American Chemical Society

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The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a learned society (professional association) based in the United States of America that supports scientific inquiry in the field of chemistry. Founded in 1876 at New York University, the ACS currently has over 158,000 members at all degree-levels and in all fields of chemistry, chemical engineering and related fields. The ACS holds national meetings twice a year covering the complete field of chemistry, plus dozens of smaller conferences in specific fields. Its publications division produces some several scholarly journals including the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The primary source of income of the ACS is the Chemical Abstracts Service and its publications. Chemical & Engineering News is the weekly news magazine published by the American Chemical Society and sent to all members.


The American Chemical Society had it origins in a small group of 35 chemists that met on April 6, 1876 at the University Building in the present day New York University.[1] Although at that time there was an American science society (American Association for the Advancement of Science) the growth of chemistry prompted those assembled under the direction of Professor Charles F. Chandler of the Columbia School of Mines to found the American Chemical Society. The society Chandler said, would “prove a powerful and healthy stimulus to original research, … would awaken and develop much talent now wasting in isolation, … [bring] members of the association into closer union, and ensure a better appreciation of our science and its students on the part of the general public.”

A formal vote for organization was taken, a constitution was adopted, and officers were selected. Chandlers was an obvious choice as president since had been instrumental leadership in establishing the society, however, he felt that the New York University Professor John William Draper had the reputation as a scientist to lead a national organization. At the age of 65 John William Draper was elected as the first president of the American Chemical Society and the headquarters was located in New York. Draper’s presidency was important more due to his name and reputation and than his active participation in the society.

Educational Activities

The American Chemical Society also sponsors the United States National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO), a contest used to select the four-member team that represents the United States at the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO). The ACS Division of Chemical Education provides standardized tests for various subfields of chemistry. The two most commonly-used tests are the undergraduate-level tests for general and organic chemistry. Each of these tests consists of 75 multiple-choice questions, and gives students 110 minutes to complete the exam.

PubChem controversy

Since the inception of National Center for Biotechnology Information's open access PubChem chemical compound database initiative, ACS has actively lobbied NCBI and its supervising agencies to stop the database development effort. ACS markets its own subscription- and pay-based Chemical Abstracts Service. In a May 23, 2005, press-release, the ACS stated:

The ACS believes strongly that the Federal Government should not seek to become a taxpayer supported publisher. By collecting, organizing, and disseminating small molecule information whose creation it has not funded and which duplicates CAS services, NIH has started ominously, down the path to unfettered scientific publishing...

Journals and Magazines

See also

External links