Strategic Plan for

2016and Beyond



Improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry


Advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people

Passion for chemistry and the global chemistry enterprise in the broadest sense

  • Research
  • Education
  • Innovation
  • Solutions

Focus on members

  • Service to members
  • Volunteer contributions


  • Integrity and transparency
  • High standards

Diversity and inclusion

  • Diverse community of highly-skilled chemistry professionals
  • Advancement of chemistry as a global multidisciplinary science

ACS is a Congressionally chartered not-for-profit 501(c)3 scientific professional society. The Society will remain a strong and sustainable organization, maintaining adequate financial resources and adhering to financial stewardship principles that will ensure its ability to accomplish ACS Goals today and into the future. ACS will marshal our unique resources to:


Be the most authoritative, comprehensive, and indispensable provider of chemistry-related information and knowledge-based solutions.

ACS will be the most trusted source for chemistry-related information by providing indispensable products and services. These include high-quality journals and periodicals, databases, and meetings that advance the practice of chemistry and related sciences. Through creative collaborations, transformative technologies, and best practices, ACS will ensure that its information products and services are the most authoritative and accessible.

    1. Strengthen the ability of Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) and ACS Publications to provide unparalleled information for the global scientific community.
    2. Position the ACS appropriately in countries and regions of increasing importance to the future of the chemical enterprise, taking into consideration the full span of ACS activities.

    • There are unprecedented constraints on U.S. government funding that supports scientific research and education.
    • Globalization of the chemistry enterprise continues with members, students, and chemistry-related professionals increasingly located in Asia.
    • The growing global chemistry enterprise provides an opportunity to restructure and/or diversify offerings and establish a globally-based workforce to serve worldwide members and customers.
    • The number and scope of open access mandates by research funders is growing as are attempts to coordinate between different groups.
    • Chemistry-related information sources, including free resources, are increasing. The expectation of more personalized offerings from organizations is growing, along with the technology which enables them.
    • The importance of content curation is growing in managing expanding flows of information.
    • Online (hybrid, virtual) technologies enhance face-to-face meetings.
    • Cyber-security threats to the collection, distribution, and protection of information are increasing.
    • Predictive / AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology and ontologies are emerging and evolving in the scientific information research space. This may present both threats and new opportunities.

    • ACS Publications has launched the indispensable Chemical & Engineering News mobile app that gives ACS members free access to full issues.
    • ACS Members now have exclusive expanded access to more than one million articles and book chapters from ACS publications.
    • SciFinder Mobile provides scientists with access to the preferred research tool while on the move.
    • ACS on Campus is a cross-divisional campus outreach program that brings resources from ACS Publications, Chemical Abstracts Service, Membership & Scientific Advancement, Education and Careers to top universities in the U.S. and abroad.
    • Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN) adds to its available online information resources with the launch of Analytical, Biological, Environmental, and Materials SCENEs.

    • ACS Axial is a new blog that shares ideas, insights and advice on research highlights, career advice news roundups and much more wht the scientific community.
    • CASREACT enables access to precise, dependable, and timely information and provides information concerning reaction conditions, yields and catalysts.
    • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) REGISTRY ™, is the gold standard for substance information, curated and quality-controlled by CAS scientists. The CAS REGISTRY ™ keeps up with the growth of chemical research by registering its 100 millionth substance.
    • Access to cutting-edge research from ACS National Meetings is accessible online.
    • Highly-rated ACS Webinars on the most important topics for chemists and chemistry, consistently draw hundreds of participants per webinar.
    • ACS Publications produces 47 of the most trusted, most cited, and most read journals in chemistry and related fields, consistently ranking as #1 in impact.
    • Chemistry in pictures showcases the beauty of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences.


    100 million

    CAS Registry holds the largest collection of small molecules


    C&EN Mobile dowloads in 2015

    48+ million

    Searches on the ACS Publications platform in 2015


    ACS mobile downloads in 2015


    Empower an inclusive community of members with networks, opportunities, resources, and skills to thrive in the global economy.

    ACS will provide and develop resources to enable its members and other chemistry professionals to succeed in the global scientific enterprise at all stages of their careers. ACS will be a key resource for professional and career development and peer collaboration, and will encourage diversity in the chemical sciences. This includes the Society’s longstanding commitment and programs dedicated to under-represented groups in the chemical sciences. Through advocacy efforts, ACS will encourage the creation and retention of chemistry-related jobs within the United States.

    1. Increase and communicate the value of ACS membership, leading to strong recruitment and retention.
    2. Review and enhance coordination of ACS webinar programs to optimize value, awareness and business effectiveness.
    3. Identify priority industry segments and implement new product offerings for chemical professionals working in industry to advance their knowledge and networks.
    4. Organize a series of workshops to familiarize graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty members with the new Individual Development tool, ChemIDP.

    • Employers of chemists are increasingly diverse, smaller, and more service-oriented.
    • The wider mix of jobs held by chemistry-related scientists and the growing multidisciplinary nature of science is causing fewer scientists to identify themselves as chemists.
    • There is a mismatch between the number of new chemistry graduates and the number of jobs available.
    • Chemical-related companies increasingly choose external R&D partnerships to innovate.
    • Decisions to join a membership organization are increasingly based more on value returned than support for the profession.
    • Members have a desire for more targeted, mobile and video resources and messages.
    • Constraints on volunteers warrant new tools to ease their jobs and grow their ranks.
    • The demand to develop and deliver services to meet institutional as well as individual needs is increasing.
    • The millennial generation is shaping future management, culture, and expectations.
    • Globalization and the changing demographics and needs of the chemistry enterprise are redefining diversity and offering associations opportunities to assist in that transformation.
    • The demand for integration of online technologies with onsite meetings and courses is increasing.
    • Alliances must be leveraged to advance mutual goals, including with ACS divisions, local sections, international chapters, and peer societies.
    • The value proposition for membership has been disrupted by social, economic and technological changes. This demands more targeted services, creative recruitment/retention strategies and evaluation of alternative membership models.

    • The ACS Network is the premier forum for chemists and other scientists to find, connect, and share ideas and content with colleagues
    • ACS Meetings are the primary place for chemists, related scientists, and engineers to network, share their findings, and celebrate their accomplishments with their colleagues.
    • The ACS Careers site is a "one-stop" shop for members' career management and development needs.
    • ACS International Activities work to connect scientists around the world in addressing global scientific challenges, to create value for members, and to build collaborative networks around the world through a variety of programs.

    • The ACS Career Development blog provides career information and ideas about professional development.
    • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) SciFinder offers complimentary access under a special program. Chemistry professionals with access to SciFinder while employed can apply to receive complimentary SciFinder access if they become unemployed.
    • The ACS Entrepreneurial Resources Center is an accelerator that helps chemistry-based startups bring their innovations to market. We empower entrepreneurs with access to ACS’s resources including access to publications and SciFinder, help them develop a viable business plan, and have them showcase their venture to potential investors or commercial partners for rapid scale-up or acquisition.



    Science Coaches will share their expertise as chemists for 2015-2016


    Total job seekers at the 4 career fairs (2 virtual and 2 online) held in 2015


    Learners took an ACS Leadership Development System workshop in 2015


    Total personalized career consulting sessions held in 2015


    Foster the development of the most innovative, relevant, and effective chemistry education in the world.

    ACS will promote the development and dissemination of best practices in chemistry education to ensure a scientifically literate citizenry and a highly qualified chemical workforce. High-quality, evidence-based approaches to chemistry education and advanced professional development for teachers will be fostered. ACS will support reforms and initiatives that result in safer laboratory practices and a pipeline of competent, ethical, and competitive U.S. chemists ready to address global challenges.

    1. Increase membership in the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) for K-12 teachers of chemistry and hold the first AACT conference.
    2. Enhance support for international undergraduate students and student chapters.

    • U.S. students must excel in STEM subjects to contribute to societal needs, and yet U.S. students don’t perform strongly in international tests of STEM achievement.
    • ACS is positioned to address issues in science and technology education through a multitude of education, public policy, and outreach activities.
    • There is a national need to attract and strengthen the qualifications of chemistry teachers at all levels and to provide them with access to high quality professional development opportunities. ACS increasingly has access to thousands of teachers through high growth areas such as AACT,, high school ChemClubs and ACS Hach programs.
    • Educators need an authoritative source for best practices in classroom and laboratory safety.
    • Enhanced or new partnerships and collaborations can strengthen ACS efforts to advocate for STEM education, and reform and elevate chemistry’s prominence within the STEM disciplines.
    • Online educational platforms are broadening access to higher education and redefining subject mastery, including competency-based degrees and credentials.

    • The ACS Scholars Program supports underrepresented minority students who want to enter the chemistry and related practices fields.
    • The ACS Petroleum Research Fund provides in excess of $20 million annually in grants, awards, and research assistantship opportunities that support advanced scientific education and fundamental research in the petroleum field. Grants focus on proposals from undergraduate institutions, young faculty, and new directions in innovative research.
    • The Reactions Everyday Chemistry is an all-ages trip to the frontiers of knowledge. Informative "bytesize" videos provide intriguing stories on the chemistry of food, energy, health, and much more.
    • Since its establishment in 1968, ACS Project SEED has helped economically disadvantaged high school students expand their exposure to the field of science. The summer SEED programs offer these students the opportunity to intern at institutions and universities through its Summer Internships program.
    • ACS Short Courses offers a variety of resources that help professional chemists to continue their education.
    • ChemMatters is an award-winning magazine for high school chemistry, which demystifies chemistry at work in our everyday lives. Each issue includes a Teacher's Guide containing background information, follow-up hands-on activities, classroom demonstrations, and other resources to facilitate student comprehension.

    • ACS Science Coaches are chemists who volunteer with an AACT teacher member for one school year to help share the wonder and value of chemistry.
    • #2016ChemGrad, a social media campaign targeted towards increasing visibility of recent graduates earning degrees in the chemical sciences by using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and all the ACS the opportunity to share in this milestone with its online audience.
    • AACT is a community where chemistry teachers can ask questions, share strategies, find support and learn how to overcome challenges.
    • ACS has partnered with the NSTA Learning Center to provide our members with informative chemistry related Web seminars that allow participants to interact with nationally acclaimed experts.
    • ACS has launched the Chemistry Teacher Education Coalition. The Society recognizes the critical role of the chemistry community in preparing high school chemistry teachers of tomorrow. ACS in collaboration with the Society Committee on Education (SOCED) endorsed the CTEC statement to indicate its commitment to the critical issue of preparing high school chemistry teachers of tomorrow.



    Kids & Chemistry kits have been shared in schools and communities


    Economically disadvantaged high school students helped in nearly 130 institutions


    Research grants were awarded in 2015 totaling $18.62 million


    ACS PRF grants were given to Nobel Laureates


    Communicate chemistry’s vital role in addressing the world’s challenges to the public and policymakers.

    ACS will lead in communicating the value of chemistry. Active participation of individual members in public outreach efforts will be encouraged and supported. ACS will be the premier advocacy organization to promote science, engineering, and innovation within the chemistry enterprise.

    1. Secure coverage of press conferences and releases associated with ACS national meetings. Also produce, distribute and secure placements/coverage of ACS videos and ACS PressPacs.
    2. Expand and leverage efforts to place ACS members in public dialog with news media, policymakers, opinion leaders, and the general public.
    3. Empower ACS members and allied organizations to communicate key ACS policy priorities with policymakers. Implement key ACS policy priorities through legislative or executive branch initiatives.

    • The public often fails to understand chemistry’s positive impact on people’s lives and accepts inaccurate sound bites as fact.
    • Moving the needle on public science appreciation and literacy is difficult and expensive to measure and achieve.
    • Expanding partnerships with other groups involved in improving public appreciation of science and engineering present an opportunity for greater impact.
    • Scientists, engineers, and others can lead in communicating how chemistry can solve global challenges and improve people’s lives.
    • Global economic and government budget constraints impact research output and demand.
    • There are unprecedented constraints on U.S. government funding that supports scientific research and education.
    • As the world’s population increases, resources are under pressure, exacerbated by climate change. Chemical sciences are increasingly central to development of solutions to the global challenges of energy, environment, water, health, and food.

    • The Reactions series is one of the most popular YouTube channels ever launched by a scientific organization. Episodes and videos on the ACS YouTube channel, iTunes and Facebook were viewed approximately 8.8 million times in 2015.
    • The Chemistry Ambassadors program, empowers a growing number of ACS members to actively engage with the public to spread the word on the nature and value of chemistry and chemists.
    • The ACS Act4Chemistry Network continues to grow at, which offers social networking and shares calls to action, blogs, and bookmarked news about the latest policy developments and how you can get involved.
    • The ACS National Historic Chemical Landmarks highlight monumental and key roles chemistry-related innovations play in our lives today, by advancing the frontiers of knowledge, expanding medicine and the chemical enterprise.
    • The ACS has endorsed the STEM Education Act of 2015 (H.R. 1020). The bipartisan bill adds computer science to the definition of STEM subjects for the National Science Foundation (NSF)

    • ACS Experts talked to news media outlets including Nature, NPR, Building Green,, and Wired. They also skyped with a ChemClub and gave in-person talks to various groups.
    • The Reactions video "Does gum stay in your stomach for seven years?" was metioned on the TODAY show, which reaches approximately four million views in a typical braodcast.
    • Watch Voices of Research and meet researchers working on today's most cutting-edge scientific challenges, and learn how their work makes a difference for you and future generations.
    • The ACS developed the Innovation, Chemistry, and Jobs report, detailing the steps to create economic growth, generate revenue, and add new jobs in the nation’s scientific sectors.
    • ACS Science & the Congress has held 200+ briefings on Capitol Hill to date.
    • ACS continues as a leader in the use of digital technology to communicate science to the public, policymakers, and our members. This included the introduction of digital press conferences so that journalists worldwide can access live audio and video and the expanded use of blogs, podcasts (audio and video), web-based seminars, and web services like Twitter™ and Facebook™.



    Members are now ACS Chemistry Ambassadors


    ACS members who participate in the Legislative Action Network


    Science and the Congress briefings to date


    Number of ACS State Government Affairs Committees