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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.


Attila E. Pavlath

I NEED 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 impossible 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 this.


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what ACS members wrote in a recent



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Copyright 2000, 2001 Attila E. Pavlath