Lane A. Baker

Indiana University


James F. Jackson Professor of Chemistry

B.S., 1996, Missouri State University
Ph.D., 2001, Texas A&M University

Welcome from the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Chair

October 1, 2018

Dear ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Members,

I would like to thank you for the opportunity to serve this term as the 2018 Chair for the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry (ANYL). In working with the program committee for the last few years, I have learned more about the important work the Division does in representing the field on the national stage. The vision of the Division is “To shape the future through advancing the science of chemical characterization and measurement.” Within this vision is a core mission – “To promote the science of analytical chemistry and the careers of its practitioners by providing enhanced professional opportunities, educating members and society, and building bridges between scientific fields.”  These are laudable goals that we strive to achieve in the Division.  I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to some of the specific ways the Division supports their mission and to also give my personal perspective related to a number of questions that frequently come up related to the Division.

First, questions. The most frequent question that comes up is along the lines of – “Why should I join the Division? What is the value proposition? What can the Division do for me?” The answer to this is really quite clear. If Chemistry is the central science, then there is a good case to be made that Analytical Chemistry is the central discipline within Chemistry. In the US, the ACS is *the* major body that represents the interests of career chemists. Within the ACS, the Division level is the place to represent, develop and grow the field of analytical chemistry. The Division is an easy, low-effort route to have your voice heard and to build the field in which you practice. It doesn’t matter if you were formally trained as an analytical chemist, or if you arrived here by subsequent fortunate events, the analytical community is by far the most welcoming, open area of Chemistry, and the Division can be a great place to augment your career. So the answer to the question is a question. Instead of asking “What can the Division do for me?” – one might consider – “What can I do for the Division?”  When you join, work with, and participate in the Division you are helping yourself – one just has to be far-sighted enough to see it!

The other commonly encountered questions are “Who is the Division? and “What does the Division do?” (I especially enjoy these questions from faculty who either have received awards the Division makes or have had students supported on Division fellowships!)  At a coarse level – the Division represents approximately 7000 members who identify in some way with Analytical Chemistry. Members from education (high school to post-secondary, students to instructors), industry, government labs, professional organizations, retirees and more.  At a finer, functional level – the Division is facilitated by an Executive Committee that rotates frequently and is comprised of elected, appointed and volunteer positions. The members of these committees perform a number of important tasks that benefit the field of Analytical Chemistry – for example:

*We communicate science and the most recent advances in Analytical Chemistry by organizing and sponsoring Division programming at each ACS National Meeting. This includes symposia, award symposia, and poster sessions. Each year we provide an opportunity for 800-900 presentations to be made.

*We honor our members through Division awards programs. These include the following awards:
– Award in Electrochemistry
– Award in Spectrochemical Analysis
– Calvin Giddings Award for Excellence in Education
– Arthur F. Findeis Award for Achievements by a Young Analytical Scientist
– Award in Chemical Instrumentation
– Young Investigator in Separation Science
– The Roland F. Hirsch Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Analytical Chemistry
Additionally, with the support of our sponsors, we are happy to offer Graduate Fellowships that support year-long and summer research of excellent students.

*In collaboration with the journals Analytical Chemistry, Journal of Proteome Research, ACS Sensors and The Pittsburgh Conference, we award annual Measurement Science Lectureships – an international symposium celebrating excellence in measurement science, awarded at Pittcon each year.

*In collaboration with chemjobber, we provide a curated job-posting board to list open positions in analytical chemistry : https://acsanalytical.org/careers/

*We support local meetings and symposia – for instance Regional ACS meetings and other special symposia identified by the membership.

*We advocate for the rights of analytical chemists and work to promote a fair, engaging environment for science, regardless of sex, age, gender, race, etc.

With a clearer answer to these basic questions, Why? Who? What? of the Division, the more important question of – Where is the future of the Division headed? – comes to the surface. In the Fall of 2019, the Division will hold a strategic planning meeting to address our future – specifically, how the Division can accomplish the following four goals identified from a recent member survey : (1) recruit, promote, retain young division members; (2) provide a stronger voice to advocate for diversity; (3) grow networking opportunities for members; and (4) enhance programming at National/Regional ACS meetings, and even beyond the ACS.  We hope to make concrete steps towards addressing these challenges, so look for opportunities to participate in new Division programs and activities in the near future.

I wanted to point to two interesting caveats related to participating in the Division that not everyone realizes – you can be a member of the Division of Analytical Chemistry ($16) without being a member of the ACS ($171, regular membership).  And – for a limited time – we are offering free membership to students, so sign up here! : https://acsanalytical.org/the-division/join/

So with all of this in mind, today, the present, is an important time for the Division. We – and by we I mean all Division members – have an opportunity to set an agenda, to chart a course, and to develop tools to serve analytical chemists. If you want to participate, comment or (even better) get your hands dirty, let us know!

Lane A. Baker
Chair, ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405