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Atilla E. Pavlath
It is time for a change!

To make the ACS a better place,
equally for everyone,
from the youngest student
of chemistry,
to the most respected
Nobel Laureate.



E-mail Address: Attila@pavlath.org

Post Office Address:
WRRC, 800 Buchanan
Albany, CA 94710;

Tel.: 510-559-5620
FAX: 510-559-5818

Dear Sir:

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 speakers.

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
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