Senior Chemists Task Force
Mini-Grants Offered by Senior Chemists Committee
The ACS Senior Chemists Committee (SCC) is pleased to offer a limited number of grants to local sections that wish to sponsor an event or activity that will increase the engagement of senior members and encourage innovative activities that will benefit the local community, schools, or legislative government.
Grant Details:
  • A limited number of grants (up to $500) are available to local sections that wish to host an event/activity that meets the above criteria;
  • Local sections must submit a grant application by July 15, 2016. Grant funds are limited and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis;
  • A summary report must be submitted within 30 days of the conclusion of the event/activity.

Senior Chemists Task Force

The Senior Chemists Task Force (SCTF) was established in 2009 and is currently composed of 21 members. Its purpose is to serve as the focal point of programming and representation for senior chemists over the age of 50 within the ACS and the chemistry enterprise at large. Its mission, broadly stated, is to encourage and serve as a conduit for senior members to volunteer and contribute their energy and talent to the ACS, including governance, education, mentoring, and community projects; to provide useful services and information to seniors, such as retirement and estate planning, consulting and part-time opportunities, and travels/tours; to foster networking opportunities among seniors, both nationally and locally; and to represent senior chemists in their interaction with other elements of ACS governance, bringing awareness of their needs, fostering collaborations, and creating synergies.
The age demographics of the ACS demonstrate the need for institutional interest in senior chemists; of its approximately 160,000 members, at least 50% are 50 years of age or older, and about 30% are over 60. SCTF is needed in order to provide services to this continually growing segment of the membership, to encourage seniors to stay involved with ACS, to coordinate local section activities that involve seniors, and to make the rest of the Society aware of the needs of seniors. From a programming standpoint, SCTF is in a position to organize, sponsor, and co-sponsor symposia and events at ACS national meetings, and provide guidance for communications with seniors at regional meetings and within local sections. It can also pro- vide information at its link on the ACS website, through the SCTF connections on the ACS Network, and with articles in local section newsletters, the Councilor Bulletin, and Committee News.
With regard to SCTF program- ming at ACS national meetings, the most enduring has been the Senior Chemists Breakfasts, which have attracted sell-out crowds. Since 2009, the speakers have included Peter Stang, University of Utah (Salt Lake City, 2009); Luis Echegoyen, NSF (Washington, 2009); Robert Grubbs, CalTech (San Francisco, 2010); Roald Hoffmann, Cornell University (Boston, 2010); Harry Gray, CalTech (Anaheim, 2011). A Senior Chemists Breakfast to be held in Denver on Tuesday, August 30, will feature Dr. Bassam Shakhashiri, current ACS President-Elect, as the guest speaker; he will speak on “Chemistry and Society: Looking Back, Looking Around, Looking Ahead.”
SCTF has organized, co-sponsored, or co-listed the following symposia on topics important to seniors and other attendees at the national meetings: being a consultant, volunteerism (Washington, 2009); the consulting business (San Francisco, 2010); governmental interface, connections to Germany and Europe, Medicare supplement workshop (Boston, 2010); aging and the ACS, diverse workforces in small businesses (Anaheim, 2011). In Denver (Fall 2011), SCTF will co- sponsor a symposium on interactions between the Younger Chemists Committee of ACS and the European Young Chemists Network of EuCheMS (European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences), as well as symposia on entrepreneurial- ism, health care reform and its impact on seniors, and the globalization of the chemistry profession.
SCTF is in the process of planning future activities for seniors, including assistance with consultancies, employment, income tax issues, and retirement and estate planning. It anticipates organizing trips for seniors to universities for educational visits, and to local governmental bodies for legislative visits. Seniors with academic or industrial backgrounds will become part of the “Chemistry Ambassadors” to interact with students and teachers at the K-12, undergraduate, and graduate levels. SCTF plans to work with local sections toward the establishment of their own senior chemists committees for the promotion of relevant activities of interest to their members in the areas of education, governmental affairs, and environmental improvement.
Later in 2011, the ACS Committee on Committees (ConC) will evaluate the programs and activities of SCTF with an eye toward the establishment of a national Senior Chemists Committee (SCC) that would be analogous to the current Younger Chemists Committee (YCC) and Women Chemists Committee (WCC).

ACS Senior Chemists Committee Created
The ACS Committee on Committees (ConC) is pleased to announce that the Council and Board of Directors have now officially approved the establishment of the Joint Board-Council Committee on Senior Chemists (SCC), effective January 1, 2013. The age demographics of the ACS demonstrated the need for a Senior Chemists Committee. Of its more than 164,000 members, more than 37% are over the age of 50 (as of Dec. 31, 2011) with this segment of the Society being one of the fastest growing groups.
SCC will be a group of highly professional, volunteer chemists whose mission is to enrich the educational, technical, and cultural lives of the ACS membership while ministering to and employing the talents of senior ACS members (over the age of 50) in the following ways:
  • sharing with ACS members of all ages a rich variety of personal experiences and expertise gained over many years of professional service;
  • fostering interest and participation in the science of chemistry through community outreach, especially in grades K-12;
  • acting as science advisers/ambassadors for the purpose of cultural exchange at home and abroad;
  • providing senior ACS members with challenging, diverse, and enjoyable professional experiences that enable them to contribute to the cultural experiences of their communities;
  • recommending policies that address issues of interest to senior chemists.
SCC will initially consist of 15 members and such associates and consultants as the President and Chair of the Board of Directors deem necessary. And, as stipulated in the Bylaws for such committees, SCC will be “subject to review by ConC no less often than every five years to advise Council whether it should be continued.” The Senior Chemists Task Force (SCTF) had formally requested that ConC review and evaluate its request for the establishment of SCC as a Joint Committee of the Board and Council. SCTF had been functioning as a quasi-committee for three years, and was the culmination of more than a decade of task forces examining the need for a senior chemists committee. ConC acted on this request and brought a specific recommendation to Council in Philadelphia that the establishment of such a committee be approved subject to the concurrence of the Board of Directors.
SCTF believed the committee could serve two constituencies within the ACS: (1) seniors who are still active either as full-time or part-time employees, consultants, or those who still wish to stay closely connected to the ACS and its spectrum of activities; and (2) younger members and students who have questions about a chemistry-based career or who have started careers but are looking for guidance on how to progress. Examples of SCC activities are mentoring, career guidance and counseling, job training seminars and webinars, alternate career selection, problem support, workshops, and tutorials.
The new committee will hold its first meeting in New Orleans on Monday, April 8, 2013.
Senior Chemists - ACS Wants You!

The U.S. economy is experiencing the biggest setback since the Great Depression, and many of your colleagues in the chemical sciences are out of work or are in transition. They could certainly use your assistance as someone who has been there and done that to help them with advice and guidance.

The ACS Career Consultant Program (CCP) has been providing support to new graduates and displaced workers for over 30 years. It is staffed
by qualified volunteers who give freely of their time. Although there is no compensation, ACS provides annual training for Career Consultants. Applicants to the program are vetted through the Council Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs (CEPA). The following is a list of criteria used by CEPA to assess applications for the Career Consultant program:

Employment Background

     • work experience in chemistry or related field
     • respect by colleagues – reputation for excellent work
     • mentoring or advising experience
     • career counseling or personnel (hiring and firing) experience
     • may not be principals in, or employed by, enterprises that derive
income by collecting fees from individuals for providing career counseling
or job placement services
     • must have degree in chemistry or related field.
     • must be an ACS member in good standing.

Personal Characteristics

     • personal experience with making job or career changes
     • good writing and speaking skills
     • good listening skill
     • good telephone communication skills
     • dependable, outgoing, empathetic, tactful and patient


     • employed and/or retired member of the ACS
     • have a broad view of the business and professional dimensions of chemistry
     • letters of recommendation from two current ACS members
     • willingness to attend a CCP training program (possibly 2 days)

The ACS seeks to have a diverse group of chemists as consultants. Therefore, consultants are recruited from industry, academia, government, large and small organizations, all chemical specialty areas, and different work levels and positions. The ACS also seeks diversity in gender, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.

If you are interested in serving your fellow members as an ACS Career Consultant, please email Malahat Layazali <> or
Liane Gould <>.

Why a Senior Chemists Committee?
by George E. Heinze, Chair, Senior Chemists Task Force
People are living longer and looking for opportunities to stay engaged, and ACS has to change to meet their needs.
ACS membership statistics provideconvincing support for creating a Senior Chemists Committee. Almost 38,000 ACS members are more than 60 years of age; they constitute 23% of the membership and are the fastest growing demographic in the society. More than 18,000 of these members are still working and active in the profession. A large number of the others are engaged in part-time work (such as consulting, contracting, and teaching).
Many of those who are not working are engaged in a variety of volunteer activities. ACS must not neglect this cohort of chemists— to do so would be an injustice to these individuals and would weaken the society.
Recently I attended the North Jersey Section’s 2012 Awards & Recognition Dinner, which honored 35 50-year members and 26 60-year members. As their bios were read, it was obvious that these members are still very much interested in the profession. Thirty years ago, we didn’t have enough 60- year members to include as a distinct group in the celebration. Times have changed. People are living longer and looking for opportunities to stay engaged, and ACS has to change to meet their needs.
During the ACS national meeting in Philadelphia this August, the Committee on Committees will present a motion at the ACS Council meeting to establish a Senior Chemists Committee as a joint boardcouncil committee of the society. We believe the present Senior Chemists Task Force (SCTF) has demonstrated through its accomplishments the value—both to ACS and to its senior members—of going forward with this motion.
Some of the task force activities to date are the initiation in 2005 of the Senior Chemists Breakfast, an activity that sells out at each ACS national meeting, hosting along the way three Nobel Laureates and four ACS presidents as speakers; the establishment of a semiannual newsletter for senior chemists that is distributed to all local sections and international chapters; the organization of and continuing support for senior groups in local sections, with a particular focus on ACS mentoring programs and career development initiatives, including development of instructional material in support of these programs; and the development of a very active national and regional meeting programming subcommittee that has presented 12 programs over the past three years. Each of these activities reached a large audience and would not have happened without SCTF’s leadership.
SCTF believes that the proposed Senior Chemists Committee will be an essential resource for ACS to keep its senior members involved in the society. The committee will also strengthen ties to students and younger members who are looking for career guidance.
Some have reasonably questioned the rationale for another committee, and to be fair, I will list some of their concerns: ACS has a large number of committees; do we need another one? Is there some other means besides a committee to serve this significant group of ACS members? Isn’t this group of seniors too numerous to have identifiable needs?
Good questions, but I think a committee focused on the unique needs of nearly a quarter of the ACS membership would be of high value to the society. The seniors of 2012 are not the seniors of 1982. A committee focused on responding to senior needs and, at the same time, organizing senior members to better serve their local communities and ACS, will be an efficient and effective means of maximizing the number of ACS members. A joint board-council committee is logical, because the committee will recommend necessary policy changes to the ACS Board of Directors and implement actions and programs through the council.
SCTF believes that ACS is ready for a Senior Chemists Committee, and we offer a mission statement and a set of goals: “The Senior Chemists Committee is a group of highly professional, volunteer chemists whose mission is to enrich the educational, technical, and cultural lives of the ACS membership by ministering to and employing the talents of senior ACS members (over 50).” SCTF includes members under 60 in case they want to provide input to or
use services of the committee.
The goals for the committee, drafted by SCTF, are as follows:
  • Sharing with ACS members of all ages
    a rich variety of personal experiences and
    expertise gathered over many years of professional
  • Fostering interest and participation in
    the science of chemistry through community
    outreach, especially in grades K–
  • Acting as science advisers and ambassadors
    for the purpose of cultural exchange
    at home and abroad; and
  • Providing senior ACS members with
    challenging, diverse, and enjoyable professional
    experiences that enable them to
    contribute to the cultural experiences of
    their communities.
Among other activities, the proposed committee could provide a central governance organization that more actively involves senior members in ACS and offers programs at national and regional meetings and other venues that focus on the interests and accomplishments of senior members. It could guide local sections in starting senior chemist groups and ensuring they flourish. And it could help senior chemists share the rich variety of their personal experiences and expertise gathered over many years of professional service
with other ACS members.
I urge you to support the establishment of the ACS Senior Chemists Committee by sending your comments to