WOMEN WIN NATIONAL AWARDS!

by Despina Strong

Recently, C&E News published the 2022 ACS National Award winners. The 2022 winners include chemists from governmental institutions, industry, and academia with several winners from organizations outside the USA. This diverse winner pool reflects the Society’s attention to diversity and inclusion. The Women Chemists Committee (WCC) enthusiastically congratulates all National Award recipients.

The WCC is pleased to see a record number of women winning a National Award in a technical category in the tenure of the award. Listed below are the four women who were the first female recipient for these National Awards:

    1. Sarah E. O’Connor (Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology), recipient of the Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products.
    2. Pamela G. Marrone (Marrone Bio Innovations), recipient of the Kathryn C. Hach Award for Entrepreneurial Success.
    3. Kim M. Baines (Western University), recipient of the Frederic Stanley Kipping Award in Silicon Chemistry.
    4. Vivian W.-W. Yam (The University of Hong Kong), recipient of the Josef Michl ACS Award in Photochemistry.

In addition to the above winners, the WCC congratulates women listed as an individual recipient or as part of a team award in this year’s award cycle.

    1. Jennifer E. Lewis (University of South Florida), recipient of the ACS Award for Achievement in Research for the Teaching and Learning of Chemistry.
    2. Kimberly M. Jackson (Spelman College), recipient of the ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences.
    3. Mindy Levine (Ariel University), recipient of the ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences.
    4. Suzanne Guerra (Dow) recipient of the ACS Award for Team Innovation.
    5. Frances S. Ligler (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University), recipient of the ACS Award in Analytical Chemistry,
    6. Susan M. Kauzlarich (University of California, Davisa), recipient of the ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry.
    7. Gabriela S. Schlau-Cohen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), recipient of the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry.
    8. Zhenan Bao (Stanford University), recipient of the ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials.
    9. Véronique Gouverneur (University of Oxford), recipient of the Arthur C. Cope Award.
    10. Marisa C. Kozlowski (University of Pennsylvania), Alison Narayan (University of Michigan), Emma Parmee (Janssen Pharmaceuticals), Theresa M. Reineke (University of Minnesota), and Jennifer M. Schomaker (University of Wisconsin–Madison), recipients of the Arthur C. Cope Scholars Award.
    11. Abigail G. Doyle (University of California, Los Angeles), recipient of the Elias J. Corey Award for Outstanding Original Contribution in Organic Synthesis by a Young Investigator.
    12. Anne B. McCoy (University of Washington), recipient of the Francis P. Garvan–John M. Olin Medal.
    13. Jin-Quan Yu (Scripps Research), recipient of the Gabor A. Somorjai Award for Creative Research in Catalysis.
    14. Carolyn J. Anderson (University of Missouri), recipient of the Glenn T. Seaborg Award for Nuclear Chemistry.
    15. Alice Putti (Jenison High School), recipient of the James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching.
    16. Jennifer L. Maclachlan (PID Analyzers), recipient of the James T. Grady–James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public.
    17. Alicia J. Angelbello (Scripps Research), student recipient of the Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry.
    18. Heather C. Allen (Ohio State University), recipient of the Irving Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics.

In this year’s award cycle, women were honored in twenty-two (22) different National Awards. Besides recognized for service or as part of a team, women are now more consistently honored in individual technical awards. In the last 6 years, 11 National Awards have female recipients at least three times:

    1. ACS Award for Achievement in Research for the Teaching and Learning of Chemistry (4 out of the last 6 years)
    2. ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry (last 3 years in a row)
    3. ACS Award in Pure Chemistry (last 4 years in a row)
    4. ACS Award in Surface Chemistry (4 out of the last 6 years)
    5. Alfred Bader Award in Bioinorganic or Bioorganic Chemistry (4 out of the last 6 years)
    6. Earle B. Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management (4 out of the last 6 years)
    7. Elias J. Corey Award for Outstanding Original Contribution in Organic Synthesis by a Young Investigator (3 out of the last 6 years)
    8. Frank H. Field and Joe L. Franklin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Mass Spectrometry (5 out of the last 6 years)
    9. Glenn T. Seaborg Award for Nuclear Chemistry (last 3 years in a row)
    10. James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching (3 out of the last 6 years)
    11. Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry (3 out of the last 6 years)

Since 2016, women won fourteen (14) awards previously not awarded to a female chemist. This progress is significant since there are sixty-seven (67) different awards granted by the Society, some of which were instituted over 50 or 60 years ago. Change would not be possible without advocates who nominate females for these awards, adjustments in the award selection committee, and individuals who push for change.

Work is needed to create and maintain an award structure ensuring equality for all. The WCC is committed to breaking down barriers through continuing to encourage nominations for all national awards, to promote nominations for women of color and from industry, and to investigate systemic issues within ACS policies and award selection processes. By working together, we can create an award cycle which celebrates the chemical enterprise and Society’s diversity.

Article by Anna Sromek