#216 Council Meeting

ACS Council Meeting

216th National Meeting
Boston, MA, August 23-27, 1998

Summary of the American Chemical Society Council Meeting, August 26, 1998

ACS President Paul H.L. Walter called for a meeting of the seven main chemical societies of the world with the aim of helping other less fortunate countries. President-Elect Edel Wasserman noted the international chemistry celebration that is to take place in 1999. His focus for the year is "The Global Chemical Enterprise," and he has pledged to invite leading chemists from around the world to point to the future of chemistry from the international perspective. Past President Paul S. Anderson quoted from the 1945 Vannevar Bush report to the President of the United States in which he stressed that investment in scientific information would be the key to progress. Federal funding flowered, and over the years, the ACS has been an effective advocate for the government-industry-academic partnership.

Chair of the Board of Directors Joan E. Shields reported on the establishment of the Office of Technical Programming and Conferences, a body that will concentrate on interdisciplinary activites, core competencies, and job-related programming. The Board has voted to continue the Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service. A task force, chaired by Dr. Jack Roberts, reviewed the Society's Awards program. (See her "Comment" in the June 1, 1998 C&EN.) The Office of International Activities has been expanded, and a new insurance plan for long-term health care was unveiled. The professional liability package is not yet ready.

ACS Executive Director John K. Crum noted in his written report that a new ACS Office of Society Services has been established to help members obtain ACS products and services. The toll-free number is 800-227-5558. CINF Past-Chair Joe Clark is the new Director of Information Systems at ACS. In that capacity, he is conducting an evaluation of the computer systems.

The Governing Board for Publishing report contained information that all CAS avenues to the database will link via ChemPort to primary journal sites. These include STN Express, STNEasy, SciFinder, and SciFinder Scholar. The transition from print to Web editions of ACS journals is well underway, and the challenge is to make the transition without losing subscription income. Two new journals, Organic Letters and the Journal of Combinatorial Chemistry were approved, as was one new magazine, Modern Drug Discovery. The Boston meeting saw the unveiling of the Web edition of C&EN. The arrangement with Oxford University Press to produce, market, and distribute ACS books has been successfully implemented.

From the Council Elected Committee reports, the following seemed most pertinent to CINF concerns.

A petition on Corporation Associates dues was approved. This incorporated a more active role for the Associates in recommending how the society uses the dues. It also provides for closer monitoring of a Corporation Associate whose dues are in arrears.

The Committee on Committees has produced a new brochure that describes all of the ACS committees. The Committe on Chemical Safety is to be continued. It was reported that the following CINF members had reached the limit of their service on committees, and the Council thanked them (and others) for their service: Carol Duane (Membership Affairs), Merle Eiss (Committees), Bonnie Lawlor (Copyrights). Carol and Merle were also recognized for 15 years of service on the ACS Council.

The Committee on Nominations and Elections conducted several elections during the fall Council meeting. Carol Duane was elected to the Committee on Committees, and Merle Eiss is now on the Council Policy Committee. Ann Moffett continues through the year 2000 on the Council Policy Committee.

Of the Society Committees, Budget and Finanace reported that the Information Services programs (CAS and Pubs) provided $635,000 to the 1997 increase in unrestricted net assets, although a decrease in assets of $885,000 for 1998 was reported. This is due in part to investments in technology, including ChemCenter and the Information Technology Support Group.

An Education Committee task force has been formed with the Committee on Technician Activities to work out a detailed strategic plan for technician education for the next 3-5 years. The committee supports the ACS Board in having no official ACS position on immigration. The WonderNet and VC2 Web sites have been added to ChemCenter.

Reports of Council Standing Committees included the following:

Bonnie Lawlor, Chair of the Divisional Activities Committee, reported that the chairs-elect and one additional officer are now to attend the January training sessions. In alternate years, the secretary or the treasurer will attend. The Divison of Chemical Toxicology was approved by Council after unanimous recommendation by DAC. The Council also got its first look at a petition to revise DAC's duties to include making recommendations for combination or dissolution of divisions. This parallels a similar revision for local sections that was recently adopted.

The Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs is preparing an online version of the Professional Data Bank. A proposed revision of the Professional Employment Guidelines brought on considerable debate. Bob Buntrock stated that he was aware of an instance when an employee was notified of termination and was ushered out of the company on the same day and hour, with a provision for coming back to clean out the desk. Despite concerns, the new PEG was adopted unanimously by the Council. The ACS has published the Employment Guide for Foreign-Born Chemists. A new edition of Current Trends in Chemical Technology, Business, and Employment is being prepared. A symposium on this topic at the Boston meeting summarized the findings of a survey of more than 100 top-level managers of industrial R&D and academic and government research directors. The summary is scheduled for posting on the Web this fall.

The Local Section Activities Committee has mailed the 1998 edition of the Handbook for ACS Local Section Treasurers. The 1998 annual report form will be mailed in November.

Meetings and Expositions commented on the excellent attendance at the Boston meeting. It was the second largest number of exhibits ever, and approximately 14,000 attended the meeting. The Spring 2000 meeting was moved from Las Vegas to San Francisco, and Washington, DC will host one meeting in 2009. San Francisco also won out for 2010, and New York City will have one ACS meeting in 2010. Abstracts of the ACS meetings are to be available electronically in 1999. A proposal to raise the 1999 advance registration fee to $235 failed handily with 272 nos and 166 yeas.

Membership Affairs noted total ACS membership of 155,399 at the end of 1997. The publications Reaction Times and ACSess will be merged into a single publication this fall.

New petitions to amend the Constitution and/or Bylaws must be received by the ACS Executive Director by December 2, 1998.

The Joint Board-Council Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service's oral report was given by Chair John Verkade. He stated that over 20 academic institutions have opted for SciFinder Scholar since its introduction earlier in 1998. CAS prices for 1999 have been adjusted at close to the rate of inflation.

Environmental Improvements has been working on Thrust 3.4 of the ACS Strategic Plan, which includes a provision for the public availability of chemical information. Curricular materials are being developed, the EPA and CAS are cooperating on a $240,000 project, and a task force on TSCA has been established.

A number of CINF members are on the Publications Committee: Carol Carr, Barbara Peterson, and Arleen Somerville. An electronic archive policy for e-journals, license terms for InterLibrary Loan of Web editions, and the ability for non-subscribers to order copies of articles with a credit card were part of the report. In addition, authors are now allowed to link to articles from their own personal Web site, with up to 50 free accesses authorized via that route. For theses, blanket permission has been given to include in theses material published or submitted for publication to ACS prior to its actual publication.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary Wiggins
Bonnie Lawlor
CINF Councilors

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