Washington, D.C. 2009 ACS Council Report

August 19, 2009

The ACS Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology and Symbols [NTS] opened 2009 by appointing a Secretary from its Membership and leading several activities.

The committee reviewed its Goals and Metrics to keep them aligned with the ACS Strategic Plan. The extensive work of the committee encompasses many of the Goals of that Plan, particularly as its work has many connections to international bodies involved in nomenclature and terminology. Activities of the committee also influence the communication and educational efforts of the Society for the profession.

One of the several task forces of the committee has been surveying methods of machine-generated nomenclature. The latest report is the work of Albert C. Censullo and is posted on the committee’s web site. It lists without evaluation a number of commercially available computer programs that generate IUPAC names from drawn structures. It also lists some of the publicly available databases that can retrieve nomenclature corresponding to a drawn structure. This is an ongoing task force of the committee.

Another task force of the committee has begun a survey of the definitions of “nomenclature” found in publicly available electronic sources such as encyclopedias. Its report is in the early stages, as it found great disparity in the breadth and depth of definitions currently available. This is an ongoing task force of the committee.

The committee, by its nature and description of duties, is intimately involved in the work of many national and international committees and organizations dedicated to the development of nomenclature and terminology. Reports of representatives to these bodies demonstrate the commitment of the committee to be actively involved in the decisions and setting of standards.

At the Salt Lake City national meeting, the committee co-sponsored a symposium on Nanotechnology Terminology, hosting five speakers on a range of topics from nomenclature of nanotechnology materials to terminology for nanotechnology inventions in patent specifications. The speakers participated in a panel discussion that shed further light on the developing issues for both nomenclature and terminology.

The committee is planning further programming at ACS national meetings to inform the Society, and the chemical profession, of its work. In Washington, DC, the committee will sponsor an Open Forum on the redefinition of the kilogram as part of its due diligence on behalf of the Council and the Society in this significant international effort.

  • Peter F. Rusch, Chair
  • Mark Benvenuto
  • Narayan G. Bhat
  • Albert C. Censullo
  • G. Clark Dehne
  • Carmen J. Giunta
  • Derek Horton
  • Herbert D. Kaesz
  • Paul J. Karol
  • Marsha Phillips
  • Warren H. Powell
  • Jeffrey A. Rahn
  • Jack H. Stocker
  • James G. Traynham
  • Jeffrey M. Wilson
  • Staff Liaison: Gerald P. Fenske