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Happy New Year!

by Sarah B. Tegen
December 30, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 1


My first editorial marks the beginning of C&EN’s 100th anniversary celebration. A century of journalism is a remarkable achievement, and C&EN has done this by evolving to meet the ever-​changing environment it operates within. C&EN has developed to meet the varied interests and needs of our readers by staying abreast of the chemistry enterprise and harnessing the latest media-delivery mechanisms. Today, C&EN provides daily online news, podcast episodes, and a digital edition to augment our popular printed magazine. I couldn’t be more honored to be part of this team at such an exciting time.

A Barbie doll with a skirt made of cake frosted with purple and white roses.
Credit: Courtesy of Sarah Tegen
A recent birthday construction

When I reflect on some of the stories C&EN produced in 2022, I am proud of the range of coverage, with topics as varied as chemistry’s impact on the renewable energy transition, biopharmaceutical technologies, and the impact of next-​generation supercomputers on chemical simulations.

Over the past 5 years, our most-read stories include Bethany Halford’s reporting on the emergence of Paxlovid as a treatment for COVID-19, Mitch Jacoby’s story on recycling lithium-ion batteries, and Celia Henry Arnaud’s article on DNA profiling in criminal investigations, which all highlight the many ways chemistry impacts our lives.

C&EN was also committed to covering key areas, such as chemical lab safety and diversity and inclusion in the chemistry enterprise. In the area of chemical safety, we have long reported on academic lab safety. For example, one feature reflected on Karen Wetterhahn’s influence on lab safety and chemistry in general in the 25 years since her death of dimethylmercury poisoning. To advance equity, we’ve led the way with our annual Trailblazers issues, which celebrate chemistry’s diversity. This past year highlighted the work of LGBTQ+ chemists. The breadth and depth of information presented to C&EN readers in these stories is remarkable. As we look forward, we’re planning even more stories that uniquely cover the chemistry enterprise and uphold the quality of journalism you’ve come to expect.

During our centennial, you’ll find numerous ways in which we’ll mark the occasion, including a special anniversary issue in August. We will keep you informed about our celebration plans as the various activities approach.

When I’m thinking about birthday celebrations, I’m often drawn to my kitchen where I construct epic cakes for my extended family. The chemical reactions of baking satisfy my need to experiment, like my days long ago in the lab. Baking is also meditative: as I pipe designs in frosting, I think about the person for whom I’m baking. The cake shown here, for my granddaughter’s fifth birthday, reminds me to dream big, the same way she dreams of being a princess one day and an astronaut the next. If I’m lucky, I’ll help nurture a love of chemistry, and she’ll be an avid C&EN reader in time for our 125th anniversary.

Happy 100th birthday, C&EN. I’m very proud of all this organization has done, and I’m excited for the next 100 years.

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


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