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ACS News

September 7, 2009
Volume 87, Number 36
pp. 75-76

ACS Elections: Candidates' Election Statements And Backgrounds

For President-Elect: Nancy B. Jackson

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Nancy B. Jackson

Central New Mexico Section. Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M.

Born: 1956

Academic record: George Washington University, B.S., 1979; University of Texas, M.S., 1986, Ph.D., 1990

Honors: Howard Fawcett Chemical Health & Safety Award, ACS Division of Chemical Health & Safety, 2009; fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2005; national affiliate, National Academies, 2005; Professional of the Year, American Indian Science & Engineering Society, 2005; Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, George Washington University, 2004; Rio Grande YWCA Women on the Move Award, 2003

Professional positions (for past 10 years): Sandia National Laboratories, International Chemical Threat Reduction Department, manager, 2007 to date, International Security Center, deputy director, 2004–06, Chemical & Biological Sensing, Imaging & Analysis Department, manager, 2000–04, catalysis research, technical staff, 1991–99; University of New Mexico, associate research professor, 1999 to date

Service in ACS national offices: Board of Directors, director-at-large, 2004–06; councilor ex officio, 2004–06; Committee on Committees, 2003; Committee on International Activities, 2009, committee associate, 2007–08; Committee on Science, 1996–98, consultant, 1999–2002; Committee on Minority Affairs, 1998–2002, chair, 1999–2001, committee associate, 1996–97; Younger Chemists Committee, 1981–85, chair, 1984–85; Professional Programs Planning & Coordinating Committee, 1984–85; Petroleum Research Foundation Steering Committee, 2006–07; ACS Board Task Force on Multidisciplinarity, 2006; ACS Task Force on Governance, 2007–08; Advisory Board, Chemical & Engineering News, 2003–08; Advisory Board, I&EC Research, 1996–98

Service in ACS offices: Member of ACS since 1980. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Division: councilor, 2001–03; alternate councilor, 1995–2000; chair, 1992; chair-elect, 1991; secretary, 1986–91; newsletter editor, 1998–2003; Catalysis Secretariat, chair, 2000

Member: American Indian Science & Engineering Society, International Union of Pure & Applied Chemists, American Association for the Advancement of Science. ACS Divisions: Industrial & Engineering Chemistry, Business Development & Management, and Colloid & Surface Chemistry

Related activities: Committee to Review the DOE-BES Catalysis Research Activities & Their Impact, National Research Council, cochair, 2008; Sandia Women's Action Network, cochair, 2008 to date; National Science Foundation, Committee of Visitors, Division of Chemistry, 2007; McNair Fellows, Colorado State University, keynote speaker, 2007; Ford Fellows Conference, National Academies, keynote presentation, 2006; Women of Color Working Mothers Conference, panelist, 2006; Committee on Revealing Chemistry Through Advanced Chemical Imaging, National Research Council, chair, 2005–06; Committee on the Review of Testing & Evaluation Methodology for Biological Point Detectors Study, National Research Council, 2003–04; American Indian Science & Engineering Society Graduate Student Poster Session, organizer and judge, 2003–07; University of West Virginia, Department of Chemical Engineering, Distinguished Lecturer, 2002; Rocky Mountain College, Board of Trustees, 2002–08; Society for the Advancement of Chicanos & Native Americans in Science, keynote speaker, 2002; Board on Higher Education & Workforce, National Research Council, 2000–03; "Vision 2020: Preparing for the Future of the Chemical Enterprise," Keynote Address, ACS Northwest & Rocky Mountain Joint Regional Meeting, 2000; Board on Chemical Sciences & Technology, National Research Council, 1999–2004; ACS Scholars Subcommittee, 1999–2004; 1st National Laboratory Catalysis Meeting, conference organizer, 1999; Scientific Review Committee, American Indian Science & Engineering Society National Science Fair, 1999–2002; Advisory Board, Center for Applied Research, University of Kentucky, 1996–2001

Jackson's Statement

Chemistry is essential to the developments we need to make in energy, sustainability, health, and security. But science in general and the central science of chemistry in particular are not adequately valued by the public. The chemical sciences are the lowest funded of the physical sciences at the National Science Foundation. Discover, a popular science magazine, covers eight categories of science—none of which is chemistry.

This is not just a problem in the U.S. Chemistry suffers an image problem everywhere. Concern about this image problem led chemical societies around the world to launch the idea for the United Nations to designate 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry. Whoever wins this election will be ACS president during that year. If elected, I will take ACS to a leadership position in the International Year of Chemistry, partnering with our sister societies around the world to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve the image of the chemical sciences. I will use the International Year of Chemistry to demonstrate chemistry's value and the need for chemistry to address society's most challenging issues.

Bringing Science to the Public. Support we receive for chemical education and research from the public and from policymakers is dependent upon how much the public values chemistry. Nothing could be more important to the health of our profession than communicating effectively with the public. Currently, the most common method of communication to the public about science is through the mainstream media, but traditional science journalism is a disappearing profession. Even ACS has followed this trend, letting go several science journalists during the recent ACS staff layoff.

With traditional media dwindling, a new paradigm for informing the public about science needs to develop, and some have suggested that universities and nonprofit science organizations should fill the gap, particularly relying on the Internet. If elected president, I will lead the society in investigating how ACS can take a leadership role in developing new ways of communicating science news to the public.

Research. As president, I will be a strong advocate for federal support of research in chemistry. One aspect of the national dialogue on scientific research where I would contribute would be regarding the role of the national laboratories as important national scientific assets. Unfortunately, most of the labs are struggling. A research and development agenda needs to be developed for the labs that does not compete with either industry or universities but allows for collaboration with each. If elected ACS president, I will address the future health of the national labs on the national science agenda.

Education. Last year, my son had a science teacher in high school who didn't like chemistry or doing experiments. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon experience. ACS needs to continue to actively support high school chemistry and chemistry teachers.

The recent transfer of the Hach Scientific Foundation to ACS gives the society an unprecedented opportunity to advance high school chemistry education. At the undergraduate level, the programs by NSF, the ACS Petroleum Research Fund, and others that encourage and support undergraduate research should be strengthened further. Opportunities for international research experience for undergraduate and graduate students should be increased. Science is global, and we need to prepare our students for the careers they will have. Chemical education, science education, and the value of education in general will be a strong priority for me if elected ACS president.

In our culture, the contributions of science are undervalued. Chemistry is near the bottom of the sciences in the public's interest. As we know, the irony is that chemistry is essential for virtually every other science to flourish. It is time that we resolve to take whatever steps are necessary to inform the public of the importance—and wonder—of the central science of chemistry. If elected president, I will use the International Year of Chemistry to its fullest to communicate about chemistry to the public, and I will explore novel ways in which ACS can inform the public about the crucial role chemistry must play in our future. ACS technical divisions and local sections can play an important role in addressing the society's agenda.

I encourage you to visit my website,, which has more information on my vision for the future of chemistry and ACS. I ask for your vote for ACS president-elect and promise in return to give all my energy and enthusiasm to improving the image of chemistry in order to ensure a vital future for chemistry.

ACS Elections: Candidates' Election Statements And Backgrounds

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
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