Communicating the Value of Our Science
News about chemistry from ACS journals, C&EN, and National Meetings reached the public in record numbers. Independent monitoring data for 2012 shows that ACS-generated publicity resulted in more than 19,000 news media articles, a significant increase from 2011, resulting in potential readership or viewership of literally billions.
The award-winning ACS Digital Services unit produced more than 350 videos, a 10-percent increase from 2011. This unit created popular general audience videos about the Chemistry of Snowflakes, Chemiluminescence: How Glow Sticks Work, How Sunless Tanner Works: Tan-In-A-Can Chemistry and other topics. The Chemistry of Snowflakes was viewed more than 358,000 times making it the most popular video produced by the ACS Digital Services unit in 2012. The clip received widespread coverage, most notably from The Huffington Post, Boing Boing, CNet, ABC 7 News Washington, and the Washington Post, to name a few. The Bytesize Science videos received tens of thousands of views on YouTube and Vimeo, as well as coverage on Time, Wired, Los Angeles Times, AOL News, Live Science and many other sites.
A core value for ACS, diversity and inclusion, was recognized. The ACS Committee on Chemists with Disabilities (CWD) was the top winner in the employer category of the Campaign for Disability Employment’s “What can YOU do?” video contest. CWD’s entry, “Chemists with Disabilities: We All Can,” won the top award based on originality, content, reflection of campaign themes and categories, production value, impact, and accessibility. The video was produced by the ACS Digital Services unit. It was featured on the Campaign for Disability Employment’s website, YouTube, and various social networks and local, state, and national events.
ACS offers members many opportunities to volunteer or simply share chemistry resources with their communities. Under the banner of Chemistry Ambassadors, members are encouraged to be compelling advocates and spokespersons for their profession. Whether it’s sharing ACS scholarship information with high school counselors, emailing ACS Back-to-School Resources to teachers, using a Kids and Chemistry kit with the Scouts, joining the local section for National Chemistry Week or Chemists Celebrate Earth Day, or talking to policymakers about science funding, there’s something for everyone.
In 2012, the nearly 8,000 Chemistry Ambassadors took chemistry to the streets in all of these ways. They put ACS resources into more of the hands they are intended to serve, they put a human face and voice on chemistry, and they talked less about what they do and more about why what they do matters—to everyday people, every day.
In 2012, ACS and its members marked the 25th anniversary of National Chemistry Week with the theme “Nanotechnology: The Smallest Big Idea in Science.” Many thousands of families and children of all ages were introduced to this exciting area of chemistry through hands-on activities, experiments, puzzles and online and printed publications.
For members interested in serving as public relations (PR) chairs for their local sections, the “Sparkle” communication workshop was offered again, bringing the total number of trained PR chairs to 61. These volunteers learned how to write news releases that will bring results, how to work effectively with the news media, and how to ”speak simply” about chemistry in order to build greater community awareness of the important activities of the local section and their fellow members.
The National Historic Chemical Landmark (NHCL) program enjoyed greater impact in 2012 than ever before. Record levels of web traffic overall, plus op-eds, press conferences, videos, and panel discussions for the 2012 designations of DayGlo Fluorescent Pigments and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring reached new and influential audiences. In the month of October, the Landmark site received more than 44,000 views making it one of the most popular sites on the ACS web platform. The program expanded its reach into classrooms through newly launched high school lesson plans, based on NHCL subjects and created in cooperation with the ACS Education Division.
Through all of these efforts, ACS helped members to “Share Chemistry! and Spark a Reaction!”