Volume 85 Issue 42 | p. 3 | Editor's Page
Issue Date: October 15, 2007

C&EN In Europe

Department: Editor's Page
Credit: Photo by Rudy Baum
Credit: Photo by Rudy Baum

I FIRST VISITED Berlin in the summer of 1991 to cover an international AIDS conference for C&EN. The Berlin Wall had fallen only a year-and-a-half earlier, and the city, especially the former eastern sector, was in a frenzy of development.

I visited Berlin for the second time just a few weeks ago on my way to Milan to attend CPhI. What a difference 18 years makes! Signs of the division of the city have been almost obliterated. The city's center of gravity seems to have shifted back to Unter den Linden, the grand boulevard that was the traditional heart of Berlin until it was walled off as part of East Berlin. Running off of Unter den Linden, Wilhelmstrasse and Friedrichstrasse are chic shopping avenues that rival the Kurfürstendamm in the western part of the city.

The area around the Reichstag, Germany's parliament building, has been transformed since Berlin became the reunified nation's capital. To the north and west stand dramatic glass and steel buildings that serve as the offices of parliament and the chancellor. To the south, just past the Brandenburg Gate, is the vast, haunting Holocaust memorial.

My detour to Berlin was to visit Associate Editor Sarah Everts, C&EN's newly established European science, technology, and science policy correspondent. Everts relocated from Washington, D.C., to Berlin in August to take up the new assignment.

C&EN has long had two reporters in Europe. Senior Correspondent Patricia Short, based in London, covers European chemical business for the magazine. For more than a decade prior to his retirement in February, Senior Correspondent Michael Freemantle, based just outside of London, was C&EN's science reporter in Europe.

After Freemantle retired, C&EN's senior team—Deputy Editor-in-Chief Maureen Rouhi, Managing Editor Ivan Amato, and I—discussed the future of the position. Europe occupies a position of tremendous importance in the chemical enterprise. European chemistry, of course, has always been world class. The American Chemical Society's membership in Europe is growing. A significant portion of C&EN's advertising revenue comes from the European fine and custom chemicals industry.

Freemantle did a fine job covering science and technology across Europe, but we decided that we wanted to base his replacement on the Continent. We opened up the position to C&EN's staff, and Everts, who joined the magazine in 2006, applied. It was an easy decision. Everts is a gifted journalist. She received her B.Sc. in biophysics from the University of Guelph, in Ontario, her M.Sc. in chemistry from the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, and masters in journalism from Carleton University, in Ottawa. Additionally, she grew up in Montreal and is fluent in English and French, and eager to add German to her repertoire of languages.

Everts scouted a number of cities in Switzerland and Germany before settling on Berlin as the best location for her office. Not the least of her reasons was that a sizable number of expatriate journalists, scientific and otherwise, have located in Berlin. The city also hosts several important research institutions.

Everts and I spent two days touring Berlin and discussing C&EN's coverage of chemistry in Europe. Of course, there is no such thing as "European chemistry." Chemistry as a science has long been a global endeavor, and C&EN's coverage reflects that. Nevertheless, chemistry, the chemical profession, science education, and science policy in Europe often do have a different flavor than they do in the U.S. Everts' charge is to bring that European flavor to C&EN's readers. I have no doubt that, in the coming years, she will do just that.

Thanks for reading.


Views expressed on this page are those of the author and not necessarily those of ACS.

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