It’s that time of year when, for many of us, we renew our membership in the American Chemical Society, ACS. Each year, for me at least, I weigh the pros and cons of remaining a member in my professional society – even though I have been a member for 34 years. Each year I ask myself, what do I get from being a member of this organization. For me, at least, membership in the society is much more than the tangible benefits I receive, e.g., Chemical & Engineering News, opportunities for professional development, and reduced costs for journals being chief among these. For me, the intangible benefits of belonging to the largest professional society in the world and the opportunity to share ideas and time with others that have pursued chemistry as a career are much more important.

Even now, when I spend much less time “doing chemistry”, I find the benefits of belonging to the ACS to be well worth the investment of dollars. However, for me, the investment of time is much more valuable and beneficial in terms of personal growth and development. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with my ACS colleagues and look forward to excellent discussions and debates. I don’t see eye-to-eye with all of my ACS colleagues but I truly appreciate the opportunity to discuss ideas related both to the workings of the Society as well as scientific concepts and ideas that are so important to life as we know it.

I want to encourage you to renew your own membership in the ACS. And, please take note of the new membership categories available to you, https://www.acs.org/content/dam/acsorg/membership/guide-to-membership.pdf. You may find that you can save some money and still receive those benefits that are important to you.

I also want to encourage you to include membership in the Cleveland Local Section as part of your membership dues. Every dollar paid for Local Section membership is returned to the Local Section. The $15 cost is not huge but is money that will be used for our activities. Perhaps you will opt for a new dues category that will save you money for the national dues – why not give some of that savings back to the Local Section.

I hope everyone stays healthy in this new year and that we all may find a way to return to how we used to function. We have all adapted in some way to the virus that has overwhelmed much of the world. I, however, am looking forward to those personal interactions with friends and colleagues. Stay safe please reach out if I can ever be of assistance with questions related to ACS.

Mike Kenney
Councilor – Cleveland Local Section
American Chemical Society