Well, we survived 2021—although to be honest, it wasn’t as bad as 2020! We are slowly seeing our society, and our Society, return to normal, although many of us suspect that it will be a while before everything returns to pre-pandemic conditions.
Let me start by thanking the 2021 Executive Committee for its efforts and deliberations throughout the year. The deliberations were especially challenging as we contemplated resuming face-to-face meetings while new variants and waves of COVID infections appeared. And while we find that we are still not completely out of the woods, I am certain that we have the hardware, software, peopleware, and expertise in the Cleveland Section to continue bringing our programs to our members and the general public in a safe manner.
Thanks also to Bob Fowler and his NCW Committee (Helen Mayer, Katie Arendt, Lois Kuhns, Mark Waner, Robert Williams, Mike Nichols, Shermila Singham, Susan Wang, and Vince Opaskar) as well as Julia Boxler, Robert Rua, Michael Peltier, Shawn Turner, and Bridget Hawes of the Cuyahoga County Public Library for their outstanding efforts once again in bringing a National Chemistry Week experience to hundreds of 2nd – 6th graders. Two hundred kits were handed out and there was a waiting list! This year, thanks to the support of the Executive Committee, we made a small donation to CCPL as a gesture of thanks for over three decades (three decades!) of partnership.
We had some memorable events in 2021! We did a first-ever online chemistry trivia contest for our February meeting, and some of our members astounded us with their knowledge of the arcane chemical! In May we honored our 2021 Morley medalist, Prof. David N. Beratan, currently the R. J. Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Duke University. In September we had our joint meeting with the Akron section (as a hybrid meeting), and we ended the year with a meeting at an axe-throwing parlor in Parma that has actually caught the attention of the national organization! So despite the current public health issues, Cleveland ACS did its best to provide opportunities for our members.
Cleveland ACS works because of the volunteers who believe in our mission: supporting chemistry and its impact on people and society. If you want to contribute to that mission, please contact any member of the Executive Committee. We always need new input and perspectives!
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s been a privilege to work with you. Please do what you can to stay well. (Or, as they say in Latin, “Mea navis aëricumbens anguillis abundant!”)
David W. Ball