Boston 2007 ACS Council Report

July 9, 2008

The ACS Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology and Symbols (NOM) continues to move forward on the redefinition of Avogadro's number as an integer which is exactly divisible by 12 so that the gram and kilogram are naturally accommodated. That is, 12 grams of carbon-12 is Avogadro's number of atoms. There would no longer be a need for the platinum-iridium artifact in Paris, France to serve as the kilogram's standard. The committee will seek further endorsement from the American Chemical Society, the American Physical Society and the National Academy of Sciences for the change.

The need for precise nanotech terminology for use in patents and the movement of wiki media to provide chemical information in useful ways have brought these two topics together for further discussion and wiki experimentation. The committee is seeking to bring an expert, who is involved with chemistry in Wikipedia, into collaboration on these two issues. This work compliments the ASTM International E56 effort which is addressing the terminology of nanotechnology.

The committee provides the most efficient and timely mechanism for journal editors to learn of new nomenclature changes. For information purposes, in December, 2006, Chemical Abstracts Service implemented the most significant name modifications to CAS index nomenclature since 1972.

The Nomenclature, Terminology and Symbols ACS Committee website is being updated with a new template and content additions.

Paul J. Karol, Chair


  • Mark Benvenuto
  • G. Clark Dehne
  • Derek Horton
  • Herbert D. Kaesz
  • Art Landis
  • Marsha Phillips
  • Jeffery A. Rahn
  • Peter F. Rusch
  • John A. Secrist, III
  • L. H. Sperling
  • J. H. Stocker
  • James G. Traynham
  • Jeffrey M. Wilson


  • Narayan Bhat
  • Pamela J. Shapiro
  • Albert Censullo
  • Tracy C. Wiliamson

Staff Liaison

  • Patton M. Giles