Safety is a core value of the American Chemical Society. You have likely seen this phrase in recent communications from ACS, such as the announcement of the termination of the ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia last month. This core value of the Society was the driving force behind our decision to transition the Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference from an in-person meeting to a virtual event in June due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are heartened by stories of kindness and moments of grace during the current crisis: Companies and higher education institutions donating PPE to first responders, neighbors bringing groceries to senior citizens, and people donating to restaurant workers while their businesses are closed. ACS is supporting the scientific community by making COVID-19 related articles published in ACS journals freely available. Chemical Abstracts Service is providing open access to its COVID-19 antiviral candidate compounds dataset. In addition, the American Association of Chemistry Teachers has unlocked numerous resources to assist parents and teachers in educating children at home.
None of us envisioned our current situation when we began planning this year’s conference. We are all struggling to maintain a sense of normalcy as we work remotely and distance ourselves from family and friends. We understand that, for many of you, the conference is not at the top of your priority list as you teach online and continue to support your students while labs are shuttered.
During this challenging time, we are committed to offering a high-quality virtual conference that will enable you to share your research breakthroughs and education initiatives with colleagues around the globe. Conference Co-Chairs Meg Sobkowicz-Kline and Rafa Luque have organized a strong program with input from the Advisory Committee and symposium organizers, and details of the online experience will be posted at www.gcande.org as soon as additional information is available. While we will miss the face-to-face conversations, greeting old friends and meeting new colleagues, we understand that social distancing is key in stopping the spread of this virus.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay strong. We will get through this together.