As his term as president of the world's largest
scientific society neared it's end, Dr. Pavlath reflected
on challenges, opportunities,
and leadership styles for the ACS publication Chemistry.
an electronic poll of ACS members who are chemists to identify
what they value about their membership, whether or not they
are satisfied, and what they need and expect into the future.
Please take a moment to read the PDF
executive summary of the poll.
also be interested in my play, "It
is Time for a Change", an entertaining and hopefully thought
provoking play for the 125th Anniversary of the American Chemical
NEW! Please click here for the K-12 Science Education Report.
YOUR HELP URGENTLY. On November 16, 1999 I received a
phone call from the chair of the Nomination and Election Committee
that on January 1, 2001, I will have the duty to lead the
world's largest scientific organization, as its President,
into the 21st century. The members have spoken we must look
ahead.We have many problems the magnitude of which kept increasing
steadily while they were ignored, or downplayed during the
years. I have received many responses to my statement in this
election, agreeing with the need for a change, and asking
about the specifics of the actual plans. I am ready to start
the process, but I can not and mostly do not want to do it
alone. Our problems are complex and interdependent. I emphasized
in my previous comments repeatedly that only joint efforts
by all segments of the Society can provide long lasting solutions.
We must change our strategy and the way we carry it out. We
can not afford the "business as usual" approach.
This is the change what we must carry out.
There is no magic wand which can be waved to provide instant
solutions. There is no one single action which can conveniently
dissolve all the problems. We will always have problems, but
the important point is that with concerted efforts we can
improve the situation for everyone. There is no other way,
we can not wait for the perfect solution, because no decision
is already a decision and inaction can have great consequences.
We have seen many examples of this during the past decades.
The key is to arrive to a series of actions which will help
everyone. A solution which is based on the problems and need
of everyone in our profession. However, we must act expediently,
we can not wait.
In my election statement I promised a "from the grassroots
up approach". I expanded on this in my January 1,
2001 president's message in C&EN titled, " Welcome
to the 21st Century". I would like to hear from you what
you want from the Society and then build the programs within
the capability of the Society to fulfill the wishes. No idea
or suggestion will be left out of consideration. My firm belief
is that everything is possible if we set collectively our
mind at it. As the old saying goes: the difficult we do immediately,
the impossibl will take some time. I am very optimistic that
the tide is turning and the future of our profession and its
practitioners from the youngest chemist to the most respected
Nobel Laureate will be bright. Please, help to accomplish