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September 12, 2011
Volume 89, Number 37
pp. 37 - 38

ACS Elections: Candidates' Election Statements And Backgrounds

For Director-At-Large: Ken B. Anderson

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Anderson
Anderson

Division of Geochemistry (Southern Illinois Section). Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; Thermaquatica Inc.

Academic record: University of Melbourne, B.S. with honors, 1984; University of Melbourne, Ph.D., 1989

Honors: ACS Division of Geochemistry Distinguished Service Award, 1999; Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer Award, 2000; R&D 100 Award, 1999

Professional positions (for past 10 years): Thermaquatica Inc., CEO, 2010– ; Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, professor of geochemistry, 2007– , associate professor of geochemistry, 2003–07; Argonne National Laboratory, staff scientist, 1994–2003

Service in ACS national offices: Committee on Committees, 2008; Committee on Constitution & Bylaws, 2002–07; Committee on Divisional Activities, committee associate, 2007; Presidential-Board Task Force on Local Section & Division Funding, 2000; Presidential-Board Task Force on Local Section & Division Bylaw Revision, 2001

Service in ACS offices: Member of ACS since 1989. Division of Geochemistry: Councilor, 2000–09; Chair, 1998; Chair-Elect, 1997; Webmaster and Division Historian, 2003–05; Co-Editor-in-Chief, Geochemical Transactions, 2005– ; Geochemistry Division Medal Committee, 2000– ; Divisional Officer’s Caucus, 2000–04, chair, 2002–04, treasurer, 2000–01

Member: ACS Divisions: Fuel Chemistry, Geochemistry, History of Chemistry, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry, Small Chemical Business

Related activities: SIUC Faculty Senate, 2010– ; SIUC College of Science Tenure & Promotion Committee, 2010; Professional Science Masters (PSM) in Advance Energy & Fuels Management, curriculum development and academic steering committee, 2007– ; Illinois Department of Commerce & Opportunity and Office of Trade & Investment, international trade mission to Europe and the U.K., technical consultant and delegate, May 2008; ACS National Program Coordinator, Energy Sustainability, 2007; David Clifford Memorial Symposium, organizer and cochair, August 2007; Editor, ACS Symposium Series Vol. 617, “Amber, Resinite, and Fossil Resins”; Governor’s Task Force for Carbon Sequestration, Illinois, 2007; Governor’s Task Force for Gasification Technology Implementation, Illinois, 2007; Symposium on the History of Organic Geochemistry, organizer and cochair, March 2005; ACS Geochemistry Division Medal Award Symposium, San Diego, organizer, April 2001; ACS Symposium on “Amber, Resinite, and Fossil Resins,” organizer and cochair, August 1994. Member or chair of various college and departmental committees, 2003– . Published 45 refereed articles and book chapters; holder of six patents; grants received (in past 10 years): $4.4 million

ANDERSON’S STATEMENT

INNOVATION BUILDING ON EDUCATION

ACS does not create jobs for chemists. Nor are we consulted as decisions are made to add, cut, or outsource jobs overseas. But we are not powerless. Creating and preserving jobs requires an environment where opportunity for chemists thrives here, because here is the best place to practice chemistry. We can and must work toward sustaining an environment in which chemists and chemistry can flourish.

What are the challenges?

We are entering a period of profound change. The age of plentiful cheap oil is probably past its peak. Climate change and other environmental concerns are causing us to reevaluate social and commercial policies and practices that we have taken for granted for a century. But it is at this pivotal moment that the U.S. is in danger of ceding scientific and technological leadership, and the jobs that go with it, to emerging or already strong systems in Asia and Europe.

What’s the solution?

Chemists are the solution! The challenges ahead of us in the next few decades, such as resource and materials transitions and global environmental management, are fundamentally issues that will be addressed through chemistry. Chemistry and chemical innovators are the keys that will enable us to retool and remold our economy as we adapt to more sustainable lifestyles, without sacrificing our quality of life.

What’s stopping us and what can we do about it?

First, let’s face it, chemistry has a poor reputation. To most people, “chemical” is still nearly synonymous with “poison.”

We need to rebrand chemistry!

Fortunately, the challenges confronting us are also our opportunity to do so. ACS is uniquely positioned to help reshape both perception and policy as we innovate and educate our way into the future. The public and policymakers may not fully grasp the connection, but chemists understand the depth of our reliance on traditional resources that will be less available and more expensive going forward. It’s chemists that will enable us to maintain or improve our quality of life while simultaneously reducing our footprint on the environment. This is our opportunity to recast the image of chemistry! As a member of the ACS Board of Directors, I will work to ensure that that opportunity is not missed. I will work to promote policies that

◾ Foster innovation and create opportunities for chemists and chemical industries

◾ Make sure that chemistry gets the credit that is properly its due

Second, the pipeline that sustains our profession is not flowing as it should. The cost of a college education in the U.S. is approaching levels that will put it out of reach for many Americans. Fewer graduates mean fewer skilled future employees, innovators, and entrepreneurs to sustain our profession and move us forward as we address the challenges ahead. Erosion of our education system discourages corporations from investing here, further shifting jobs to where the availability of skilled workers is better ensured.

We need to reinvigorate U.S. higher education!

Policymakers and the public need to be reminded that our current prosperity has been built by a highly educated workforce. ACS needs to make affordable education a policy priority. As a member of the board of directors, I will work toward making that the case.

We need leadership to take us there!

The critical task of the board of directors is to position ACS to continue to thrive in the future as it has in the past.

This requires leadership that understands the society and has the breadth of experience necessary to foresee the challenges and opportunities ahead of us and the skills needed to overcome those challenges and grasp those opportunities.

My own background includes experience in

◾ Industry

◾ Government

◾ Academia

I have been a division leader and councilor; I have served on society committees and task forces, including the task forces that led to increases in financial support for local sections and divisions. I have experience as both an employee of large organizations and as an entrepreneur and employer (having recently established a green chemistry company). I believe that my background positions me well to work with the other members of the ACS Board and Council to ensure that as the society moves forward, it does so in a manner that will enable both our society and our profession to prosper as we fulfill the obligation of our charter, “to foster public welfare and education, aid the development of our country’s industries, and add to the material prosperity and happiness of our people.”

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