International Engagement and Presence
The ACS Division of Membership & Scientific Advancement (M&SA) continues its international scientific engagement and presence by promoting and implementing global ACS member-serving research collaboration and exchange programs, network development opportunities, and scientific events through the ACS Office of International Activities (OIA). OIA organized a number of key activities in 2015, advancing chemistry and the Society's constitutional commitment “to cooperate with scientists internationally and be concerned with the worldwide application of chemistry to the needs of humanity.” In so doing, OIA also helped develop new international chapters and alliances and advance science and human rights. OIA highlights from 2015 include:
- ACS Board approval of new chapters in Australia, Brazil, India, Nigeria, Peru, Taiwan and the UAE—bringing the total number of international chapters to 16, in addition to the collaborative M&SA / Education Division establishment of International Student Chapters where International Chapters exist.
- Engaging the U.S. Department of State and the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and their partners to ensure understanding and support of plans for a global code of ethics.
- Expanding the role of the virtual ACS International Center which attracted more than 30,000 visitors in 2015. The site was enhanced in 2015 to improve content, navigation and search and is a premiere online resource for chemistry-related scientists, engineers and educators looking for opportunities to study abroad and engage in globally related internships and research openings.
- Coordinating the selection and placement of 17 US students in the UK, Germany, Italy and Singapore with funding from the NSF as part of the International Research Experience for Undergraduates (IREU) program.
- Conducting six workshops in Thailand - ACS Building Opportunities Out of Science and Technology (BOOST) - that reached more than 800 scientists. Leveraged this program to connect with ACS members, gather information about their membership experiences and needs, and create networks for ACS International Chapter development and capacity building.
ACS President Diane Grob Schmidt helped to officially open Quimicuba 2015 held in Havana, where she and staff also met with representatives of the Cuban Chemical Society, the Cuban National Academy of Sciences, the University of Havana, The Center of Molecular Immunology, the U.S. Embassy and with numerous chemists from around the world. Their visit culminated with an ACS proposal for future engagements with the Cuban Chemical Society that are currently under review and development.