International Engagement and Presence
The ACS Division of Membership & Scientific Advancement (M&SA) continues its international engagement and presence by promoting and implementing events via its Office of International Activities (OIA). OIA sponsored several events in 2014 to help ACS advance the chemical sciences and ACS Member International Networks. It also helped develop international chapters and alliances and address science and human rights issues, and it collaborated on international community outreach events. Some highlights from 2014 include:
- Organized the 2nd International Workshop on Sustainability and Water Quality in Delhi, India, on January 15-18 in cooperation with colleagues and experts from the University of Delhi and a variety of governmental and private organizations.
- Collaborated with the Brazilian Chemical Society on Ciência sem Fronteiras, a program that provides scholarships for Brazilian students to study and research abroad at some of the world’s most prestigious universities. With funding from the Brazilian Research Council, the Next Generation of Ambassadors of Chemistry Symposium provided 15 students the opportunity to develop skills in scientific productivity and leadership through specialized training and workshops. Each student delivered an oral presentation highlighting their research and findings at the ACS National Meeting in San Francisco.
- Coordinated efforts with the Singapore National Institute of Chemistry (SNIC) for the Global Innovation Imperative (Gii) conference in Singapore held December 3-5. This forum brought together experts on water treatment to discuss best practices and will produce a white paper on the topic.
- Coordinated efforts for an International Science Networking Event held July 20 at the ACS headquarters. It showcased ACS’ role as a leader in international scientific collaboration. Participants from the U.S. Department of State, National Science Foundation (NSF), scientific organizations, government relations, and from the Embassies had the opportunity to initiate discussions to assist the US Department of State and its PEGASCIS initiative (Platform for Enhancing Global Academic Strategic Collaboration in Science).
- With funding from the NSF as part of the International Research Experience for Undergraduates (IREU) program, coordinated the selection and placement of 17 US students in in the UK, Germany, Italy and Singapore.
- Coordinated the formal submission and Board approval of two International Chemical Sciences Chapters for South Korea and Malaysia.
- With assistance from the Chinese Chemical Society (CCS) and Peking University, ACS organized a Chemistry Festival in Beijing. The event was held in conjunction with the 29th CCS Congress. Thirty volunteers from Peking University and the ACS International Chapters in Shanghai and Hong Kong provided training for over 1,000 participants with a variety of hands-on activities. Volunteers from Shanghai and Hong Kong were trained in Beijing and then took the festival back to their communities.
- Supporting ACS Festival de Quimica programs in Beijing, Shanghai, Lima and Puerto Rico. These festivals of chemistry are community outreach events designed for the public, especially for children, to promote the public’s understanding of the importance of chemistry in their local communities. With the efforts of hundreds of volunteers, ACS conveys this message using simple chemistry demonstrations.
- Sponsoring a hybrid presentation from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The event, held in conjunction with the Washington DC Science and Technology Diplomat Club was attended by science and technology attaches of several local embassies (Russia, France, Italy, and Mexico). Attendees also included members of the ACS International Center™ affiliate community, such as the Inter-American Foundation and the Japan Science and Technology Agency. The event was the first-ever hybrid event – broadcast to a live online audience -- to be held at the American Chemical Society headquarters. In addition, OIA organized, promoted, and executed four international webinars on topics related to science and human rights. The office was awarded a grant from the U.S. State Department to engage the Middle East and North Africa, Asian Pacific, and Eurasian chemistry communities to formulate a statement of ethical practice.
To expand ACS presence and engagement of members and prospective members in India, the M&SA Global Strategic Initiatives team developed a three-year plan and will also work with other ACS Divisions (principally CAS and ACS Publications) to promote corporate/institutional offerings to further enhance ACS globally.