Chemical Information Bulletin, Volume 46, Number 3, Summer 1994 Page: 1
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As I began to prepare this message, my first thought was to urge you once more to attend the first
National Chemical Information Symposium (NCIS) in Vermont in June. Then I checked the dates and
realized that you will not be reading this issue of the Bulletin until after the NCIS is over, and hopefully
it is remembered as a resounding success. Instead, it is now time to call your attention to what is
happening at the next ACS National Meeting in Washington in August. By habit we persist in calling
this the "Fall Meeting" even though Washington is likely to be very un-autumnal at that time. But
relief from the heat will be available in many air-conditioned rooms in the Washington Convention
Center and the major hotels, most of them very conveniently located for convention goers, and this
August meeting should provide a good opportunity to get recharged for the challenges that will meet
us in the real autumn that follows it.
CINF programming at the Washington meeting offers us an intriguing mix of the theoretical and the
practical. The theoretical aspects will be especially strong in the Sunday afternoon symposium on
"Ordering and Classification of Chemical Concepts" and in the Skolnik Award Symposium on Tuesday
afternoon which honors Professor A. T. Balaban for his pioneering work in applications of graph theory
to chemical problems. Some more day-to-day practical problems will be addressed in Monday's programs
on intellectual property and copyright issues, especially those involved in electronic publishing,
and in Wednesday's programs on competitive intelligence and patent citation analysis.
In addition to CINF technical programs in Washington, we will have two receptions, a welcoming reception
on Sunday evening and the Skolnik Award reception on Tuesday. We also look forward to
the rare experience of having our Division Luncheon addressed by a Nobel laureate, Professor Roald
Hoffman of Cornell University. I urge you to get your luncheon tickets in advance, as they may be
harder to get onsite than is usually the case.
The ACS Divisional Activities office each year supplies Divisions with counts of their members and
also some demographic data about their membership which can make very interesting reading. CINF
in 1993 had a total of 1406 members and affiliates, a figure that has changed very little for several
years. While it is good not to be shrinking, we are not showing the growth that some Divisions are.
Among other figures, we discover that CINF membership is 61% male and 90% U.S. residents, and
77% were chemistry majors - no real surprises there. A less reassuring item of data is that 84% of
CINF members are aged 36 or over, and the median age is between 46 and 50. Just two years earlier
the proportion that were 36 or over was 78%, so it has risen by 6% of total members in just two
years; we definitely seem to be a graying group. This can perhaps be interpreted as a consequence
of current technological and economic trends which will inevitably reduce the importance of the chemical
information profession. But it may also indicate that we have become too complacent about
recruiting new members, especially those who are new to our professional area, and even more, about
involving them early in positions of responsibility so that they stay committed to CINF. Each of us
can take some responsibility for making our colleagues aware of CINF programs and activities and
urging them to check us out. We can be looking for new people who are able to take on the Committee
seats and other assignments that are vital to the success of a Division, and can be stepping
forward ourselves to seek and accept new responsibilities. Our decline may be starting, but I do not
think that it is preordained or inevitable. If CINF is a valuable part of our professional lives, then all
of us need to take part in keeping it a vital and rewarding organization.
Gerry Vander Stouw
CHEMICAL INFORMATION BULLETIN 1
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American Chemical Society. Division of Chemical Information. Chemical Information Bulletin, Volume 46, Number 3, Summer 1994, periodical, Summer 1994; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5644/m1/3/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .