“SCALACS” (pronounced skay’-lax) is an acronym that stands for Southern California ACS. This acronym refers to the Southern California Local Section of the American Chemical Society.

The Southern California Section of the American Chemical Society is comprised of approximately 2700 chemists, chemical engineers, and chemical technicians. Of members who have indicated their workplace, a little under half are involved in academia – as students or educators, with most of the balance employed in industry.

If you are a member of the American Chemical Society and receive your C&E News where you live or work in Los Angeles County, you are probably also a member of the Southern California Section. The Southern California Section of the American Chemical Society comprises most of Los Angeles County, bordered by the geography of the LA Basin as follows:

  • East border: the Covina Hills. If you are near Mt. SAC, The Claremont Colleges, or Cal Poly Pomona, you probably belong to the San Gorgonio Section.
  • North border: the Southern California Section extends into the Antelope Valley area, and includes Palmdale and Lancaster. There is some overlap here with the Mojave Section.
  • Northwest border: Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park are part of the Southern California Section, as well as the Simi Valley area of Ventura County. Other parts of Ventura County all the way north well past San Luis Obispo are part of the Los Padres Section.

    If you live outside our boundaries, but want to be included as a member of the Southern California Section, you may make it so by contacting the national ACS headquarters in writing.

  • SCALACS Magazine
    SCALACS is also the name of our periodical, which is published nearly every month throughout the academic year. Read your SCALACS to find out what local section activities are scheduled for the upcoming month. Section activities such as special topic dinner meetings, awards banquets, career workshops, etc., are held throughout the year. Plan on coming to an event that interests you – to network with other chemists, or to learn something new about a particular topic.

    SCALACS is also a good place to find vendors of supplies and services. The publication of SCALACS is supported solely by its advertisers, so please give them your business. Follow this link for a PDF copy of our 21Contract advertising rates and contract. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in to view it.

    As of September 2010, SCALACS is a joint publication of the Southern California and San Gorgonio Sections of the American Chemical Society, reaching nearly 3500 chemists. Members from all local sections are welcome to attend any of the announced events, regardless of which local section they belong to.

    History of the SCALACS Name

    The first issue of SCALACS was published in October, 1945. In this excerpt from “Chatter from the Chairman”, Chairman Tom Jacobs explains how SCALACS got its name:

    “Willard Baier, on vacation, did some day-dreaming and came up with the name SCALACS which he describes as a “coined, cabalistic palindrome” derived from Southern CALifornia Section of the American Chemical Society. To quote further, “it runs equally well backward or forward, as chemists should to maintain their equilibrium”. …The board thinks the name is catchy and distinctive – hope you like it.”

    Also in that first issue, Arnold Beckman headed a column called the “Roving Reporter” about news of the members. He, William Lacey, Roger Truesdail and William Young were all Councilors at the time.