2010 Elections | Nominee for President-Elect, 2011

Dr. John P. Fackler, Jr., Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Note: ACS is not responsible for the content of nominee’s personal websites and the opinions expressed may not represent the views of the ACS.

Nominee Information:

FACKLER, Jr., JOHN P. Texas A&M Section. Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.

Academic Record: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1953, Valparaiso University, B. A., 1956, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D., 1960.

Honors: ACS Fellow, 2009; ACS Award for Distinguished Service to Inorganic Chemistry, 2001; ACS Southwest Regional Award, 1990; Morley Medal Award, Cleveland Section, ACS, 1987; Texas A&M Distinguished Achievement Award for Research, 2007; Visiting Lecturer of the Chemistry Research Promotion Center, Taiwan, 2006; George Watt Lectureship, University of Texas, 1986 and 2004; Texas A&M University Distinguished Faculty Lecture, 2000; Robert A. Welch Lecturer, 1992; W. Manchot Forschungsprofessur, Munich, Germany, 1992; Bye Fellowship, Robinson College, Cambridge, 1992; American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, 1988; D Sc. Honoris Causa, Valparaiso University, 1987; Gamma Sigma Epsilon, College of William and Mary, 1986; Sunoco Lecturer, National Science Teachers Association, 1976; Cleveland Technical Societies Council “Technical Achievement Award”, 1971; John S. Guggenheim Fellowship, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, 1971; Fulbright Lecturer/Consultant, 1969.

Professional Positions (for past ten years): Texas A&M University, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Toxicology Emeritus, 2008 to date; Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Toxicology, 1987-2007.

Service in ACS National Office: Editorial Advisory Board, Inorganic Chemistry, 2000-03, 1979-83; Committee on Professional Training (Visitor), 1981-85; ACS Career Consultant, 1993 to date; Task Force on Inorganic Chemistry, 1997, Chair, 1997; Awards and Canvassing committees.

Service in ACS Offices: Member ACS since 1957. Cleveland Section: Councilor, 1971-73; Program Review Committee, 1971-73. 5th Central Regional Meeting: Program Co-Chair, 1974; Executive Committee, 1967-82; Chair, 1975; Chair-Elect, 1974. Inorganic Division: Chair, 1979, Chair-elect, 1978, Executive Committee, 1978-80, 1970-72; Inorganic Chemistry Topical Group, 1978-82, Chair, 1978-82; Task Force on Inorganic Chemistry, Chair, 1997.

Member: ACS Divisions: Chemical Education and Inorganic Chemistry.

Related Activities: Department Head Chemistry, Case Western Reserve, 1972-76; Dean, College of Science, Texas A&M University, 1983-92; Editor, Profiles in Inorganic Chemistry, 2000 to date; Comments on Inorganic Chemistry, 2001 to date; Modern Inorganic Chemistry Series, 1978-00; Vol. 21, Inorganic Syntheses, 1982; Inorganic Syntheses Corporation, Board of Directors, 1985-1992, Vice-President, 1985-87, President, 1987-90; Author, “Optoelectronic Properties of Inorganic Compounds”, with D. Max Roundhill, 1999; “Symmetry in Coordination Chemistry”, Academic Press, 1971; Gordon Research Conferences, Inorganic conference chair 1978, First Science Education Europe co-chair,1994, Board of Trustees, 1983-89, Vice-Chair, 1987-88, Chair, 1988-89; National Science Foundation: grants, 1964-96, 2000-03, Inorganic Workshop Board, 2001-04; National Institute of Health: grants, 1963-81; Welch Foundation: grants, 1983-present; ACS-PRF, grants 1963-83; other education and research grants and in 2008, Dreyfus Senior Mentor Award; AAAS Chemistry Section: Chair-Elect, Chair, Past Chair, 2002-04; Sigma Xi, TAMU Chapter, Executive Committee, 1995 to date, Chair 1998. Consultant: EPSCoR, K-Star, Kansas, 1996-99; NSF Education, Central State University, 1967-68; Ferro Corporation, 1969; Firestone (Bridgestone) Tire and Rubber Company, 1976-98; B.F.Goodrich Chemical Company, 1980-93; Mooney Chemical, 1982-88; DOW Chemical, 1987-88. Academic Visiting Committees: University of New Mexico, 2002 (chair); Rice University, 2000 (chair); Valparaiso University, 1994 to date; University of Texas, 1993 (chair); University of Arizona, 1989; University of Maryland, 1986; University of Cincinnati, 1980; M.I.T., 1973-77; Publications: over 360 journal articles, four book chapters.


John P. Fackler, Jr.

For over 50 years, I have held many leadership roles in the ACS and other organizations. As an undergraduate student I was President of our ACS affiliated Chemistry Club; and as a young faculty member at UC Berkeley, I served as a Club advisor. This learning experience was valuable. After living on the East and West coasts, I returned to the Midwest, where I grew up. My return coincided with the merger of Case Institute with Western Reserve University, an event enabled by NSF Science Development funds. This event became an important part of my academic experience. The large ACS Cleveland Section became the place where I learned much about how our ACS functions, beginning with the development of the first local section topical group on Inorganic Chemistry to election to top Section offices. As a Counselor, I was on the newly formed Program Review committee. I co-chaired, with SOHIO V.P. Glen Brown, the program of a Central Regional meeting. Cleveland was a great place to build bridges between industry and academia, and to form many friends in both professional arenas.

In academics I have held two important line leadership positions, Department Head at CWRU and Dean at Texas A&M. In these positions I have worked with industry and academics on science and math education K-12. It was a special privilege to be the Sunoco lecturer in 1976 in Philadelphia at the National Science Teachers Association national meeting. Leadership roles with the Gordon Research Conferences occurred in the late 1980’s, a time when the GRC developed solid connections between education and research and formed a much stronger international orientation. After stepping down as Dean of Science in 1992 with research Fellowships in Munich and Cambridge, I returned to A&M to leadership roles with our Distinguished Professors and our Council of Principal (research) Investigators.

The ACS is people – people who recognize that technological development depends on a strong educational and industrial chemical community. As the “central science,” chemistry must lead the scientific world in communicating an understanding of how the elements which make up our universe, give us the compounds and materials which allow life to exist comfortably on our planet. Because of chemistry, our life expectancy today far exceeds what it was a century ago when my mother was born. Chemistry has produced many new, invaluable drugs and medicines. We also have many products which make our lives much more comfortable. I like to talk to my students about the fact that when I was their age, I often had to change a flat every 1000-2000 miles of driving. Today’s “miracle” automobile tire is a direct result of chemistry. Even our toothpaste, shampoo and detergents, and most other products we use are modern chemical miracles. The agricultural revolution fostered by my late colleague Norman Borlaug was a direct result of chemistry. Without chemistry, given our world population, this planet certainly could not support the number of people currently alive.

Unfortunately, chemical setbacks occur. When we needed better gasoline, tetraethyl lead seemed to be the solution, but we failed to understand the impact of the waste products it produced. Economic concerns sometimes have prevented a thorough assessment of the long-term negative effects of a particular new chemical technology. As an inorganic chemist with expertise in metal-sulfur chemistry and a consultant at Firestone, I personally remember the trauma associated with our first steel-belted radial tires.

The real villain to chemistry is a society which has failed to understand and thus value the chemistry it uses. I shudder to think about the lack of scientific knowledge of some of our political and industrial leaders today. As chemists, we must do a better job with all students who enroll in our chemistry courses to prevent chemical mistakes from happening. All college chemistry courses, even the basic, required courses taken by non-chemists must be rigorous and develop awareness of the importance of chemistry to modern society. Can we expect persons with almost no chemical knowledge to even ask good questions? An increased scientific literacy in our society is necessary. At the same time, chemical education also has not done enough to educate future chemists about how current society functions, to create socially literate chemists who can become our politicians and community leaders. Can we place scientifically educated persons into political leadership positions as has happened in Germany and England? Perhaps our large US chemical corporations again can be directed by scientifically educated leaders who have business, economic and communication skills.

The statements of the candidates represent their opinions and do not necessarily represent the views of the American Chemical Society.