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C&EN to launch new Opinion section in 2022

by Bibiana Campos-Seijo
December 3, 2021 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 99, Issue 44


The last few weeks of the year are always a time to reflect, take stock of the previous 12 months, celebrate the highs, learn from the lows, and get ready for the new year.

The end of the year is a natural inflection point, a time for change and transition into new projects and goals.

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At C&EN we have many projects on the docket for 2022. And you’ll learn all about them as those projects come to life throughout the year. But there is one project that I’d like to mention now. In the new year we will be launching an Opinion section to give a platform to readers’ ideas and perspectives.

In recent times, we have published pieces contributed by members of the community. Think, for example, about the graduate school essays we started in 2018. We invited graduate students to submit a brief essay on an aspect of their graduate experience, and so far we have published close to 40 stories exploring topics such as how to manage the cancellation or postponement of study-abroad programs, internships, or commencement ceremonies due to the COVID-19 pandemic and how to deal with depression and impostor syndrome.

Another recent example is the essays by early-career Black chemists who shared their journeys in science.

These reader-contributed series have been widely read and shared and have received excellent feedback. We want to respond to that and create a dedicated space in C&EN for unique, authentic voices of the global chemistry community.

For this new opinion section, C&EN welcomes essays on topics of interest to the scientific community. We’re interested in hearing stories from scientists at all career stages featuring take-home messages, personal experiences, and calls to action. C&EN is committed to presenting diverse voices in this section.

Do you have a story you want to share with the chemistry community? Send your submission of about 800 words to

Because of this change in the way we do opinion pieces at C&EN, we are going to be retiring our two regular columns, Office Hours and Bench and Cubicle. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our columnists.

Office Hours started in 2019 as a career advice column, and it was motivated by the idea that no matter what stage we are at in our careers, “we never hit a point where we have it all figured out.” Those are the words of Emory University chemistry professor and Office Hours writer Jen Heemstra in her first column for us. In the almost 3 years she’s been contributing this column to C&EN, she has delved into topics such as mental health, mentoring, resilience, bullying, and more.

Bench and Cubicle was launched in 2017 in partnership with industrial chemist and blogger Chemjobber, who provided advice and helpful tips on the intricacies of the chemistry job market and answered career-related questions. His columns offering predictions of the job market for the year ahead were widely read and shared.

I’d like to thank Jen and Chemjobber for informing, motivating, and supporting our audiences over the years. I have no doubt that they have helped reduce the feeling of isolation that many chemists experience and made their professional journeys less daunting and more rewarding.

The last edition of Office Hours is on page 31 of this issue. The last edition of Bench and Cubicle will appear in the Dec. 13/20 issue.

Previous articles from both columns will continue to be available online at and

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


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