Councilors’ Report: Fall 2018 ACS National Meeting in Boston

In attendance at the Councilor Session were Councilors Mariela Carpio-Obeso and Bill Miller, Alternate Councilor Shawna Rickards, and Historian Jan Hayes.

Mariela Carpio-Obeso (left), Jane Hayes, and Bill Miller
Shawna Rickard (left), Bill Miller, and Mariela Carpio-Obeso

President Peter Dorhout spoke about an emphasis on RAMPing up safety: Recognize hazards, Assess risks, Minimize risks, and Prepare for emergencies. He was considered a very well-trained woodworker. Even so, he suffered a table saw injury. He noted that accidents do happen even under the best of circumstances. He was happy to report that his two fingers are still functional.

John Adams noted that registration for 2019 National Meetings will cost $490 in 2019. This reflects only the Cost of Living Allowance adjustment.

President Dorhout introduced and led a special discussion on what role(s) ACS should play in preventing sexual harassment in the sciences.  He highlighted several recent articles, workshops and studies that have called attention to the issue, notably  a symposium, “Science of Sexual Harassment” organized during the ACS National Meeting in New Orleans (Spring 2018) by the Women Chemists Committee and Chemical & Engineering News; and a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine consensus study report: “Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine” (2018). He directed Council’s attention to existing ACS codes and initiatives to address sexual harassment, and offered items for discussion and possible action:

  • More signs/information at National Meetings regarding our policies and supporting information
  • Trained volunteers at national meetings for reporting sexual harassment
  • A webinar on preventing sexual harassment for local sections or divisions

To further inform the discussion and Councilor input, a brief survey was conducted using the audience electronic response system.  The results of the survey are listed below. The ACS Volunteer/National Meeting Attendee Conduct Policy was in the Council Agenda, and can be found online at []  A summary of the discussion and additional information will be sent to Councilors at a later time.

  1. Have you ever witnessed or experienced sexual harassment at an ACS meeting or ACS event? (413 responses)

Yes        23% (94)                           No         77% (319)

  1. Have you ever witnessed or experienced sexual harassment at an ACS meeting or ACS event, or in your professional workplace or learning environment? (182 women / 223 men responded)

Women                             Men

Yes        77% (141)                         57% (127)

No         23% (41)                           43% (96)

  1. How familiar are you with the ACS Codes and initiatives for professional conduct? (417 responses)

Very Familiar                   38% (157)

Vaguely Familiar             46% (192)

Not Familiar                     16% (68)

  1. Has your local section or division instituted a sexual harassment policy of its own? (419 responses)

Yes                       3% (12)

No                        73% (309)

Don’t Know        23% (98)

After the polling, several members of the audience separately came to the microphones to make comments about their own personal experiences with sexual harassment in the workplace, especially including academia. This was the most powerful part of the meeting.

A new international Chapter was approved for Columbia.

Don Warner spoke about Project Seed. He mentioned that there had been over 11,000 chemistry research experiences for high school students from underpriviledged backgrounds. This was the 50th year of Project Seed. Nobel laureate Fraser Stoddart was at the Project Seed symposium.

Election Results:  Elected Committees of Council

By electronic ballot, the Council elected Ella L. Davis, Lissa A. Dulany, Lisa Houston, and Martin D. Rudd for three-year terms (2019-2021), and Will E. Lynch for a one-year term (2019) on the Council Policy Committee (CPC).

By electronic ballot, the Council elected Allison Aldridge, Christopher J. Bannochie, Mary K. Engelman, Silvia Ronco, and Frankie K. Wood-Black for three-year terms (2019-2021) on the Committee on Nominations and Elections (N&E).

By electronic ballot, the Council elected Rodney M. Bennett, Jacqueline A. Erickson, Judith M. Iriarte-Gross, Donivan R. Porterfield, and Carolyn Ribes for three-year terms (2019-2021) on the Committee on Committees (ConC).

Author: ACS Sacramento Section

The Sacramento area has over 900 members of the American Chemical Society in all areas of chemistry.

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