Adventures in Ethics and Science

It turns out I’ve been a member of the Americal Chemical Society for three years now. How do I know?

They sent me a new mug.

While I enjoy my weekly issue of Chemical & Engineering News — which, I imagine, most ACS members see as the most tangible benefit of their membership — I must confess that I really love the mugs.

Last year, for my second anniversary of membership, they sent me a mug with helium (element 2) on it. This year, the third anniversary, it’s lithium (element 3). On the first anniversary, there wasn’t a hydrogen mug, but rather a pop-up card featuring hydrogen.

So, the thoughts in my mind as I’m opening the package from the ACS that contains the new mug:

  • Damn! I totally didn’t need to wash those three dirty mugs this morning, since now I have a clean mug delivered to me.
  • Hmm. To get a full set of these mugs, I’m going to have to live (and pay dues to the ACS) a very long time.
  • Of course, they’ll need to hammer out an official name for element 118 before they can produce that mug.
  • Given my love of the mugs, I should have joined the ACS years ago.

Kudos to the ACS membership people for knowing just how to reach me.


  1. #1 Lab Lemming
    November 29, 2006

    Does the composition of the ceramic change with the mug? If this year’s mug makes you mellow, think twice about drinking from next year’s.

  2. #2 SteveG
    November 30, 2006

    When paying dues, I sometimes feel like I’m getting mugged by professional organizations myself…

  3. #3 Janet D. Stemwedel
    November 30, 2006

    Getting mugged is a bit more tolerable if you’re also getting a mug!

    The Li mug has made no noticable difference in my mood (which seems more dependent on what I drink out of that mug). As well, the He mug didn’t give me a higher voice. Both, however, make my shelf of tea and mugs look substantially nerdier than it would otherwise.

  4. #4 anonymous
    November 30, 2006

    I have been a member of ACS for about 6 years now and I never received a mug. My coworkers though, who joined about 3 years a go always get a mug for their anniversaries. I feel really really jealous!

  5. #5 JB
    December 2, 2006

    Same here. Never received anything free from the ACS. I recently got a card that says congrats on your 15th yr and I was thinking, “a card???”. They should have just saved the paper and postage fee bec the whole thing went straight to the trash can.

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