Outreach and Education Division

    The EDUCATION AND OUTREACH DIVISION supports chemistry education at all levels, including K-12, college, and adult/continuing education. It maintains liaisons to the Chicago Public Schools and the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT). The Division engages the general public in chemistry-related educational activities, participates in ACS activities at the annual Illinois State Fair, and publicizes all events and news-related content. The division oversees the annual Project SEED program for the Section as well as the Project SEED scholarships. The Division also assists public officials and other community bodies concerning chemistry-related matters. The Education and Outreach Division includes the Education, Outreach, Project SEED, and Public Affairs Committees.

    The EDUCATION COMMITTEE provides chemistry-related educational programs and information to learners of all ages and actively engages with educators at the pre-K-12 and college levels. Subcommittees include:

    • AACT Liaison
    • College Education Subcommittee
    • Continuing Education Subcommittee
    • Chicago School Board Liaison
    • K - 12 Education Subcommittee


    The PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE ensures that section members and public officials and bodies are informed of matters where the knowledge and practice of chemistry is of substantial public importance. These matters can include government issues, environmental issues and the social responsibility of chemists. The Public Affairs Committee gives the Public Affairs Award biennially.

    The OUTREACH COMMITTEE engages the general public, educators and children in chemistry-related educational activities and participates in many different types of events around the greater Chicago area.   Subcommittees include:

    • Community Activities Subcommittee
    • Illinois State Fair Subcommittee


    PROJECT SEED COMMITTEE identifies interested low-income and/or minority high school junior and senior students who are interested in participating in a paid summer research experience with  a college or university faculty member.  It supports financial and logistical concerns for the student/ faculty relationships and communicating  relevant program information to the national ACS organization.  The committee is also responsible for distributing Project SEED awards to support the internships. 

    Council Report 2016 #1 National Meeting San Diego

    The 251st National Meeting of the ACS was held in San Diego, CA, from March 13 – 17, 2016. The theme of this meeting was “Computers in Chemistry.” The Chicago section was represented by Charles Cannon (Local Section Activities), Dave Crumrine (Constitution and Bylaws), Russ Johnson (Chemistry and Public Affairs), Fran Kraviz (Local Section Activities), Michael Koehler (Chemical Safety), Margaret Levenberg (Meetings and Exposition), Milt Levenberg (Public Relations and Communication), Inessa Miller, Barbara Moriarty (Science) and Susan Shih (Education). The national activities committees for each, as I know them, are in parentheses.

    Governance: The Council elected two candidates for the fall 2016 ACS national election for President-Elect 2017. The candidates are Peter K. Dorhout and Thomas R. Gilbert. Ballots will be distributed on September 29, 2016.

    Finances: The Society’s 2015 year-end financial position was reviewed. The Society ended 2015 with a Net Contribution from operations of $16.6 million on revenues of $511.7 million and $495.1 million in expenses. This was favorable to the 2015 Approved Budget. The Society’s financial position strengthened in 2015, with Unrestricted Net Assets, or reserves, increasing from $144.7 million at December 31, 2014 to $163.3 million at year-end 2015. Even with the positive financial picture of 2015 the Society only met four of the five Board-established Financial Guidelines, but did not meet the reserve adequacy guideline again in 2015.

    Additional information can be found at, at bottom, click ‘About ACS’, then ‘ACS Financial Information’. There you will find several years of the Society’s audited financial statements and IRS 990 filings.

    The Council voted to set the member dues for 2016 at the fully escalated rate of $166. This rate is established pursuant to an inflation-adjustment formula in the ACS Constitution and Bylaws.

    Meetings and Expositions: The attendance at the San Diego meeting was reported to be 16,327with 8,398 attendees and 5,979 students. The Exposition has 415 booths with 270 exhibiting companies. This is a slight decrease in the number of exhibitors compared to the Boston Meeting. The early meeting registration fee for 2017 was recommended to be $440.

    Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs (CEPA): The Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs (CEPA) reported that the unemployment rate for member chemists was 3.1%, compared to the overall US unemployment rate of 5.5%. However, the new graduate unemployment rate was 13.0%. The on-site career fair at the meeting had 739 job seekers and 30 employers with 106 positions. Résumé reviews (360) and mock interviews (217) were held at this meeting.

    The revised Academic Professional Guidelines were approved by Council, subject to approval by the Board of Directors. The guidelines apply to those members of the academic community whose job function impacts directly or indirectly on scientists practicing the profession of chemistry. A revised Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct was presented to Council.

    Membership: As of December 31, the ACS membership was nearly 157,000, which is 0.96% less than at the end of 2014. The number of new members who joined in 2015 is 25,000. The Society’s overall retention rate is 84%. The committee also reported that the number of international members has increased to 26,022 and that the number of student members increased. The international growth rate is 3.85%.

    Local Sections: The theme for National Chemistry Week in 2016, is “Solving Mysteries Through Chemistry.” The theme for Chemist Celebrate Earth Day, to be celebrated in April 2016, is “The Great Indoors – The Home Ecosystem.”

    Special Discussion: The Council discussed the topic of the US Employment of Chemists. This discussion topic is of special interest to President Donna J. Nelson who has assembled a task force on employment in the chemical sciences. Councilors discussed the factors which determine supply and demand, employment options for chemical technicians, possible certification of chemical professionals, preparation of graduates for industrial employment and global employment. In addition, a presidential symposium was held at this meeting and a symposium entitled “Standing Up for Science: Difficult discussions about jobs” is planned for the next ACS national meeting in Philadelphia.

    If you have any questions and/or comments about the above actions, please contact me or one of your other representatives. You may contact me by email ([email protected]).

    - Barbara Moriarty, Councilor