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Responding to An Editorial

August 28, 2006 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 84, Issue 35

I write to support Rudy Baum for his editorial "Demonizing the Press" (C&EN, July 10, page 3). He has continued the splendid revitalization of C&EN that was begun by Madeleine Jacobs, and part of being a creative editor is, appropriately, addressing issues that go beyond the narrowest confines of the profession that sponsors the publication. I think C&EN needs and deserves an editor who is more than a mindless technocrat. I respond very positively to Baum's statement in the Aug. 7 issue (page 5) that "C&EN is a newsmagazine, not a trade journal." When C&EN no longer has an editor who believes that, and acts accordingly, it won't be worthy of the American Chemical Society.

F. Albert Cotton
College Station, Texas

I was surprised at the sentiment common to letters responding to Baum's editorial on freedom of the press: C&EN should narrowly limit its focus to the chemical enterprise rather than expose its readers to other issues that also affect them as members of American society. I would hope that being a knowledgeable contributor to the democratic process would be at least as important to chemists and engineers as being knowledgeable in their field.

I regularly read a variety of scientific journals; e-mailed newsletters; and technical trade, popular science, and nongovernmental organization magazines. I have found that all technical publications (including trade magazines) contain editorials, letters, news content, and philosophical ponderings. I rarely encounter such thoughtful processing of information anywhere else.


Aug. 14, page 1: The Quote of the Week came from an online story available at and not from the page indicated.

Letters to the editor

C&EN encourages readers to contribute to this letters section. Please keep letters reasonably short-400 words or fewer. Letters are edited for clarity. Because of the heavy volume of mail received at C&EN, writers are generally limited to one letter in a six-month period. Letters may be submitted by e-mail at, fax (202) 872-8727, or regular mail (C&EN, 1155-16th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20036).


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