In 2011 the American Chemical Society joined chemists worldwide to celebrate the International Year of Chemistry 2011 (IYC 2011). This exciting global celebration, as declared by the United Nations, focused on the achievements of chemistry and the many positive ways that chemists and chemical engineers have improved people’s lives. Under the unifying theme “Chemistry—our life, our future,” we celebrated the year with a range of interactive, entertaining, and educational activities for all ages. We developed many online resources for members to participate in the International Year of Chemistry. One of the tools is a daily web feature titled 365: Chemistry for Life that highlights chemistry’s contributions to humankind. As we experienced 2011, our members shared their passion for our science with others.
IYC 2011 provided many new and fruitful opportunities for ACS. The capstone was a grant for more than one million dollars from the National Science Foundation to the ACS Education Division to develop and distribute 8,000 hands-on chemistry kits for middle school teachers, and to attend four science and engineering festivals in 2011-2012, enabling ACS to continue the momentum begun during IYC 2011 to increase the public understanding and appreciation of chemistry.
ACS also secured passage of a U.S. Senate resolution recognizing 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry, with similar resolutions in state legislatures in Minnesota, Tennessee, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Another major achievement was receiving a $2.5 million grant from the Dow Chemical Company to become the sole sponsor of the 44th International Chemistry Olympiad that is being held in the U.S. for only the second time in its 44-year history. We greatly appreciate Dow’s generosity and support!
2011 also was a challenging year. The global economy continued to struggle. Many of our members looked to ACS to help them find jobs and rewarding career paths. In response, ACS Career Services expanded its suite of services and conducted its first combined onsite and virtual ACS Career Fair. The onsite portion of the Career Fair took place at the Denver Convention Center during the ACS 2011 Fall National Meeting, giving 775 job seekers the opportunity to interview for 261 open positions. Breaking all geographical barriers, the Virtual Career Fair portion made it possible for more than 2,000 job seekers around the world to talk to recruiters about 380 additional open positions. ACS Career Services also created an Entrepreneurial Training Program as part of the new ACS Entrepreneurial Initiative, which will help members identify and pursue pathways to become chemical entrepreneurs.
In light of the difficult economic climate, we are pleased to report that ACS ended 2011 with many remarkable accomplishments and with a positive financial position. The Board of Directors is pleased to report that for the eighth consecutive year, ACS ended the year with a positive net contribution from operations. Continuing a tradition since the 1970’s, the Board of Directors held a financial planning conference in June. The theme of the conference was ensuring the Society’s financial sustainability and growth in a period of extraordinary change.
Looking toward the future, the Board of Directors led the development of the new ACS Strategic Plan for 2012 and Beyond. The plan has four broad strategic goals that provide a blueprint for the Society to fully realize our Mission, “Advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people.”
ACS members throughout the world can be assured that their Society will continue to achieve its mission by providing the important programs, products, and services they value and rely upon to advance their careers and improve people’s lives.
Nancy B. Jackson
Bonnie A. Charpentier
Board of Directors