American Chemical Society
Strategic Plan for 2014 and Beyond
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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

Core Values

In pursuing the ACS Goals, we systematically apply the following Core Values:

Passion for chemistry 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. Learn More
Empower an inclusive community of members with networks, opportunities, resources, and skills to thrive in the global economy. Learn More
Foster the development of the most innovative, relevant, and effective chemistry education in the world. Learn More
Communicate chemistry's vital role in addressing the world's challenges to the public and policymakers. Learn More

Provide Information

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


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.

Challenges & Opportunities
Ongoing Activities
Recent Progress
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  • Challenges & Opportunities
    • Global economic and government budget constraints, including U.S. sequestration, impact research output and demand.
    • Globalization of the chemistry enterprise continues with members, students, and chemistry-related professionals increasingly located in Asia.
    • Chemistry-related information sources, including free resources, are increasing, as are open access mandates by research funders.
    • Increasingly sophisticated tools that support scientific knowledge can help chemistry-related professionals cope with the explosion of information.
    • The growing global chemistry enterprise provides an opportunity to restructure offerings to serve worldwide members and customers.
    • Online (Hybrid, virtual, social, and mobile) technologies enhance face-to-face meetings.
    • New ways of concise and hyperlinked presentation of information are emerging in media such as E-books and blogs.
    • Cyber-security threats to the collection, distribution, and protection of information are growing.
  • Ongoing Activities
    • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) REGISTRY℠, the gold standard for substance information, curated and quality-controlled by CAS scientists. The CAS REGISTRY℠ keeps up with the growth of chemical-related research and has registered its 75 millionth substance.
    • Access to cutting-edge research from ACS National Meetings is accessible online. The ACS Fall 2014 National Meeting in San Francisco, August 10 - 14, will bring together chemists worldwide with the theme "Chemistry and Global Stewardship"
    • 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.
  • Recent Progress
  • Objectives
    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. To maximize value for the chemistry professional, create and strengthen personalized offerings and services.
  • Get Involved
  • 70+million CAS Registry holds the largest collection of small molecules
  • 30,000 mobile downloads since the launch of C&EN
  • 9,600 users have accessed the ACS mobile app
  • 83million full-text article downloads in 2013

Goal 1 Video


Advance Member Careers

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. Through advocacy efforts, ACS will encourage the creation and retention of chemistry-related jobs within the U.S.

Challenges & Opportunities
Ongoing Activities
Recent Progress
Get Involved
  • Challenges & Opportunities
    • Many chemists, in the wake of regional and global economic crises, face challenges obtaining full employment.
    • The dispersion of chemistry and chemist communities worldwide is growing.
    • The Society’s ability to help support job creation and career growth in the United States provides an opportunity to attract members.
    • Scientific professionals and new graduates are not always aware of the array of available career opportunities and services ACS provides to help them to succeed.
    • Interactions and collaborations between industry and academia are increasing; however, big gaps remain.
    • The Millennial generation is shaping future management, culture, and expectations.
  • Ongoing Activities
    • 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 electronic edition of C&EN is available as an option for ACS members to receive, replacing paper copies. The electronic edition is a complete, cover-to-cover facsimile of the print edition delivered over the web.
    • 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.
  • Recent Progress
    • The ACS Mobile Meeting Application is your full featured greener guide to manage your experience at the 247th ACS National Meeting in Dallas Texas.
    • The ACS online Career Consultant Program offers personalized consulting to help scientists succeed wherever they are in their careers.
    • The ACS Entrepreneurship Initiative program seeks to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship through FastTrac courses designed to train ACS members in developing their ideas into business concepts.
    • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) SciFinder offers complimentary access to unemployed members under a special program. Chemistry professionals with access to SciFinder while employed can apply to receive complimentary SciFinder access if they become unemployed.
  • Objectives
    1. Launch a new integrated brand and product mix of ACS professional advancement offerings to increase member awareness, usage, and value across various career stages.
    2. Build on the 2013 member-only designation of ACS Presentations on Demand and on-demand ACS Webinars by designating additional online member-only professional and technical content throughout and coordinating marketing to raise global member awareness and value.
    3. Review and develop enhancements for the ACS Network and/or other social media tools to increase the number of ACS members worldwide connecting with one another to share and gain information to advance professionally.
  • Get Involved
  • 1 Report on Innovation, Chemistry, and Jobs recently developed, detailing steps to create economic growth, generate revenue and add new jobs.
  • 3,000+ New users per month joining the ACS Network, the premier online forum for chemists and other scientist to communicate and build professional connections.
  • 4,000+ Job seekers participated in the ACS Virtual Career Fair

Improve Education

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.

Challenges & Opportunities
Ongoing Activities
Recent Progress
Get Involved
  • Challenges & Opportunities
    • U.S. students will need to excel in STEM subjects to contribute to societal needs.
    • 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.
    • Partnerships and collaborations can strengthen efforts to advocate for STEM education and will reform and elevate chemistry’s prominence within the STEM disciplines.
  • Ongoing Activities
    • Celebrating 16 years of service, 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 podcast 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.
    • 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.
  • Recent Progress
    • 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.
    • The ACS offers exceptional sophomores and juniors majoring in chemistry and chemical engineering the chance to apply for a prestigious 10-week internship through the SCI Scholars Program.
  • Objectives
    1. Launch a new association for K-12 teachers of chemistry.
    2. Implement the new online student chapter management, report submission, and review tool.
    3. Establish a pilot mentoring program for recently graduated ACS-Hach grant recipient high school teachers.
  • Get Involved
  • 1,200+ Kids & Chemistry kits have been shared in schools and communities
  • 26 Number of ACS PRF grantees who have received the Nobel Prize
  • 184 Research grants were awarded in 2011 totaling $16.4 million
  • 444 Economically disadvantaged high school students in more 150 research laboratories

Communicate Chemistry's Value

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.

Challenges & Opportunities
Ongoing Activities
Recent Progress
Get Involved
  • Challenges & Opportunities
    • The public often fails to understand chemistry’s impact on people’s lives and accepts sound bites as fact.
    • Making a measurable impact on public science appreciation and literacy is difficult.
    • 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.
  • Ongoing Activities
    • 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 6,400 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 Society’s position statement, A Competitive U.S. Business Climate: Innovation, Chemistry, and Jobs, has recently been updated.
  • Recent Progress
    • 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 more than 160 briefings on Capitol Hill to date. The recently held Critical Materials Shortages: Opportunity for Competitive Innovation was hosted by the honorary Senator Mark Udall (D-CO).
    • 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™.
  • Objectives
    1. Develop messages, presentations, and multimedia tools on national/global challenges related to chemistry. Assist and motivate members to communicate with media, policymakers, community leaders, and the public. Leverage the themes of National Chemistry Week.
    2. Train spokespersons, selected for their area of expertise and communication skills, to engage media and public audiences. Arrange for them to be interviewed in news outlets or to be part of public dialog with policymakers, civic groups, or other opinion-leaders.
    3. Empower ACS members and allied organizations to communicate key ACS policy priorities, highlighted in “Creating Opportunity through Scientific Innovation,” with policymakers. Support the passage of legislative provisions that advance the ACS agenda.
  • Get Involved
  • 10,000 Members are now ACS Chemistry Ambassadors
  • 14,359 ACS members who participate in the Legislative Action Network
  • 203 Science and the Congress briefings to date
  • 100 Number of ACS Local Section Government Affairs Committees