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Editorial: Celebrating the centennial of C&EN

by Mohammed Yahia
August 11, 2023 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 26


What makes a centennial such a significant milestone? Why is the number 100 special anyway?

As we celebrate 100 years of C&EN with this issue, I would like to take a moment to reflect on what this milestone means.

We all deserve to celebrate this rich legacy. After all, not many magazines make it to 100.

For a whole century, C&EN has been the go-to source of information, inspiration, and knowledge for millions of readers. Throughout all chemistry’s major moments—and there were a lot—people trusted us to provide reliable and accurate journalism. The magazine evolved along with the needs of its readers.

That is why, 100 years on, most American Chemical Society members still find C&EN to be one of the most valuable benefits of their membership.

Publishing a magazine like C&EN for 100 years is no easy feat. It has only been possible thanks to the dedication of thousands of people committed to telling the most exciting stories and upholding the highest journalistic values. The editorial independence of C&EN over the years is what has made it valuable. It is the cornerstone for any magazine that lasts as long as ours has and will continue to be so for the next 100 years.

I could not think of a more exciting time to take the helm as the new editor in chief of C&EN. I am honored to follow in the footsteps of all those people who contributed to the magazine’s success over the past 100 years.

Every day, a talented team of journalists, editors, designers, and many others work tirelessly to produce the C&EN stories that we love. My first priority is to make sure they have all the support they need to do this and to grow the team by bringing in new talent that will make us even stronger.

Like many others, I enjoy flipping through a magazine and appreciating the dazzling layouts created by talented artists. I want us to keep producing beautiful magazines that send a tingle down our spines when we receive them, just as I am sure this issue will do.

However, the latest research suggests that people in the US spend nearly 7 h a day online. That is close to half our waking hours.

Increasing our digital presence will offer us the opportunity to create richer and more robust interactive experiences for our audience. There is a lot of potential in new online story formats that our readers can consume, whether at their desks or in the gym. We have already produced many of those over the past few years, but I am confident that we can do more.

The beauty of focusing on digital is it will also allow us to communicate more with you, our readers. I want C&EN to be best suited over the next few years to meet your needs and to deliver stories that are meaningful and fulfilling to you.

We have long served a core group of readers, and we will continue to do so, since they are our primary audience. But I am also keen to see how we can expand our reach. I am sure there are many others who would benefit from our content. We can achieve much more by reaching new audiences, especially younger people who will be the future scientists shaping the world.

As I look back at all that C&EN has delivered over the past 100 years, I am acutely aware that, today, science communication is more important than ever before. Humanity faces a set of unprecedented challenges—like climate change, poverty, and hunger—and the only way we will be able to tackle them is through science. Yet we have seen a rise in antiscience sentiment across the world. We have an important role to play here.

I have complete faith that C&EN will continue to rise to that challenge.

I am excited to lead the team that will start delivering the next 100 years of C&EN.

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


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