”? A poll conducted at the conclu-sion of the discussion revealed that 57% (222) of the councilors disagreed that the current governance structure, processes and procedures are already optimal to achieving the objects of ACS in the 21st century, 16% (54) agreed, and 27% (104) needed more information. Three-hundred and six (84%) said they would be willing to provide additional input and feedback to the task force. They will be contacted by the task force in the coming weeks.

Highlights from Committee Reports

Nominations and Elections

The Committee on Nominations and Elections solicits councilors’ suggestions of qualified individuals for the of-fices of president-elect and directors. Suggestions may be sent to

Budget and Finance

In 2016, ACS generated a net from operations of $23.8 million, which was $7.2 million higher than 2015. Total revenues were $526.8 million, increasing 2.9% ($15 million) over 2015. Expenses ended the year at $503 million, which was 1.6% ($7.8 million) higher than last year. This was attributed to a continued emphasis on ex-pense management across the organization. The society’s financial position strengthened in 2016, with unrestricted net assets, or reserves, increasing from $163.3 million at December 31, 2015, to $206.5 million at year-end 2016.

Additional information can be found at At the bottom, click “About ACS”, and then click “ACS Fi-nancial Information.” There, you will find several years of the society’s audited financial statements and IRS 990 filings.


As of December 31, 2016, the ACS membership was 156,129, which is 0.5% less than on the same date in 2015. The number of new members who joined in 2016 is 23,700. The society’s overall retention rate is 83.5%. The Committee on Membership Affairs also reported that the number of international members has increased to 27,388, exceeding the committee’s target by 5%. Retention of graduate students increased by 2% to 76.2%. ACS has recently hired a new director for membership, Kate Fryer, previously with the Society for Neuroscience.

Meeting Attendance

As of Tuesday, April 4, the San Francisco meeting attendance was as follows:

Attendees 9,797
Students 6,914
Exhibitors 1,198
Expo Only 475
Guest 466
Total 18,850

Total attendance figures for all spring national meetings since 2004 are as follows:

2004 Anaheim, CA 14,141
2005 San Diego, CA 15,385
2006 Atlanta, GA 12,546
2007 Chicago, IL 14,520
2008 New Orleans, LA 13,454
2009 Salt Lake City, UT 10,668
2010 San Francisco, CA 18,067
2011 Anaheim, CA 14,047
2012 San Diego, CA 16,864 (as of 3/27/12 eve.)
2013 New Orleans, LA 15,596 (as of 4/9/13 eve.)
2014 Dallas, TX 13,680 (as of 3/18/14 eve.)
2015 Denver, CO 13,930 (as of 3/24/15 eve.)
2016 San Diego, CA 16,327 (as of 3/16/16 eve.)
2017 San Francisco, CA 18,850 (as of 4/4/17 eve.)

The last National ACS meeting in San Francisco was held in the fall of 2014, and attendance at that meeting totaled 15,761. San Francisco has had the highest attendance for ACS National Meetings, at least since 1997 (1997: 18,042; 2010: 18,067; 2000: 18,336; 2017, 18,850).

Highlights on CAS and ACS Publications Activities from various reports

ACS Symposium Series Books are planned for two topics which may be of interest to CINF members. First, a book will compile the results of activities addressing employment of chemists and will be entitled The Present Employment Status of Chemical Professionals in the United States and Actions Needed for Its Improvement. Material included will be activities of the Presidential Task force on Employment in the Chemical Sciences, ACS members who e-mailed comments and ideas, bloggers who wrote on employment in the chemical sciences and spoke to the Task Force, and so on. Second, a book based on the symposium “Diversity – Quantification – Success?” will include contributions from its speakers and other contributors. It will focus on data-driven analyses of the status of women and underrepresented minorities at all levels in STEM disciplines, including chemistry and chemical engineering.

Both CAS and ACS Publications had very strong years in 2016. CAS launched its rebranding, introducing new graphics and an added emphasis on delivering solutions, rather than simply information. CAS launched new products such as MethodsNow and Chemisches Zentralblatt. The roll-out of SciFindern also occurred before year-end 2016.

ACS Publications launched ACS Sensors; ACS Energy Letters; ACS Omega, a global, open-access journal; and ACS Earth and Space Chemistry. ACS also announced its intent to explore ChemRxiv, a chemical sciences preprint server. C&EN Global Enterprise, a new C&EN electronic product for ACS Publications’ institutional subscribers, went live with the first January 2017 issue.

CAS registered a record number of new substances, 21,542,278 in total, during 2016, bringing total substance registrations to over 125 million. More than 1.36 million indexed records were added to the CA/CAPLUS family of databases. Patents continue to grow as a percentage of the total indexed records, now attributing greater than 1/3 of all records indexed by CAS scientists in 2015. Nearly 1.7 million new single-step reactions were added to the CAS reaction collection, with reactions drawn from more than 100,000 journal and patent documents.

Other Highlights

ACS Webinars produced 44 weekly webinars for members and prospective members in 2016. The live broad-casts drew more than 50,000 registrants and 25,000 participant sites combined, with an estimated 10% of sites having multiple individual participants. Twenty-two of the weekly webinars were delivered as part of two industry series focused on drug discovery and advanced materials. Notably, over 2/3 (69%) of participants surveyed stated that they are more likely to join or renew their ACS membership as a result of ACS Webinars. In addition, the overall satisfaction rate for weekly webinars was over 90%.

The Education Division and Web Strategy and Operations, in collaboration with the ACS Committee on Chemi-cal Safety, launched a new website with a rich collection of methods and tools for assessing hazards in research laboratories at The site is based on Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories, a resource created in response to a recommendation by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board for ACS to develop guidance on assessing and controlling hazards in research laboratories.

Actions of the Council

The Board’s Executive Session

The ACS Board of Directors met March 31 – April 1, 2017, considered a number of key strategic issues, and responded with several actions.

The Board’s Committees

The Board of Directors received and discussed reports from its committees on Executive Compensation, Strate-gic Planning, Corporation Associates, Professional and Member Relations, and the Joint Board-Council Commit-tee on Publications.

The board received an extensive briefing and approved several recommendations 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 Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications, the board voted to approve the reappointments of Editors-in-Chief for several ACS journals.

On the recommendation of the Committee on Professional and Member Relations, the board approved screened lists for the 2018 Priestley Medal and the ACS Award for Volunteer Service. From these lists, the board will select the recipients of these awards.

The Executive Director/CEO Report

The board received a report from the Executive Director and CEO on issues relating to the Information Technology area, the Executive Leadership Team retreat, ACS financials, and Board Regulations on the Governing Board for Publishing. His direct reports updated the board on the activities of the Membership Division, Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), and the ACS Publications Division.

Other Society Business

The board heard reports from the Presidential Succession on their current and planned activities for 2017.

As part of its ongoing commitment to consider the most important strategic issues facing the society, the board held a discussion and provided input to its Strategic Planning Committee on context setting and change drivers to be addressed during the strategic planning process.

The board is developing a statement based on the society’s core value of diversity and inclusion in response to the repeal of the North Carolina law known as House Bill 2 (‘bathroom bill’) and similar proposed legislation in Texas. It is assembling a representative group of stakeholders to advise it on actions relating to the location of society meetings.

Board Retreat

The board held a discussion on timing and topics of a possible facilitated retreat for all board members during 2017. The board regularly holds these retreats to consider strategic issues in depth or for ongoing development.

Board Resolution

The board passed a resolution expressing appreciation to Denise L. Creech for her 27 years of service in the Membership and Scientific Advancement Division, which she led as Director for nearly 14 years.

The Board’s Regular (Open) Session

The board held a well-attended open session which featured two “TED type” presentations. Dr. Joseph M. DeS-imone, CEO and co-founder of Carbon, Inc.; Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry, UNC-Chapel Hill; and William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at NC State University and of Chemistry at UNC, spoke on “Future Fabricated with Light: The Launching of Carbon.”

Anne Milasincic Andrews, Professor of Psychiatry and Chemistry & Biochemistry; Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, Hatos Center for Neuropharmacology, and California NanoSystems Institute; University of California, Los Angeles, spoke on how “The Brain is More Than a Computer.”

Prior to the presentations, members of the presidential succession and the Executive Director and CEO offered brief reports on their activities. The officers provided more extensive reports on their activities and/or future plans as part of their written and oral reports to the council.

Contact the Board

Your Board of Directors is elected by and acts in the best interests of the members of our society. Please con-tact them with your comments, concerns, ideas, and suggestions at

Andrea Twiss-Brooks
University of Chicago
CINF Councilor
Svetlana Korolev
University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee
CINF Councilor
Bonnie Lawlor
CINF Councilor

Calling All Committee Members!

Do you belong to a CINF committee, an ACS national committee, or a committee of another ACS division that discusses issues related to chemical information or cheminformatics? Con-sider submitting a brief summary of your committee’s activities to the Chemical Information Bulletin, to be placed in the Committee Reports section. Submissions may be of any length and should be sent directly to the editor of the issue in which you wish them to appear; a list of editors appears in the CINF Officers section of this issue of the CIB. This is a great way to disseminate the news of your committee’s activities to the broader chemical information community!