By: Roque Calvo, ECS Executive Director

ECS at 115In April 1902, upon the conclusion of the Society’s first meeting in Philadelphia, the Society’s first president wrote the column below, which was printed in the Society’s first publication, explaining the rationale to form the American Electrochemical Society.

Evidence accumulates on every hand that the analogue of the specialist in science is the society which specializes. Whether for good or ill, whether some of its influences are narrowing in some directions or not, the society which specializes is the necessary corollary of the scientific specialist; the latter came perforce into existence, has made the whole world his debtor, and is recognized as the present factor for progress; the former is coming perforce into existence, will soon make the world its immeasurable debtor, and will be a wonderfully potent factor in future scientific progress.

Such is the force, the necessary condition, which has brought into existence The American Electrochemical Society. … Its functions should be those of bringing electrochemists into personal contact with each other; of disseminating among them all the information known to, and which can be spared by, their co-workers; to stimulate original thought in these lines by
mutual interchange of experience, and by papers and discussions; to stimulate electrochemical work all over the world. …

Such a society … being, therefore, a necessity, a pressing need, its formation was inevitable. It came. … The results have justified the insight of the projectors of the society, the first meeting has been an enthusiastic success, the organization now exists, its future is one of assured usefulness. With confidence we stand out to sea.

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Free Content, Free the Science

ECS at 115
We are fast approaching the exact date of our 115th anniversary. On April 2, 1902, the American Electrochemical Society (as ECS was called in the beginning) held its first meeting in Philadelphia. In the transactions of the first meeting, President Joseph Richard’s wrote:

Such is the force, the necessary condition, which has brought into existence The American Electrochemical Society… being, therefore, a necessity, a pressing need, its formation was inevitable… The results having justified the insight of the projectors of the society, the first meeting has been an enthusiastic success, the organization now exists, its future assured of usefulness. With confidence we stand out to sea.

Today, we feel the same “necessary condition” and “pressing need” for inevitable change. This time, however, our goal is to change our publishing business model to completely open the ECS Digital Library while maintaining our high standards of peer review and adapting new technologies and principles related to open science.

We believe that we have an imperative to implement Free the Science, both from a research standpoint—our sciences have broad implications for human and environmental sustainability—and from a scholarly communication perspective—we believe everyone should have the same access to share and acquire knowledge. With open access and open research receiving such a crescendo of support from governments, funders, advocates, and scientists, we believe that ECS can provide leadership in the impending publishing revolution.

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Join Us to Free the Science

ECS at 115

I hope most of you have heard of ECS’s initiative to Free the Science. Our goal is to make our high quality, peer-reviewed research in the ECS Digital Library freely available to everyone. That means authors can publish for free and anyone, anywhere, can read papers, abstracts, or proceedings without a subscription. We think it will revolutionize the progress made in our niche of science and we hope it will set an example for other publishers, especially those that are nonprofit societies, to pursue a more robust open access business model.

As we celebrate our 115th anniversary this year, Free the Science couldn’t be more important. The research that YOU do has the ability to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues from energy independence and clean water, to safety and medical technology. We don’t think it’s too bold to say that our science can save lives and ensure our planet’s sustainability. And that’s why, more than ever, we must work together to Free the Science.

But our initiative to Free the Science is hardly free. While we want to open access to science there is a cost to producing peer-reviewed research. It takes time, money, and know-how to disseminate quality scientific research. After 115 years in the field of scholarly communications, ECS has the knowledge and bandwidth to implement such an initiative, but we need the support of our membership to make it happen.

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ECS at 115

There’s a lot of noise in our world today about separating fact from fiction. We are constantly bombarded with volumes of information and data—and we are challenged with what and who to believe?

But when it comes to electrochemistry and solid state sciences, and related fields, be assured that the ECS journals are a source that you can trust. For 115 years, ECS has been publishing high quality, peer-reviewed journals that contain work from YOU—renowned scientists, engineers, inventors, and Nobel Laureates. YOU also provide the high quality and knowledgeable peer review of manuscripts submitted for ECS journal consideration. From our meetings proceedings, ECS Transactions, to our journals, the Journal of the Electrochemical Society and the Journal of Solid State Science and Technology, we maintain rigorous standards that land our publications in the top ranked, most cited in the world.

ECS is also one of the only remaining independent, nonprofit society publisher of electrochemistry and solid state science and technology. With over 3.2 million full-text article downloads in 2016, we are seeing an increase in use of the ECS Digital Library since we have transitioned to hybrid open access, with the future goal to completely Free the Science, ensuring complete access to our entire body of knowledge.

We’re proud of this legacy and we thank you for the contributions that you’ve made to ECS publications through the years.

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Support Students and Young Scientists

ECS at 115

As we reflect on the 115th anniversary of ECS, it is also important to look towards the future and strengthen opportunities for the next generation of scientists.

In 2016, ECS provided support for student and early career scientists through:

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Do You Know Your ECS History?

ECS at 115

The Electrochemical Society was founded 115 years ago as the American Electrochemical Society. That’s based on the inaugural meeting held April 3-5, 1902 in Philadelphia, PA. Twenty papers were presented and recorded in Transactions of the American Electrochemical Society, Vol. 1, No. 1.

You could say the Society was born out of the indifference of what was known at the time as the Council of the American Chemical Society. Around this time, ACS took no action on a proposal to form an electrochemical section or division. That led Joseph Richards, the first president of the Society, to write in the inaugural Transactions:

“The day is past, we all acknowledge, when one man, even be he Newton, can know all that is to be known … the day is passing when any one society can even cover satisfactorily the whole field of any one science …”

Meeting for organization

And so in November of 1901 about 30 engineers, chemists, and scientists were invited by letter to attend “the meeting for organization” where they would create an organization:

“Its functions should be those of bringing electrochemists into personal contact with each other; of disseminating among them all the information known to, and which can be spared by, their co-workers; to stimulate original thought in these lines by mutual interchange of experience, and by papers and discussions; to stimulate electrochemical work all over the world by publishing the news of what is being done here in America.”

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Supporting Science and Scientists

ECS at 115

“The Society could not help but to come into existence.”
– Joseph Richards, 1st ECS president

This spring, The Electrochemical Society will be 115 years old.

A 115th anniversary is not a milestone that normally warrants celebration but today, more than ever, we need to support science, scientists, and the core values that make our community strong.

For over a century ECS has adhered to the principles expressed by Joseph Richards, the Society’s first president, in the Transactions introduction from the Society’s first meeting:

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