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 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
    3. Personalize and enhance the user experience of web-based products and services. Integrate data across the Society for enhancing business operations and processes.

    • 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 offerings to serve worldwide members and customers.
    • Chemistry-related information sources, including free resources, are increasing, as are open access mandates by research funders.
    • 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, social, and mobile) technologies enhance face-to-face meetings.
    • Cyber-security threats to the collection, distribution, and protection of information are increasing.
    • New questions are being raised about the quality of peer-reviewed scientific literature, and new tools to help safeguard the publication process are emerging.

    • ACS Publications has launched the indispensable Chemical & Engineering News mobile app that gives ACS members free access to full issues.

    • SciFinder Mobile provides scientist 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, Materials SCENEs.

    • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) REGISTRYTM  is the gold standard for substance information, curated and quality-controlled by CAS scientists. The CAS REGISTRYTM  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. The San Diego meeting in March 2016 will bring together chemists worldwide with the theme “Computers in Chemistry
    • 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 downloads

    48+ million

    searches on the ACS Publications platform


    ACS mobile downloads


    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-related 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. Identify and assess topics to enhance ACS Career Navigator offerings.
    3. Develop an Individual Development Plan tool to assist graduate and postdoctoral scholars through the career preparation process. The tool will also aid chemistry faculty in providing career guidance.

    • Many chemists, in the wake of regional and global economic crises, face challenges obtaining and retaining full employment.
    • Persistent employment challenges facing recent U.S. chemistry graduates are discouraging some students from pursuing scientific degrees. There is a growing belief and some evidence that there is a mismatch between the current training of new graduates and the types of jobs available.
    • The Society’s ability to help support job creation and career growth in the United States provides an opportunity to attract members.
    • Many of those working in the molecular sciences and engineering no longer identify themselves professionally as chemists.
    • The dispersion of chemistry and chemist communities worldwide is growing.
    • Globalization and the changing demographics and needs of the chemistry enterprise are redefining diversity and ACS is well positioned to assist in that transformation
    • The Society’s longstanding commitment and programs devoted to underrepresented groups provide an opportunity to increase our value to all chemistry professionals.
    • The Millennial generation is shaping future management, culture, and expectations.
    • Online communities have emerged as key hubs of social and professional interaction.
    • The way U.S. firms conduct R&D and innovate continues to change. They are investing in R&D partnerships with academia, government, entrepreneurs, and other entities.
    • A renaissance of North American energy production is reshaping related chemical industries while presenting new environmental protection issues.

    • 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.

    • 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.



    Total job seekers at the 4 total career fairs (2 virtual and 2 online)


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


    Learners took an ACS Leadership Development System workshop


    Total personalized career consulting sessions


    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 and expand resources of the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) for K-12 teachers of chemistry. Serve as a trusted source of curricular and pedagogical resources for K-12 chemistry instruction. Provide opportunities for teachers of chemistry to network with one another and the broader ACS community. Disseminate effective teaching and learning practices at the K-12 level.
    2. Continue and extend the pilot mentoring program for recently graduated ACS-Hach grant recipient high school teachers with veteran teachers continuing the mentoring of ACS-Hach Scholars.

    • 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.
    • K-12 public education is in a crisis in the United States. ACS is positioned to address issues in science and technology education.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.
    • Recognition, rewards, and incentives for excellent teachers are needed.
    • Educators need an authoritative source for best practices in chemistry education and safer laboratory practices.
    • Partnerships and collaborations can strengthen 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 advance 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 it 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.

    • 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 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


    Nobel Laureates have received ACS PRF grants


    Research grants were awarded in 2015 totaling $18.62 million


    Economically disadvantaged high school students in nearly 130 institutions


    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.x

    1. Produce and distribute Reactions videos on the ACS YouTube channel and ACS PressPacs, moving toward enhanced content and secure coverage of national meeting press conferences and releases.
    2. Expand and leverage efforts to place ACS members in public dialog with news media, policymakers, opinion leaders, and the general public. Update content of toolkits and other instructional materials on the ACS Web site to help members communicate with the public. Arrange for media interviews or public dialogs with policymakers, civic groups, or other opinion-leaders from among the trained ACS Experts. Hold refresher training for the ACS Experts. Assess the value of training and tools offered. Develop plans to improve the program.
    3. Empower ACS members and allied organizations to communicate key ACS policy priorities with policymakers. Introduce, adopt, or prevent adoption, of legislative or executive branch initiatives implementing or affecting key ACS policy priorities.

    • 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 were viewed approximately 1.3 million times in October.
    • 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. Enrollment in the program presently exceeds 10,000 active members.
    • 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 launched the Experts Program. Less than three months after the inaugural class of 20 ACS Experts was selected and trained 17 Experts were engaged in speaking to news media, policymakers, students and educators about the role of chemistry in our world.
    • 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 recently 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