Dropouts Alarm Chemical Society

Is the American Chemical Society (ACS) facing a membership crisis? Virtually stagnant growth in the ACS has prompted the group to forgo an increase in its $82 annual dues and to reexamine how it is perceived by its members. According to Attila E. Pavlath, chairman of the ACS membership committee, the 137,000-member organization gained only a net total of 14 new members last year. The preliminary findings of his study on the drop in renewals shows that the group is more likely to keep Ph.D.’s than those without advanced degrees. In addition, members seem to be jumping ship to join more specialized professional organizations, like those catering to electrochemical engineers. At the ACS April meeting in Dallas, a warning from Pavlath. that some members were balking at the cost of remaining in the society persuaded the leadership not to raise dues for the first time since...

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