If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



Going Strong At 90

by A. Maureen Rouhi
January 14, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 2

C&EN marks its 90th anniversary this year. We have celebratory activities planned for the whole year. But first some history, courtesy of C&EN Archives and information from various minutes of meetings of the ACS Board of Directors, unearthed by Frank Walworth, the assistant to the ACS secretary and president:

◾ Nov. 24, 1922: The board authorizes a news edition in the Journal of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry, separately paginated and to be published twice each month.

◾ Jan. 10, 1923: Industrial & Engineering Chemistry News Edition debuts.

◾ Jan. 7, 1938: The board designates the News Edition as the official organ of ACS.

◾ Dec. 6, 1941: The board authorizes a change in the name of the News Edition, noting that the “name has caused much criticism from libraries et al. for being undefinitive.”

◾ Jan. 10, 1942: Chemical & Engineering News debuts.

◾ April 2, 1944: The board authorizes a change in C&EN’s publication frequency from twice a month to weekly; the change took effect in 1947.

Page 4 of the Jan. 10, 1923, issue describes the genesis of a news publication for ACS: “Its purpose is the promotion of research, the development of the chemical industry, and the welfare of the chemist. We shall strive to further these objects by rendering a service for which we believe there is a demand not now met in any publication.”

Ninety years later, the purposes are strikingly similar but articulated slightly differently. Today, C&EN’s vision is to be every chemist’s first choice for reliable news and information on the chemical enterprise. Our two-part mission is (a) to provide readers with significant news and analysis of the chemistry enterprise in a timely, accurate, and balanced fashion and (b) to keep readers informed of the activities and official policies of the American Chemical Society.

A lot has changed since the first 12-page issue was produced by three staff members working with the editor. In 2013, C&EN is a global journalistic enterprise of science-trained professional journalists. It delivers news, insights, and analysis about the chemistry enterprise through a weekly print magazine, a website, and mobile devices. It is the ACS program or service that is most used by members; reader satisfaction is high; the publication is well respected in the marketplace; and it is highly regarded throughout academia, government, and industry. C&EN turns 90 in a position of strength, thanks to its dedicated staff, high journalistic standards, and the strong and steady leadership of previous editors, most recently Rudy M. Baum (2004–12), Madeleine Jacobs (1995–2003), and Michael Heylin (1977–95).

We have a lot of reasons to celebrate. Many activities will involve C&EN Archives, the database of C&EN content all the way back to 1923. ACS members can use their ACS Member Universal Access benefit to download up to 25 articles from C&EN Archives in a year. But in addition this year, articles in C&EN Archives that are referenced in connection with the 90th anniversary—such as the story on page 4 of the Jan. 10, 1923, issue mentioned above—will be downloadable for free for one month.

Celebrations begin today with the launch of The Watch Glass, a visual blog by Contributing Editor Deirdre Lockwood. The blog will feature photos and short quotations from C&EN pages over the past 90 years. It will be housed in the social media site Tumblr. You can access it from C&EN Online or directly at Lockwood will post new items every week. Each one will link to the source article in C&EN Archives. For additional fun, Lockwood will run a “Name That Chemist” contest regularly, and you can play to win a C&EN gift.

I will also devote the Editor’s Page of the last issue of each month in 2013 to materials from C&EN Archives. And we will publish a special anniversary issue on Sept. 9, 2013.

We have other things lined up, but I’m out of space. Stay tuned.


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.