Message from the President: April

Contributed by Dennis Chamot, CSW President

At the time this is being written (mid-March), it is still unsettled as to who will be the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates in November.  What can be said, though, is that the process for choosing the candidates has been rough, very expensive, and occasionally, embarrassing to our national image around the world.  Much can be done to improve the process.

Far less is at stake in ACS presidential elections, but here, too, the process can be improved.  As a candidate for national president a few years ago, I got a good look at how things are going these days.  Considering that this is mostly an honorary position with little real power (the business side of this half billion dollar organization is run by the professional staff with oversight by the Board of Directors, and the president is only one out of 15 voting members on the Board), the hoops one has to jump through, and the vast effort that needs to be expended today to campaign and get elected has become a real turn-off to many highly qualified people who choose not to bother.

The national Committee on Nominations and Elections has received many comments and complaints about how things have developed over the years, and I am pleased to see that they have created a task force to look into all aspects of ACS elections.  I have been invited to serve on the task force, as one who is very familiar with the process, both as a long-time observer as well as a direct participant.  If you have any thoughts on this subject, whether it be on national ACS elections or local CSW elections, I would like to hear from you.  Just send a note to [email protected].

On another subject entirely, I am very pleased to note that the April CSW member meeting will be devoted to chemistry, and in particular, to honoring the latest winner of the CSW Hillebrand Award (see details elsewhere in this issue).  This is the highest honor the Section bestows for scientific achievement.  Come out and leave the politics behind for at least one evening, and enjoy the beauty of chemistry.