Annual Report 2023


Highlights of ACS Achievements

The American Chemical Society (ACS) seeks to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and all its people. In carrying out this mission, the Society is guided by five goals, which shape the products, programs and services that ACS provides. Here are some of the highlights associated with each goal in 2023:

Goal 1: Provide Information Solutions

ACS reinforced its position as a leading source of scientific information in 2023.

  • The Society acquired ChronosHub to improve the publishing experience for authors. This open-access management platform streamlines publishing workflows and ensures effective collaboration among researchers, institutions, funders and journal publishers.
  • The ACS Publications division published more than 64,000 peer-reviewed articles in 2023 (up 7% from the prior year) and readers downloaded more than 305 million full-text articles (an increase of 17%). Approximately one quarter of the division’s total journal content was published open access. New journals launched in 2023 included ACS ES&T AirACS Sustainable Resource Management and Chemical & Biomedical Imaging (a partnership with Nanjing University). Global representation was broadened through the appointment of international scientists to key journal posts and the introduction of new content development editors and expanded authoring and review services for researchers in Asia.
  • CAS further enhanced its solutions for accelerating scientific innovation. Examples included improved visualization, patent analysis and personalization capabilities. The division also continued rollout of its new life sciences content, which began in late 2022 as one of the Society’s four strategic initiatives.
  • Another of these initiatives, the ACS Campaign for a Sustainable Future, had several notable successes. In partnership with Beyond Benign and the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale, it launched the Green Chemistry for Sustainability platform. The site is intended to connect people and resources globally to accelerate research, innovation and commercialization of sustainable chemical processes and products.
  • ACS hosted the 2023 Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference in Long Beach, California, on the theme, “Closing the Loop: Chemistry for a Sustainable Future.” The 2nd Annual ACS Sustainability Summit: Reimagining Chemistry Education was held as a hybrid event in collaboration with Beyond Benign. And two new sustainability-related grant programs were established, awarding 12 grants totaling $500,000.
  • The ACS Petroleum Research Fund awarded 190 research grants totaling nearly $20 million for projects that advance fundamental research in the hydrocarbon field. More than half of the program’s funds supported proposals related to sustainability.
  • Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) celebrated its centennial with a special issue covering 10 consequential events, discoveries and developments of the past century, as well as future challenges. C&EN also hosted centennial festivities at the ACS spring and fall meetings.

Goal 2: Empower Members and Member Communities

ACS supported its members by introducing greater flexibility and inclusivity in its programs, and by hosting multiple scientific events and broadening the tools available for community outreach.

  • Thanks to these initiatives, the Society ended 2023 with more than 200,000 individuals in our global membership community in 177 countries. Growth was driven by a series of campaigns focused on member acquisitions and upgrades, along with increased global engagement. The Society also modified membership rules to foster a more inclusive and adaptable experience. One example was the removal of the age restriction for emeritus status.
  • ACS International Chemical Sciences Chapters began receiving annual allotments in 2023. These funds are intended to better support ACS global communities and to promote diversity and inclusion through international membership. In addition, a petition to add international representation on the ACS Board of Directors was ratified in 2023. An international district director will join the board in 2025, providing a global perspective and allowing the board to better reflect ACS membership.
  • ACS and its members hosted numerous events that drew the chemical sciences community together in 2023. They included ACS on Campus events, regional meetings and the spring and fall ACS meetings. The Society began implementing plans to make the spring and fall meetings more engaging by incorporating hot or late-breaking topics, including distinguished speakers and optimizing the meeting footprint, among other improvements. Initial investments were made in technology and infrastructure to support this initiative.
  • Members were aided in their public outreach efforts through programs such as National Chemistry Week and the launch of a new website for Chemistry Outreach Activities. The site offers a collection of hands-on and stage demonstration experiments that chemists can use for in-person or virtual community outreach. In addition, several workshops were held to equip ACS members with tools to nurture trust in science and scientists during discussions with nonscientists.

Goal 3: Support Excellence in Education

The Society invested in several resources that support education and training for students, teachers, faculty and technical professionals.

Goal 4: Communicate Chemistry's Value

ACS shared information about chemistry through advocacy as well as press releases, podcasts, videos and other outreach efforts.

  • The Society advocated on several policy positions with the Biden administration in 2023. Areas of focus included the federal STEM strategic plan, an EPA proposed ban on methylene chloride, federal agencies’ open access plans, and the federal sustainable chemistry strategic plan. In addition, ACS partnered with the STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine) Opportunity Alliance. Launched by the Biden administration, this alliance coordinates activities across U.S. government, business and organizations to drive change in the nation's STEMM ecosystem by expanding access and opportunities.
  • Through contact with the media, ACS achieved a 7% increase in coverage in 2023, with nearly 80,000 news stories highlighting the Society’s activities and research published in its journals or presented at its meetings. Much of this coverage stemmed from press releases and Headline Science videos.
  • ACS saw increased engagement with its efforts to promote the value of chemistry through other multimedia products, growing its reach with diverse, younger audiences. The Reactions video series drew 9.5 million views, driven mainly by the successful “Shorts” program. The Tiny Matters podcast doubled its downloads in 2023. And the ACS Webinars team increased engagement with more attendees and greater viewership of its recordings.
  • As part of its efforts to enhance public appreciation for the contributions of chemistry to modern life, the Society also dedicated four new National Historic Chemical Landmarks.

Goal 5: Embrace and Advance Inclusion in Chemistry

ACS moved ahead with several programs to promote DEIR.

  • The 2023 Diversity Leaders Summit brought together more than 40 participants from industry, academia, government and societies. Attendees discussed ways to support DEIR in the chemical enterprise and identified top priorities. A LinkedIn group was created after the conference to address these priorities and encourage continued engagement.
  • ACS hosted the inaugural ACS Bridge Career Conference in New Orleans, in partnership with Genentech Foundation and Xavier University of Louisiana. The conference drew together 150 ACS Bridge fellows, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars underrepresented in the chemical sciences to provide career planning tools and strategies and to offer opportunities for community building.
  • In 2023, 27 ACS Science Talks were held. The virtual lecture series featured speakers from 15 countries and attracted approximately 20,000 registrants worldwide.  
  • ACS’ Office of DEIR presented three webinars to promote inclusion. “No More Hidden Figures: Being Seen, Heard, and Influencing Chemistry as Black Women” focused on ACS Board members Teri Quinn Gray, Malika Jefferies-EL and Kimberly Agnew-Heard. “An Insider Outsider Journey: Life Reflections” featured Nobel Laureate Carolyn Bertozzi. And ACS member Armando Rivera-Figueroa appeared in Transforming Challenges into Opportunities: Mentors, Imposter Syndrome, and Diversity.
  • Several resources were released during 2023 to support DEIR efforts. They included a tip sheet to assist ACS staff and members in creating meaningful partnerships with underserved communities, as well as the DEIR Snapshot self-evaluation tool for undergraduate chemistry programs. It combines a short survey that chairs can distribute to administrators, faculty, staff and students, along with a follow-up summary of survey responses aggregated into a simple-to-read graphic showing high and low points of the DEIR climate.

Further details about these and other accomplishments can be found online in the “2023 Highlights of ACS Achievements.”