American Chemical Society (ACS)

American Chemical Society (ACS)

The American Chemical Society is a congressionally chartered independent membership organization which represents professionals at all degree levels and in all fields of the chemical sciences. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and one of the world’s leading sources of authoritative scientific information. A nonprofit organization, ACS is at the forefront of the evolving chemical enterprise and the premier professional home for chemists, chemical engineers and related professions around the globe.

Company details

1155 Sixteenth Street, NW , Washington , DC 20036 USA

Locations Served

Members

Business Type:
Professional association
Industry Type:
Environmental - Environmental Management
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:
1876
Employees:
Over 1000

For more than 140 years, we have been improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry.

ACS is dynamic and visionary, committed to “Improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry.”

This vision ─ developed and adopted by the ACS Board of Directors after broad consultation with the membership ─ fully complements the ACS Mission statement, which is “to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people.” Together, these two statements represent our ultimate reason for being and provide a strategic framework for our efforts.

ACS publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. We also give more than $22 million every year in grants for research in petroleum and related fields. We also play a leadership role in educating and communicating with public policy makers and the general public about the importance of chemistry in our lives.

Our Mission and Vision

We are dynamic and visionary, committed to “Improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry.”

This vision ─ developed and adopted by the ACS Board of Directors after broad consultation with the membership ─ fully complements the ACS Mission statement, which is “to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people.” Together, these two statements represent our ultimate reason for being and provide a strategic framework for our efforts.

Advance science
Through peer reviewed journals, research, conferences, grants, awards, and educational resources

Educate the public
Through public outreach programs, such as Chemists Celebrate Earth Day, National Chemistry Week, and Landmarks in Chemical History

Advocate for chemistry
Support for innovation, science education, and environmentally- and socially-responsible public policy

Support future chemists
With free educational resources, mentoring programs, student chapters, and high school chemistry clubs

Enable career development
Through personal consulting, career fairs, jobs database, and professional development courses

Promote diversity
Through the empowerment of a diverse and inclusive membership and promoting innovation and advancement in the chemical sciences

Locally

ACS has 187 local sections (chapters) throughout the United States. Local sections allow members to:

  • Connect with other chemists and chemical engineers in their geographic area
  • Participate in programs near their homes that can enhance their professional development
  • Contribute to the public’s understanding of chemistry in their communities.
  • ACS regional meetings are hosted by local sections in various geographic regions across the United States.

Nationally

The Society offers members the opportunity to participate in 33 specialty divisions, ranging from food and agriculture to industrial and engineering chemistry. These divisions help members:

  • Keep up with the latest developments in their areas of expertise
  • Monitor advances in related fields
  • Network with colleagues
  • Contribute to the advancement and recognition of their scientific discipline.

Twice annually, ACS sponsors national meetings ─ five days of symposia, tutorials, and poster sessions that cover every area of chemistry, chemical engineering and related sciences. Short courses with renowned instructors, workshops, divisional and committee meetings and other related sessions also occur at national meetings.

Globally

The Society’s international membership exceeds 24,000 and represents more than 100 countries.

More than 60 percent of the articles published in ACS journals and more than half of the material covered in the Society’s Chemical Abstracts Service ─ the world’s most comprehensive source of chemical and scientific information ─ originates outside the United States.

ACS sponsors or promotes a number of international activities such as joint conferences with chemical societies in India and other countries, and the International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies (PacifiChem), a weeklong scientific meeting, held once every five years in conjunction with ACS counterparts in Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and China.

We Support Real-World Initiatives

ACS works to improve the world through other initiatives including:

  • Project SEED offers bright, economically disadvantaged high school students an opportunity to spend a summer conducting chemical laboratory research with the guidance of a chemical scientist.
  • ACS Scholars Program provides underrepresented minority undergraduates with scholarship and mentoring support that they need to earn degrees in the chemical sciences.
  • Advancing Chemistry Teaching supports the professional development of science teachers so that they can better present chemistry in the classroom and foster the scientific curiosity of our nation’s youth.
  • Green Chemistry Education and Outreach promotes the implementation of green chemistry and engineering principles into all aspects of the chemical enterprise.

Thirty-five chemists met at the College of Pharmacy of the City of New York on April 6, 1876, to found the American Chemical Society. Seven months later, the first president of the newly formed society, John William Draper, delivered his inaugural address at Chickering Hall in New York.

From its inception, the ACS was committed to sharing its professional work with a public audience. ACS began publishing its flagship journal, the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), in April, 1879. Abstracts, which had appeared in JACS since 1897, were given their own publication, Chemical Abstracts in January 1907.

By 1930, ACS had 18,206 members, 83 local sections and 17 disciplinary divisions. On August 25, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Public Act No. 358, incorporating the society under federal charter. ACS celebrated its centennial year in 1976, at two national meetings with over 10,000 attendees at each.

The Presidency

The Society’s second century was off to a great start with Nobel Laureate Glenn T. Seaborg serving in 1976; Henry A. Hill, the first African-American president serving in 1977; and Anna J. Harrison, the first woman president, serving in 1978. Each ACS President develops his or her own set goals with corresponding initiatives and events while serving as the Society’s primary spokesperson and representative.

Grants

The Petroleum Research Fund was originally established as a Trust by seven major oil companies in 1944. The American Chemical Society, to whom the assets of the Fund were transferred in 2000, administers grants made to nonprofit institutions in the United States and other countries in response to proposals. Since the first ACS PRF grants were approved in 1954, several grant programs have evolved to serve segments of the scientific community. ACS PRF funding commitments in 2007 totaled $25.2 million.

National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program

In 1992, the National Historic Chemical Landmarks program was created to enhance the public's recognition and appreciation of the contributions of the chemical sciences and chemical engineering to modern life and to increase the sense of pride in their practitioners. The Bakelizer was designated as the first landmark on November 9, 1993. Leo H. Baekeland used the Bakelizer autoclave to produce Bakelite, the first wholly synthetic plastic. To date, the American Chemical Society has declared more than 60 places, discoveries and achievements historic chemical landmarks. More information about the program.

125 Year Anniversary

In 2001, the ACS celebrated its 125 Year Anniversary by commissioning a three-dimensional tribute sculpture by Italian artist Lawrence Romorini. The Society also developed an elaborate online presentation and historical timeline to commemorate the events which have played a role in the growth of the chemical industry and the expansion of the Society’s interests.