Today’s Factismal: The American Chemical Society is 138 years old today.
The late 1800s was an exciting time for chemistry. In 1869, Mendeleev created the periodic table and used it to predict the existence of several new elements. More than 26 new elements had been discovered since 1850. Aluminum had moved from being more expensive than platinum to being cheaper than tin. And on April 20, 1876, a group of thirty-seven chemists came together for the first official meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Today there are 163,000 members of the American Chemical Society. They work in many industries, from medicine to aerospace to oil and gas to agriculture, and earn starting salaries of about $80,000 a year. They work in many places from the thermal springs of Yellowstone to the labs of NASA to sampling stations in Antarctica to product development teams in Detroit. And they work with chemicals as safe as HOH and as exciting as FOOF. In short, chemistry is a great career.
If you’d like to see what it is like to be a chemist, then why not visit ChemSpider? It’s a free, open-source database of chemical structures and other information: