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Happy holidays

by Bibiana Campos Seijo
December 19, 2016 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 94, Issue 49

So, apparently, “chemistry is not an exact science.” At least not according to Mario Andrada, the Rio spokesperson who earlier this year during the Olympic Games in Brazil used that very same statement while trying to explain why the water in the diving pools had turned green.

Of course we know him to be wrong—if chemistry isn’t an exact science then what is?—but it definitely is my favorite quote published in C&EN this year. And I can tell you there have been many; our reporters carry out thousands of interviews every year. We have just selected the best—the most amusing, insightful, controversial—and collected them into a section that we have named Quotes of the Year. You can find it on page 48 and also online at Let us know which one you like best and why.

You’ll see that this week’s issue is a follow-up to the review we published on Dec. 5. We continue to take stock of the most notable moments of 2016, but whereas the Dec. 5 installment was focused on pharmaceuticals, this one looks more broadly at the year’s biggest chemistry headlines, from TSCA reform (page 33) to the impact of the U.S. presidential election (page 34) to a selection of the coolest compounds reported in 2016 (pages 30 and 31). We also step back in time and learn what has become of some of the year-end picks that we made a decade ago. All this content, as well as the pharmaceutical feature, is available at

Looking back at 2016, I can honestly say we have been extremely busy. My highlights, in terms of the quality of journalism that exemplifies what C&EN is all about, are the 2016 Talented 12 and all the activities we arranged around the announcement of the winners at the ACS national meeting in Philadelphia (we recorded their talks and have made them available on YouTube) and the coverage we provided around the Nobel Prize announcements. This year we introduced a number of interactive features, including a database that you can query about the first 50 years’ worth of Nobel nominations as well as a map that shows the geographic distribution by birth, affiliation at the time of the award, and place of death of chemistry’s 171 Nobel winners.

Besides these, we undertook several initiatives intended to make the experience of consuming C&EN content better for our readers. Of course you’ll remember that at the end of February we redesigned the print magazine. A few weeks later we also updated our website to reflect the print product’s look and feel, while also making the site mobile friendly. We followed with an update of the C&EN mobile phone and tablet apps to incorporate new functionality. Our aim is to make the experience of reading C&EN content more pleasurable, be it on a phone, tablet, desktop, or in print.

With that, I’d like to wish you all happy holidays and best of luck for 2017. We’ll be back in the new year.

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


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