Kate Sellar

COLL Name Change Request

Blog Post created by Kate Sellar on Aug 12, 2013

At the Council meeting in Indianapolis, Councilors will be asked to vote on a name change requested by the Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry (COLL).  The Division wants to change its name to Division of Colloids, Surfaces and Nanomaterials. The Committee on Divisional Activities (DAC) has held the primary governance oversight responsibility for this matter.

In its rationale for making this request, COLL’s position is that “nanomaterial” has become standard scientific terminology to describe the majority of colloidal materials. Further, the division claims that “…Nanomaterials are at the core of the science that COLL has always embraced. We recognize and acknowledge that other divisions include nanomaterials as a subset of their scientific mission, but nanomaterials are central to our mission, and therefore we believe that it is appropriate to use the word Nanomaterials in our divisional name.”

Six divisions – AGFD, CELL, INOR, ORGN, POLY and PMSE – oppose the proposed name change for several reasons: (1) Nanomaterials is a topic that has been featured in their divisions’ technical programs (and other divisions as well) for a number of years, (2) These six divisions will receive fewer nano-related paper submissions because COLL will feature ‘nanomaterials’ in its name, while the opposing divisions will not, and (3) They will miss out on recruiting new members from among the community of materials scientists specializing in ‘nanomaterials’ due to the presence of that term in COLL’s proposed name.


When DAC asked the 32 divisions to comment via e-mail on COLL’s proposed name change, the committee tallied the following results: 


  • Ten divisions are neutral by virtue of not responding to the request for comment – DAC advised divisions in advance that ‘no response’ was equivalent to being neutral on the matter  (ANYL, BIOL, CATL, CHAL, CINF, HIST, NUCL, RUBB, SCHB, TOXI)
  • Nine divisions responded by stating they had “no objection” or “no opposition” to the name change (AGRO, BIOT, CHED, COMP, ENFL, ENVR, I&EC, MEDI, PROF)
  • Six responded by stating they oppose the name change (AGFD, CELL, INOR, ORGN, PMSE, POLY)
  • Four responded by expressly stating they are “neutral” on the matter (BMGT, CARB, CHAS, PHYS)
  • Three responded by stating their support the name change (COLL, FLUO, GEOC)