Despite the unusual heat and humidity that turned Boston into a sweaty mess, nearly 14,000 chemists gathered in the historical city this week to provide a refreshing new perspective on how innovation has changed the world.

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SHINING Project SEED student Nicole Taylor describes her research to Sandra Tillen at SciMix. Credit: Linda Wang

Hosting the 250th celebration of the American Chemical Society national meeting and exposition, Boston—being the birthplace of Benjamin Franklin—was a fitting venue for the theme, “Innovation from Discovery to Application.”

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STAR POWER Whitesides shares a moment with Leo (left) and Wyatt (right) Johnson. Credit: Linda Wang

During a packed ACS Board of Directors Open Session, one of chemistry’s star innovators, George Whitesides, challenged the audience to help “reengineer chemistry” so that it doesn’t become irrelevant in these rapidly changing times.

Whitesides, who is a professor at Harvard University, also delivered the Fred Kavli Innovations in Chemistry Lecture. Rising star and nanostructured materials expert William Dichtel of Cornell University delivered the Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecture.

Chemists looked toward the future, but also celebrated the past. Special symposia and receptions honored the 50th anniversary of ACS’s leadership development program; the 20th anniversary of the ACS Scholars program; the 35th anniversary of the Committee on Chemists with Disabilities; the 25th anniversary of the American Disabilities Act; and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Henry Aaron Hill, ACS’s first African American president.

#ACSBoston by the Numbers

Attendance: 13,888 (as of Tuesday, Aug. 18)

Papers presented: 9,291

Exhibiting companies: 329

Job seekers at the ACS Career Fair: 846

Employers at the ACS Career Fair: 58

Positions available at the ACS Career Fair: 229

In society news, the ACS Board of Directors voted to reauthorize funding for the ACS Science Coaches program, as well as authorize a new program funding request for the ACS Festival series of community outreach events, among other actions.

During the ACS Council meeting, the council approved an amendment to the ACS Bylaws to allow for preferential balloting in elections for nominees and candidates to achieve a majority of votes to win an ACS election, such as for President-Elect. Preferential voting is used when there are more than two candidates for office.

The Committee on Budget & Finance reported that ACS’s projected 2015 revenues will reach $512.1 million and net contribution from operations will total $15.5 million.

The council also approved the formation of five new international chemical sciences chapters: United Arab Emirates, Peru, Nigeria, Brazil, and Australia.—Linda Wang

Written by Amanda Yarnell