The ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry has announced a proposed name change: Division of Drug Discovery.
I am a former Medicinal Chemistry Division chair and former editor of Annual Reports in Medicinal Chemistry (ARMC). Though retired, I am still a member of the division and still intellectually involved.
I have carefully read the rationale for changing the name of the division and frankly find it lacking. Chemistry is chemistry whether one is synthesizing peptides, small molecules, oligonucleotides, or whatever. Medicinal chemists have always been versed in biology and interacted with other disciplines. Likewise, ARMC has always included topics in biology and other related disciplines relevant to drug discovery.
One sentence in the “rationale” summed up what this is really all about: “This revised description of the Division can potentially address one of its most pressing threats: stagnant membership associated with contraction of the industrial R&D organizations, limiting the ability of the Division to provide the range of services attractive to members.”
I encourage my fellow medicinal chemists to contact Eric Walters, the secretary of the division, and ACS with their views. This is a watershed event. We should not remain silent and allow only division members who attend the ACS national meeting in Indianapolis in September to decide our fate.
Richard C. AllenI have lots of thoughts on this issue, but (as you can tell) I am a little pressed for time today. Here are (some of) my thoughts:
- I am really glad that MEDI has recognized that they have a problem.
- That said, it seems to me that they've chosen an odd solution -- did people really think that by changing their name, that they'd attract more members?
- I also briefly read the summary of their executive committee discussion; lots of #chemjobs talk in there that I need to address. Also, a lot of talk about younger chemists and attracting them to MEDI.
- Might I suggest that the reason that there aren't very many younger MEDI members is that the industry has seemingly quit hiring large numbers of entry-level medicinal chemists?