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ACS News

Wrapping up 2004

by Rudy M. Baum
December 20, 2004 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 82, Issue 51

This is C&EN’s last issue in 2004. It has been a year of important advances in chemistry and renewed optimism in the chemical industry. It has been a year of change and accomplishment at C&EN and at the American Chemical Society.

As we have in the final issue of each of the past several years, this week’s cover story reviews “Chemistry Highlights 2004” (see page 53). Senior Correspondent Stu Borman looks back at the developments C&EN has reported on in 2004 and reviews some of the most significant achievements among them. Borman seeks to identify “long-sought or surprising breakthroughs, first-of-a-kind achievements, and findings of potentially wide-ranging influence.” I think you will find “Chemistry Highlights 2004” fascinating and inspiring. Our science is an incredible engine of discovery.

The issue also contains our annual year in review for the chemical industry by Senior Correspondent Marc Reisch and Associate Editor Alex Tullo (see page 26), which for the first time in several years depicts an industry returning to health. “The long-awaited turnaround in the chemical sector finally arrived in 2004,” they write. “Its intensity came as a surprise ... as did its resilience in the face of extremely high raw material and energy costs.”

This issue also marks the end of my first year as editor-in-chief of C&EN. I look back on the year and I truly cannot believe how quickly it has gone by. It has been a tremendous honor to lead the talented and dedicated 55-member staff of C&EN. It has also been a lot of fun. We work hard to create C&EN each week, but it is a labor of love—we enjoy the effort and camaraderie.

One of the pleasures of my job is this Editor’s Page. When I was named editor-in-chief by the ACS Board of Directors last December, one of the aspects of the job that seemed particularly daunting to me was the idea of writing an editorial nearly every week. The chemical enterprise is so varied and dynamic, however, that I am rarely at a loss for topics, and I enjoy the opportunity to communicate with C&EN’s readers. I also enjoy the interaction with the many readers who have taken the time to respond to my editorials.

This has been a year of renewed vigor at ACS under the leadership of Executive Director and CEO Madeleine Jacobs, who brings extraordinary energy and vision to the top staff position at ACS. Jacobs recognizes that many difficult and complex challenges face ACS as a membership organization and as a leading publisher of chemical information, and she has galvanized the ACS staff toward addressing those challenges.

ACS is a world-class organization, a unique partnership of the society’s membership and professional staff of 1,900. The ACS Board of Directors recognized the contributions of the ACS staff at the board’s December meeting with this resolution:

“BE IT RESOLVED That the Board of Directors of the American Chemical Society expresses its deep appreciation to the staff of the American Chemical Society for their continuing support of the Society and its membership during a year of renewed strategic direction and a time of transition for the Society’s internal leadership.

“The board recognizes the remarkable partnership of members, governance, and professional staff that enables the Society to advance the chemical sciences and technology, communicate the value of chemistry and chemical engineering to the public, support the chemical profession and its practitioners, and to lead the diverse chemically related professions for the benefit of humankind.

“The Board commends the dedicated and talented men and women who create, administer, and support our many products, programs, and services, and is grateful for their outstanding work and commitment to the Society’s goals and objectives.”

It is important that C&EN’s readers, most of whom are ACS members, understand just how committed the ACS staff is to them—the members—and to advancing the chemical enterprise. We know we are part of a truly remarkable organization.

From all of us at C&EN, here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season and a productive and prosperous New Year. And, as always, thanks for reading.


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