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5/15/07

American Chemical Society Reverses Decision, Reinstates Iranian Members


After months of collective substantive input on the part of the Iranian-American, and the broader American scientific communities, The American Chemistry Society has now revered its January's unilateral decision and in effect has reinstated the membership to chemist members in Iran. What follows herein is a follow up by the Committee which worked on this endeavor, for further media posting, other dissemination, and follow ups.  

   

May 14th 2007

 

To:       Board of Directors (c/O Secretary@acs.org )

American Chemical Society

Washington, DC 20036 


Dear ACS Board of Directors:

 

It was with a sense of relief that we heard the news that the American Chemical Society Board of Directors has decided to re-instate the ACS members residing in Iran.

 

We congratulate the Board on taking the sensible step to correct the wrong action by the ACS staff that brought the non-political, all-inclusive nature of ACS into question and forced the whole scientific community (and associated professional organizations) to look deeply into why this decision was made. The members of the scientific community struggled within their souls between ideas of "Universality of Science" and a false sense of political allegiance. The action taken by a few members of ACS -- to discriminate against members, who are residing in Iran, --is evidence of the divisive and political fallacy of the ACS action with broad polarizing ramifications.

 

The majority of the letters sent to our organization emphasized the sentiment that ACS should be denounced for taking its initial action and that ACS should take immediate corrective action to ensure that those responsible are not to repeat a similar action in the future. Finally, we recognize that your reinstatement has restored "sanity" to ACS.

 

Outpour of letters to us indicates that, in the age of electronic communications, elected board members (and, especially, non-elected executive officials) could consult broadly with members of the Society before making hard decisions contrary to the open and inclusive policies which have been a hallmark of ACS in the past.
 


To rectify the damage and to regain the trust of its members and the scientific community, we, therefore, recommend the ACS Board of Directors to take the following corrective steps:

 

  1. Place administrative safe-guards against member service-related decisions being made by ACS staff without the approval of the President and Board.
  2. Educate the ACS staff on the non-political, all-inclusive, non-discriminatory nature of the Society and implement a program to make them aware of the Society bylaws as they pertain to these matters based on transparency and effective communications.
  3. Investigate the depth of implemented discriminatory policy by the ACS staff and its impact on prospective members residing in sanctioned countries.  Extend your open arms by following up the invitation letters and [renewal] membership forms to all affected ACS members.
  4. Reflect upon this experience by publishing a representative selection of letters to the Editor which deal with these issues in C&E News.
  5. Open a dialogue with Iranian-American Chemists in particular, by allowing a presentation by its representatives at the next ACS board meeting.
  6. Establish consultative policy making contacts with other US professional organizations, such as the American Physical Society, the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for Advancement of Sciences, etc.


In conclusion, we are committed to work together with you to nurture a more enhanced environment conducive to SCIENCE for all. 

 

Regards,

 

For The Committee to re-instate the Iranian ACS members:

 

Fredun Hojabri, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry & former Academic Vice-President of Sharif (Aryamehr) University of Technology,

hojabri@aol.com

 

David Rahni, Professor of Chemistry, Pace University

Adjunct Professor of Dermatology, New York Medical College

Former Chair of the ACS New York, MARM & Councilor

 

Prof. Fazlollah Reza

President and Founder of Iranian Academic Association of North America

dr.freza@sympatico.ca

 

Fariba Aria, Ph. D. In Chemistry

President, Sharif University of Technology Association (SUTA)

kimia@ix.netcom.com

 

Mohammad Behforouz, Professor of Chemistry

President, Shiraz University Association (SUA)

mbehforo@bsu.edu

 

Ali Banijamali, Ph. D. In Chemistry

Chair, Iranian Chemists' Association of the American Chemical Society (ICA-ACS),

banijamali@yahoo.com

 

Ali Akbari, Professor of Economics, California Lutheran University

President, Association of Professors and Scholars of Iranian Heritage (ASPIH)

akbari@clunet.edu

 

Hamid Javadi, Ph.D., Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Iranian-American Physicists (IrAP) Network Group President

hamidhjavadi@sbcglobal.net

 

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