EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE | Mon Sep 09 12:41:00 EDT 2013

American Chemical Society presidential symposium: Career advancement opportunities

Note to journalists: Please report that this event occurred at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.

A press conference on this topic will be held Monday, Sept. 9 at Noon in the ACS Press Center, Room 211, in the Indiana Convention Center. Reporters can attend in person or access live audio and video of the event and ask questions at www.ustream.tv/channel/acslive.

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 9, 2013 — Even though the Great Recession officially ended more than three years ago in the U.S., lingering effects continue to impact careers for thousands of scientists. Advancing those careers for chemists and other scientists is the topic today of a special presidential symposium at the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society.

“We’ve just experienced one of the most difficult economic times in our country’s history, and chemists were not immune to its effects,” said ACS President Marinda Li Wu, Ph.D. “This symposium will explore the many career advancement opportunities that exist for chemists and scientists who work in other scientific disciplines that involve chemistry. Careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — the STEM disciplines — are among the most fulfilling personally, leading to important contributions and benefits to society. This symposium highlights and describes the rich variety of such opportunities.”

Entitled “Career Advancement Opportunities,” this symposium is among Wu’s special presidential events at the meeting, which continues through Thursday in the Indiana Convention Center and downtown hotels. It is among the latest in Wu’s focus on employment and careers. At the ACS National Meeting & Exposition in New Orleans earlier in 2013, for instance, Wu launched the International Employment Initiative, connecting job seekers with global opportunities. Another new member benefit, the ACS International Center was also introduced to offer valuable information and guidance to members and the global chemistry community regarding jobs and exchange programs overseas. This week’s meeting also continues the ACS Virtual Career Fair, which connects job seekers and employers who cannot attend in person.

Speakers at today’s symposium discuss the following career areas for scientists:

  • Academia
  • Business and industry
  • Government
  • Societies and associations
  • Venture capital and start ups

The latest annual survey of employment in chemistry, conducted by Chemical & Engineering News, ACS’s weekly newsmagazine, found an improved employment picture. Unemployment among ACS’ more than 163,000 members, for instance, was down from a peak of 4.6 percent in 2011 to 4.2 percent in 2012. But the median salary for chemists dropped more than 1 percent during that same timeframe, hitting those with a Ph.D. the hardest.

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The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.