Ideas from the Grassroots
PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSALS
FOR A BETTER ACS
E-mail Address: Attila@pavlath.org
Post Office Address: WRRC, 800 Buchanan, Albany, CA
At the 5/31/00 meeting of the ACS Southern Indiana Executive
Committee, I led a discussion on the topic "What do we
want from the society?" Four of the six people on our
Executive Committee are graduate students, and what follows
is a summary of their comments.
We first discussed the purpose of both the ACS and our local
section. A mechanism to form a sense of community among chemists
was seen as one of the major purposes of the ACS. The ACS
is viewed as a kind of union; it caters to people who are
already chemists. The purpose of our local section is to serve
as a bridge between people in chemistry at Indiana University
and people in high school or industry. We felt that we succeed
on some levels, most notably in our National Chemistry Week
activities and the sponsorship of industry tours and seminar
What incentives are there to join or remain in ACS?
In general, it was felt that ACS really doesn't offer many
incentives for graduate students to join. One person openly
stated that the ACS really doesn't care about graduate students.
If they are paying money to belong to an organization, they
want to know clearly what benefits they are getting. C&EN
was definitely not seen as an incentive. The graduate students
viewed it as very business-oriented and not very chemistry-oriented.
They favored offering members the option of another ACS
journal instead of C&EN.
The expense of attending the national meetings was seen as
a deterrent, but the national meetings themselves are considered
great. Job interviews at the national meetings are helpful
They expressed a desire for monetary support or a discount
for the meeting hotels. At the least, the shuttle buses should
run to the cheaper hotels. A comment about the exhibits at
the national meetings: "There is less good stuff being
handed out!" The book stands at the exhibits were lauded.
The regional meetings were not considered all that attractive
by the graduate students.
On a different topic, one student felt that the ACS should
do more to foster industry-high school relations and help
more with the reform of high school education.
I thought you would be interested in the opinions of some
of our younger, active members.
Gary Wiggins, Chair, ACS Southern Indiana Section