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Can the ACS develop working collaborations with other scientific societies?

Can we as a society develop collaborations with other scientific organizations to mutually benefit from? There are many such organizations like Coalition for the public Understanding of Science (COPUS) that has even designated November 09 as Chemistry Month. Can we/ACS ensure that connections are made and symbiotic relationships are developed? Do you have any ideas- organizations to reach out to or ones we already have to maintain? Please share your ideas!

Paul Shin


SoCal ACS Section (SCALACS)

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Re: Can the ACS develop working collaborations with other scientific societies?

Yes.  The Royal Society of Chemistry US Section ( routinely co-sponsors and participates in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic Regional Meetings.  Over the last 4 years RSC-US has held 3 of their Spring meetings in conjunction with MARM and has encouraged RSC members to attend the award or meeting dinner at the other meetings.  A Western Regional Meeting was also co-sponsored by the RSC.

The RSC US Section was also a prime mover in starting the ACS/RSC/IUPAC Symposium in Cambridge, MA - after three years this meeting is one of the biggest and best in the Boston area.  A spin off fall "Bench To Pilot Plant" symposium (Oct. 23rd, 2009 in Cambridge, MA) is also co-sponsored by RSC US.

The North Jersey/New York newsletter (The Indicator) runs a monthly column on "Partner" societies and helps publicize the partner society's events (assuming they are of interest to ACS members).

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Re: Can the ACS develop working collaborations with other scientific societies?

I too would agree with Les on the potential for collaborations with other scientific and engineering organizations.  I believe it is common to almost all of us that the time we have available for ACS involvement is under pressure from work and family needs.  So such collaborations can allow for greater benefit to our profession and society in general from the limited time we and our fellow Members have available.

It should be noted that one of the ACS Goals is “ACS will be a preeminent global scientific community that engages members and other scientific professionals to advance science education, research, knowledge, interaction, and collaboration”.

In Les’s reply he focused on a number of different collaborations with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).  I also believe that the ACS has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the RSC.  However, I’m not sure that the recently signed MOU with the RSC addresses such long standing collaborations between various levels of ACS (e.g., ACS Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting) and the various levels of RSC (e.g., RSC US Section).  So it would be my observation that collaborations between various levels of ACS and other scientific and engineering organizations predominantly occur independent of each other.

Given my role as Chair of the Subcommittee on Regional Meetings of the Meeting & Expositions Committee, I was also happy to see Le’s mention of an ACS Regional Meeting as one venue for such collaborations.  Just off hand I know that other ACS Regional Meetings have collaborated with AAAS and AIChE.

I believe events such as the recently announced National Lab Day ( also provide an excellent opportunity for collaborative outreach to the public.

I’d note that the ACS Bylaws do have language regarding the approval process for “affiliation” of Divisions and Local Sections with “other technical organizations”.  I’m not sure what level of “collaboration” with another technical organization becomes an “affiliation”.  I also found on the ACS Local Sections web page (Home > Membership & Networks > Local Sections > Local Section Operations > Programming) a “Joint Programming Form”.  That form seems more focused on reporting on the results of collaborations than getting any sort of advanced permission for such.

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Re: Can the ACS develop working collaborations with other scientific societies?

Les and Donivan,

Great points about collaboration.  Information on the RSC-ACS Memorandum of Understanding can be found at the ACS online Press Room ( at this link.

Also, there is a Board-established process for international alliances.  Best of luck in building our "global scientific community."

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