About our section

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is the world’s largest scientific society. Founded in 1876 and chartered by Congress, the American Chemical Society is a non-profit scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of chemistry in the public interest. The Silicon Valley Section has about 2800 members and is one of 189 sections across the nation serving the Society’s nearly 160,000 members.

The Silicon Valley Section includes five counties: San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey and was formed and incorporated in May 1955 as Santa Clara Valley Section. Its neighbor and parent is the California Section, with headquarters in San Leandro. In the state of California, there are ten local sections with membership totaling more than 12,000. In August 2017, the Santa Clara Valley Section changed its name to Silicon Valley Section.

In addition to the 189 local sections, ACS members participate in 32 divisions that serve the principal areas of chemical science and technology and associated fields. The major activity of the ACS is gathering and distributing chemical and chemically related information. Each year, nearly 1,500 meetings are held at local, regional, divisional, and national levels provide the exchange of information vital to science.

In addition to local, regional, and division meetings, there are two national ACS meetings each year, with over 10,000 attendees and about 5,000 technical papers presented. Check with the National Organization’s web site for more information.


The Silicon Valley section administrates many programs using funds primarily from local section members and the National organization. In addition to monthly meetings and newsletters, we participate in National Chemistry Week, the Chemistry Olympiad, and a High School Chemistry Competition. In addition, we present several awards during the year including the Mosher Award, the Radding Award, the Ottenberg Award and our new, first-in-the-nation Teacher Scholar Award for Community College Chemistry Faculty. We are always looking for volunteers for these and others programs. If you are interested, you can contact any of the people on the back of your newsletter or the web committee.


The American Chemical Society is governed by elected national officers, a 16-member board of directors, and a nearly 500-member council. Other volunteers hold office and guide the Society’s 189 local sections, established in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and abroad. Volunteers also work in the 32 divisions of the ACS that serve the principal areas of chemical sciences and technology and associated fields. The Society’s national offices in Washington, DC employ about 500 people, and the Columbus, Ohio office, which produces Chemical Abstracts and provides related services, employs a separate staff of 1,400 people.

Because of its size (about 2800 members), the Silicon Valley Section has seven Councilors and seven Alternate Councilors. Every local section has at least one Councilor. Divisions also have Councilors distributed so that Division Councilors constitute one-fourth of the ACS Council.