|parody of cover of C&EN 11/2/09 issue|
Some things I think other people think about ACS/C&EN:
1. Why do I keep giving money to this organization? What have they done for me lately?
3. Who is this organization run for and by, the individual bench chemist, the academic community or industry?
4. C&EN's focus on the job market seems to happen about 4 times a year -- why don't they realize that we're hurting 52 weeks a year here?
5. Who is this organization run for, the global community or domestic chemists?
Speaking for myself, the Society sometimes seems a bit monolithic and divorced from the concerns of its individual members.* I think the leadership could do a better job of communicating to chemists about what they're doing, where the dues money is going and why they believe that they're working in the best interests of chemists. I don't think members understand the structure of ACS, how it's governed or what it does. I don't think they know how much or how little power their local ACS regional representative has, or how he or she relates to the larger structure.
In the end, though, the core dissatisfaction with the Society and its newsmagazine comes from the structure and (terrible) state of the chemistry job market. That's one thing that can't be easily fixed by anyone.
*I should note here that my interactions with individual ACS/C&EN staffers has been tremendously, extraordinarily helpful -- they've been so willing to respond to cold e-mails with lots and lots of information.