By Jitesh Soares, Ph.D., Director, Scientific Advancement
It’s been less than a week since I began serving as the Director of Scientific Advancement at ACS. The first thing that struck me is how Mary Kirchhoff molded this role into a force by building an achievement-based Division with a singular, deep-rooted commitment to its philanthropic mission. I am standing on the shoulders of a giant and look forward to the challenge of living up to lofty expectations with an eye on the ultimate prize – a sustainable planet!
The Scientific Advancement unit’s efforts are focused on helping the Society fulfill its mission “to advance the broader chemistry enterprise, and its practitioners, for the benefit of Earth and its people.” The Director’s office is both administrative and policymaking, in addition to serving as the research and development unit for new initiatives. The unit is currently comprised of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute®, the Office of Research Grants, chemistry-affiliated technical divisions, scientific programming at ACS National Meetings, and chemical safety.
A first major action item in my role is to set up the Office of Sustainable Development, a new unit that will reside within the Scientific Advancement Division of ACS and includes two major components:
The ACS Campaign for a Sustainable Future, a new $15 M initiative over 5 years that will position ACS as a leader in advancing chemistry innovations to address the challenges articulated in the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals; and
The Green Chemistry Institute, which supports research, works to integrate green chemistry into all levels of chemical education, aids companies with industrial implementation, hosts conferences, and coordinates efforts with an international network of green chemistry advocates.
As a first step to setting up the new office, I will appoint a Director of Sustainable Development to provide strategic direction and leadership for ACS-wide sustainable development activities. If you have a keen interest in serving in this position, please consider applying.
Stay tuned for further updates as we set up this new office, embark on new sustainability initiatives, and continue all the great work being accomplished by the Green Chemistry Institute.
Collaboration is at the heart of what I am hoping to achieve in this role. I am always open to conversation, in person or over the phone, to identify ways to partner and make a quantifiable difference in promoting our mission. Please reach out and let’s find some solutions together. You will find a willing and able partner here at the ACS.
We’re at a critical inflection point in human history. The ongoing pandemic is merely a minor bump on the road when compared with our greatest existential threat – climate change. We are answerable to our respective bosses at home. For me, it’s my five- and seven-year-old kids and future generations. Let’s work together and be the generation that as a team gave Earth and its people the ultimate prize!