The American Chemical Society: A Force for Good
ACS is at the forefront of the evolving worldwide chemical enterprise. We enable chemists, chemical engineers and related chemical professionals to address looming global challenges and improve people’s lives. With that in mind, we are:
A Respected Global Scientific Information Provider
The ACS Publications Division publishes more than 40,000 research papers annually in over 50 world-class, peer-reviewed scientific journals. With the introduction of the ACS Journal Archives in 2002, we provide searchable access to more than 450,000 original chemistry articles dating back to 1879. ACS Publications, in conjunction with the ACS Membership and Scientific Advancement Division, offers our members access to more than one million articles and book chapters from the most trusted, most cited, most read publications in the chemical and related sciences. ACS Publications offers a comprehensive program of Open Access Initiatives, consisting of four main components: ACS Central Science, ACS Editor Choice, ACS Author Rewards and ACS AuthorChoice.
ACS operates the Chemical Abstract Service (CAS), which provides the most comprehensive digital databases of disclosed research in chemistry and related sciences. Since 1907, CAS has covered chemistry in the broadest sense, including disciplines with no current commercial value, to ensure the most complete historical record of disclosed chemistry. Further, CAS offers discounts to degree-granting institutions to ensure that non-commercial researchers can benefit from the largest resource of disclosed chemical research.
A Resource for Problem Solvers in a Challenging World
Every year, ACS awards millions of dollars in grants for basic research in petroleum and related fields through the Petroleum Research Fund (PRF). Twenty-eight researchers, who received PRF support and were originators of transforming scientific work, later went on to become Nobel Laureates.
ACS is also home to the ACS Green Chemistry Institute (ACS GCI). This institute works with industry, academia, government and nongovernmental organizations to educate and implement green chemistry processes throughout the world. ACS GCI hosts a highly regarded annual Green Chemistry & Engineering conference in June. It also offers workshops for high school teachers and graduate students that foster collaborations leading to better, cleaner and greener ways of producing the products we use every day.
Leaders in Science Education
From ACS’s beginning, education has been etched into our core values. Today, ACS remains committed to educating our future innovators and fostering greater scientific literacy among the public.
In 2014, as part of this commitment, ACS launched the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT), the first organization of its kind in the U.S. The association is dedicated to improving chemistry education and providing specialized resources to more than 1 million K–12 chemistry and physical science teachers nationwide. The establishment of AACT comes at a critical time, as enrollment in high school chemistry classes is on the rise. And yet, only 35 percent of high school chemistry teachers have both a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a certification in chemistry.
To help these teachers be better prepared for the challenges they face in the scientific classroom, AACT offers a slew of resources developed by ACS. These include an online periodical, lesson plans, webinars and workshops with Continuing Education units, and videos and other multimedia that will help teach chemistry concepts.
In addition, ACS sponsors ACS ChemClubs, a outreach program that provides high school students with a unique opportunity to experience chemistry beyond the classroom. There are more than 500 ACS ChemClubs across the United States where students participate in after-school activities, get involved in community building and learn about chemistry careers.
Once they’re in college, many of these young chemists join ACS Student Chapters. There are more than 1,000 ACS Student Chapters throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Student chapter members actively promote our science in their communities and reach out to elementary and high school students, sharing their knowledge and passion for chemistry. Participation in ACS Student Chapters helps prepare undergraduates for their careers and future service to society.
ACS also supports two other vital initiatives that are changing the face of chemistry in ways that will ensure the vitality of our science for years to come.
Project SEED offers high school students the chance to work in labs with volunteer scientists during the summer. They learn new skills and build confidence. Since 1968, Project SEED has offered this rare opportunity to more than 10,000 students. Each year, the program places hundreds of economically disadvantaged high students in research laboratories under the supervision of volunteer scientist mentors and coordinators.
The ACS Scholars Program helps gifted students who are underrepresented in the chemical sciences achieve their dreams of degrees and careers in a broad range of chemical fields. Since 1995, nearly 3,000 college undergraduates have participated in this program. To date, close to 1,800 students receiving scholarships have graduated with a bachelor’s degree in a chemical science, nearly 300 have gone on to obtain a Ph.D. in the chemical sciences, and more than a third of them have entered the chemical sciences workforce. They are employed by numerous corporations, government agencies, colleges and universities.
Together, Project SEED and ACS Scholars are helping to create a more equitable and scientifically literate society.
ACS-Hach programs are endowed by the Hach Scientific Foundation to promote science education through grants and scholarships. They include: the Land Grant Scholarship Program for undergraduate chemistry majors seeking a high school teacher career; the Second Career Teacher Scholarship Program for career chemists to become teachers; and the High School Chemistry Grant Program to support high school teachers in improving the teaching and learning of chemistry in their classrooms.
Supporters of American Innovation and Job Creation
The chemistry enterprise is one of America’s largest industries, producing nearly one-fifth of the world’s chemicals. In all, the enterprise employs more than 800,000 Americans and generates an about seven jobs in other sections of the economy.
To ensure the future of this vital contributor to the U.S. economy, the ACS assembled a task force to examine how the Society can help this country’s chemical enterprise remain on the cutting edge of our science. The result was Innovation, Chemistry and Jobs, a report that describes how the chemical enterprise can capitalize on scientific innovations to stimulate economic growth and create new science-based jobs in the United States.
ACS is also committed to helping chemists showcase their talents and connect with potential employers through career fairs and workshops, leadership training, career webinars, entrepreneurial resources, and continuing education opportunities.
Advocates for Greater Appreciation of Science & Technology
The Society also plays a leadership role in educating and communicating with public policy makers about the importance of chemistry in our lives. This includes identifying new solutions to global challenges, improving public health, protecting the environment and contributing to the economy. ACS has a wide array of public policy priorities, which are developed by members and approved by the Board of Directors.
Since 1995, for instance, ACS has operated the Science & the Congress Project. With more than 200 briefings to date, this project provides opportunities for Members of Congress and their staffs, and the wider science policy community, to gain a greater knowledge of the science involved in numerous public policy issues.
In addition, ACS reaches out to the general public in many ways to increase appreciation of the role chemistry plays in our everyday lives.
Individual members are active in their communities, speaking simply to friends, neighbors, school children and civic leaders about our science. ACS provides these volunteers with a multitude of resources that help them share how chemistry improves the world around us.
More than 180 ACS Local Section sponsor demonstrations and other events in conjunction with Earth Day and National Chemistry Week (NCW). For more than 20 years, NCW has helped focus attention on science and an appreciation of the transforming power of chemistry. In that time, more than 1.5 million people have attended NCW events sponsored by ACS Local Sections. As part of their NCW outreach, ACS members have distributed more than 12,000 copies of the Merck Index to high schools nationwide. This essential encyclopedia of chemistry includes nearly 18,000 of the more commonly used and studied substances on our planet, and is considered an invaluable resource by students, teachers and other chemistry professionals.
Together, these many activities and initiatives keep ACS at the forefront of science education, advocacy and innovation, and help us fulfill our vision of “improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry.”