Fellow ACS members,

The North Jersey ACS Section is a community of volunteers dedicated to advancing and perpetuating the chemical sciences through education, research and development, community outreach, and legislative action. We believe that “Chemistry is at the Crossroads of Science” and that our members are making a difference by “improving lives through the transforming power of chemistry.” In the past decade I have been truly impressed by the ability, dedication, and accomplishments of my colleagues in providing opportunities for disadvantaged students, by sharing with the general public the uses and excitement of chemistry as in their volunteer work, and by advancing the research and development component of our mission through numerous topical groups. But these are challenging times, and challenging times breed problems in need of creative solutions. Particularly in this climate, education and career development must prepare us for the future. I suggest that we focus first on the two broad areas outlined below, K-8 science education and redirecting productivity.

K-8 science (read chemistry for us) education is an area in which I have observed many excellent individual efforts in professional organizations, industry, and government. But it is also one where collaborative efforts could really make a difference. K-8 science education needs our concerted help for the sake of our children, our economy, and our welfare. Our new collaborative social networking tools let us share our efforts, choose the best ones, and train our members to make a difference. I encourage you to visit our website www.njacs.org to share your company’s, institution’s, group’s, or your individual efforts in addressing K-8 science education with us, so that we may learn from them and take appropriate action.

Future chemists will be developed at every level. Join us in creating a brighter future for them

Change is also liberating chemists with productive capacity at a time when their expertise is needed. A section-wide meeting has been proposed to discover how their entrepreneurial talents might be harnessed and refocused to make a difference. Our topical groups have provided a starting point by agreeing to address this challenge. Collectively, we in industry, academia and government must, as a first step, identify best practices to meet the existing and future needs of our state and our nation.

Within the section, a major cost is the Indicator. By moving to an electronic version, we can cut our cost by 75%, while at the same time providing color copy and increased coverage of the exciting happenings in the section. Additionally, web-based technology will give our members a chance to share ideas and to create interactive forums using social networking tools. For these reasons, we ask for your understanding and support for the proposed change.

Membership has declined as many jobs were moved out of our area, yet we have many peers who would profit from the new benefits of membership in ACS. ACS Career Services has significant new offerings that can help members in transit and members between jobs. The new Leadership Institute, for example, brings unprecedented value. A new program incorporating these benefits will be promoted aggressively in our schools and companies by ACS.

Lastly, it may be time to consider creating additional topical groups. Green chemistry, Environmental chemistry and Materials chemistry come to mind, but there may be others as well. During the coming year, we should assess need, feasibility and impact factors for such additions.

As noted above, I have been truly impressed by the accomplishments of my colleagues in the North Jersey ACS Section. In the next year, I hope to contribute more to its development and success. I also hope that many of you reading this message will understand better the importance of our work, and will take the opportunity to participate. If you are unaware of what we do or need a refresher course, please take ten minutes to visit our website for a detailed description of NJACS and its activities. And, don’t hesitate to contact us if you wish to become a member of the section.

Joseph Potenza
2009 Chair, ACS North Jersey Section
2009 NJ-ACS Annual Report Highlights

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