MSUToday
Published: Jan. 10, 2019

Angela Wilson elected chair-elect of AAAS chemistry section

Contact(s): Val Osowski College of Natural Science office: (517) 432-4561 osowskiv@msu.edu

Angela Wilson, John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor of computational chemistry at Michigan State University, has been elected chair-elect of the chemistry section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS.

AAAS is the world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society and a leading publisher of cutting-edge research. 

“I really am excited about the opportunity to serve in this role for AAAS and am honored to be elected,” said Wilson, a professor in the Department of Chemistry in the MSU College of Natural Science. “Having recently served for two and a half years as director of the Division of Chemistry at the National Science Foundation, I am particularly attuned to the budgetary challenges of funding science. I believe a more active voice from among the scientific community to our nation's leaders about the importance of science to our economy, security and health is critical; with my recent time in Washington, D.C., I am familiar with the scientific topics that may well resonate with our national leaders.”

Wilson’s research explores theoretical and computational chemistry. In theoretical chemistry, her research focuses on the development of quantum mechanical methods for thermochemical and spectroscopic predictions, while her computational chemistry research includes the design of new drugs, catalysts and metal organic frameworks. Wilson has stated that one of the great features of theoretical and computational chemistry is that they can be utilized to investigate a broad array of challenges.

"Professor Wilson is among a few chemists I know whose research breadth and depth is equally complemented by professional service,” said Rob Maleczka, chair of the Department of Chemistry. “As a scholar, Professor Wilson’s computational work has advanced our understanding of subjects ranging from diatomic molecules to aviation materials. At the same time, she has held top leadership positions at the National Science Foundation, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, and now the AAAS. I don’t know when she sleeps!”

AAAS section chairs serve a three-year term, each with somewhat different responsibilities: the first year as chair-elect, the second as chair and the third as retiring chair. During these years, they serve as a member of the steering group of their section. Expectations of steering group members include nominating elected fellows for their section steering group, reviewing and voting on elected nominees for AAAS fellows, proposing symposia for the annual meeting and other responsibilities. 

Elected section leaders begin their terms at the end of the AAAS annual meeting, which will be held Feb. 15-18 in Washington, D.C. 

Angela Wilson, John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor of computational chemistry at MSU, will become the new chair-elect of the AAAS chemistry section in February.