SCI America members include many of the movers and shakers of the global chemical industry, and it is therefore encouraging to see that they are in good heart.
I visited New York for a series of meetings on 8 March, including the Executive Committee meeting of SCI America, and was pleased to hear positive feedback about the state of the industry and the activities of the America International Group.
Sunil Kumar, the outgoing Chair, reported that membership remained level, with 428 members from 37 companies, finances in a sound position and activities well subscribed during 2010. Several new companies will be joining in 2011. At this meeting, our Honorary President, 2010-2012, Dr Stephanie Burns (pictured), assumed the role of 2011 Chair of SCI America, so she will be strongly focused on SCI over the coming year.
SCI America's scholarship programme is expanding, with 28 undergraduate scholars selected for 2011. Scholars also nominate outstanding teachers who have inspired and encouraged them in their studies, and this element of the programme has proved very successful, generating a good level of publicity.
SCI America also celebrates success in the advancement of the application of chemical sciences by granting three major awards: the Perkin Medal and the Gordon E Moore Medal, which are awarded at events in Philadelphia in September. Also, the Chemical Industry Award, which was awarded on 8 March 2011 to J Brian Ferguson, the retired CEO and Chairman of Eastman Chemical Company, during a formal dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. I was fortunate to be able to attend the dinner and enjoy an inspiring speech from a man who clearly had a passion for his career at Eastman Chemical and was justly proud of the achievements of the company over that time. See below for our Member Insight interview with J Brian Ferguson.
It was a great pleasure to be able to meet such a wide range of chemical industry giants in one room under the SCI banner. SCI America members are generally senior representatives of global corporations such as DuPont, ExxonMobil, LANXESS and Air Liquide - they do say that if you want something done you should ask a busy person!
Look out for more updates on SCI America and case studies on their members in future.
Joanne Lyall, SCI Executive Director 2010-13