Prospective ACS Landmarks must be nominated by an ACS local section, division or committee; reviewed against the NHCL criteria by the National Historic Chemical Landmarks Subcommittee (NHCL Subcommittee); and approved by the ACS Board Committee on Public Affairs and Public Relations (PA&PR), which acts on behalf of the ACS Board of Directors.
To symbolize the designation of a Landmark, ACS presents an historical marker to the host organization and publishes a commemorative booklet and webpage as a record of the achievement. Local sponsors, in cooperation with the NHCL Program Manager, organize a ceremony to commemorate the designation. Generally three designations are performed each year.
Landmark achievements may be discoveries, bodies of work, resources, advances or artifacts, but they are not limited to these categories. In order to be eligible for recognition by the NHCL program, the following qualities must all be present:
The NHCL nomination process is a collaborative process that involves the ACS nominator(s), host organization(s), NHCL Program Manager and NHCL Subcommittee.
The process starts with the submission of an NHCL Nomination Form to the NHCL Program Manager. The form requests a description of the subject’s historical significance, its contributions to the chemical profession and broader society in the United States; identification of historical dates, locations and contributors; and information about the proposed designation activities.
The nomination should be produced using research from reliable sources, and key sources should be provided. Nominations must include letters of support from the ACS nominating body and the proposed host organization; nominations may be accompanied by letters of support from subject matter experts. Nominations for designations at multiple sites are encouraged when appropriate.
Completed forms should be submitted to the NHCL Program Manager for review by the NHCL Subcommittee at their next available meeting. Incomplete forms may be submitted for feedback from the NHCL Subcommittee, however only complete nominations will be considered for advancing.
Following their review, the NHCL Program Manager will respond with the NHCL Subcommittee’s decision. In most cases upon first review of the nomination, the NHCL Subcommittee will request that the nominator provide specific, additional information about the subject. It is typical for nominations to come before the NHCL Subcommittee 2 to 3 times before a final decision is made.
All nominations recommended by the NHCL Subcommittee are subject to approval by the ACS Board Standing Committee on Public Affairs and Public Relations. Recommendation of a subject by the NHCL Subcommittee does not assure that the nomination will be approved by PA&PR.
Following review by PA&PR, the NHCL Program Manager will respond to nominators with a final decision. If the nomination is approved by PA&PR, then scheduling and designation planning may commence.
The National Historic Chemical Landmarks program recognizes U.S. subjects with a significant impact on the chemical sciences nationwide.
For international subjects with an impact on chemistry in the United States, please review the International Historic Chemical Landmark procedures.
For subjects based in the United States with a local or regional impact on chemistry, please review the Local Section Historic Chemical Landmark procedures.
The program recommends between one and two full years between initial submission of a nomination and notification of approval, if received.
The NHCL Subcommittee typically meets in March and September, and nominations will be due approximately one month in advance of the meeting date. For specific deadlines, please contact the NHCL Program Manager.
If the nomination is approved by the NHCL Subcommittee and PA&PR, then the program recommends an additional 6-12 months for designation planning.