Chair’s Message, November 2016

The success on October 21st of the second Monterey Bay ACS event of 2016 leads us to believe that we have a keeper in this vibrant ACS subsection. On that day over 50 chemistry-minded people gathered at the Moss Landing Marine Labs to learn about the migration of mercury from sea to land. Speaker Dr. Kenneth Coale raised our awareness of mercury transpeciation, its sources and its history.   The dinner-lecture event drew attendance primarily from the Monterey Bay area, particularly from the surrounding 5 schools: Hartnell College (Salinas), Cabrillo College (Aptos), Monterey Peninsula College, Cal State Monterey Bay, and UC Santa Cruz.   Half of the attendees were students attending an ACS event for the first time, opening their eyes and minds to the benefits of a professional organization. 2017 events are already being planned by the new Monterey Bay ACS lead organizer, Dr. Slava Bekker of Hartnell College. She welcomes your input on speakers and venues.

November is election month not only at the local and federal levels, but also for ACS sections. This year our Santa Clara Valley ballot bears, in addition to familiar names, many new names. Our local section welcomes newcomers with fresh ideas for a vibrant local chemistry community where your influence is felt. In early November, as a local ACS member you should have received an email from VoteNow, the ACS-contracted electronic voting service. Contact us if you did not.

Also on this year’s SCVACS ballot is the vote on the section’s name change, from Santa Clara Valley ACS to Silicon Valley ACS. We queried our SCVACS membership earlier this year to test the sentiment on such a name change. Here’s what you will see on the ballot, reflecting membership feedback:

The Section is requesting a name change because the current name describes a geography that is little known in the country. Better recognized is the location of Silicon Valley, which sprawls across the Santa Clara Valley and beyond.

The geographical extent of the Santa Clara Valley does not represent the majority of the Section that stretches from South San Francisco through Monterey Bay.

The Section’s growing population along both the San Francisco Bay and the Monterey Bay is better described by the term “Silicon Valley” which also more accurately reflects the nature of the livelihoods in the region. The Santa Clara Valley had a legacy of apricot, cherry, and prune production before high tech industry replaced it as the dominant economic force in the area.

A preliminary poll regarding the proposed name change was taken earlier this year: E-mails were sent to the entire Section membership soliciting feedback on the proposal. The majority of responses were in favor of the new name, with many having been under the impression that the Section was already named the Silicon Valley ACS!

The Santa Clara Valley Section proposes to change the name of the section from Santa Clara Valley, to Silicon Valley, whereupon it will become known as the Silicon Valley Section of the American Chemical Society.

At the bottom of the ballot you will have the opportunity to cast your preference: 

Please check one:

______ I support the proposed name change by the Santa Clara Valley Section.

______ I oppose the proposed name change.

______ No opinion.

Be an influence on your local ACS section’s activities  : vote!

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