Chris’ Priorities: Education, Employment and Engagement

The ACS has the power to significantly impact the future of chemistry in the world, and I would like to work with ACS leadership to realize that goal. I believe the three most important ways the ACS can do this is through our collective efforts to continuously improve chemistry education, employment and engagement of our membership & the public.

In the area of education, tremendous strides have been made to expand the breadth of how students of all ages learn chemistry – – in dimensions ranging from classroom to experiential. The ACS has and will continue to lead, however, we also must recognize the global competitiveness for educational excellence and ensure chemical education evolves to deliver ever better prepared students at all levels over time. I will work to ensure ACS efforts are focused on continually increasing excellence and impact of chemical education.

Chemistry is a ubiquitous discipline across hundreds, if not thousands, of professions: academics, government, research, development, manufacturing, and in most every case, there is a great need to reach across the boundaries of chemistry to other disciplines to be successful. We in the ACS need to foster open-minded, innovative approaches to how we attract, develop, and equip people to integrate their knowledge of chemistry into meaningful employment. This includes continuing to increase the diversity of the students coming into the profession, as well as embracing all diversity of those who are working within the profession. The ACS has made great strides in this area, and will need to continue to lead, enabling full utilization of chemists in the workforce of the future.

With progress made on education and professional employment, many chemists turn their attention to giving back to the profession, and society in general. The ACS has developed many opportunities for each individual in the ACS to tailor their involvement, and this good work needs to continue. The world has rapidly become digitalized, and there is an explosion of information available. However, what has not changed is the need for interpersonal connections to drive engagement, involvement and influence, whether it is within the ACS or in the public forum. Through the combined power of digitalization and proactive communication and outreach, the ACS must make a difference in shaping the profession and professionals who are joining, and that is the third area I would like to place significant attention.

My approach to maximize the success of any ACS endeavor will be to listen to all inputs, and be as inclusive as possible in orchestrating the path to the future.