This is a guest editorial by LaTrease E. Garrison, chief operating officer of the American Chemical Society.
“I would say that it’s a great resource to connect with others, not even in your field, to get to know more about broadly what’s going on in science, to have resources to further your knowledge of what’s going on now [and] what’s going on in chemistry, and to ultimately be surrounded by that community of people who are all trying to progress towards a common goal of advancing the field of chemistry.”—Graduate student; member, American Chemical Society
This recent quote about C&EN from an ACS member leads me to reflect on when I was a sophomore chemistry student at Howard University. I had many opportunities to explore chemistry and to think about my future in a chemistry lab or in a classroom. Unbeknownst to me, there was another experience out there that would shape my career within the chemical sciences—a summer job with ACS working for C&EN.
This experience changed my perception about careers in chemistry. It also gave me a view of the magazine publishing landscape and insight into how a newsmagazine provides value to a community of readers.
C&EN was well established when I joined the team that summer 3 decades ago. Even though I was somewhat familiar with the magazine as a student, I gained an entirely new appreciation for how important it is to the entire chemical science enterprise. I had the pleasure of assisting with content in the ACS News section and often with the Concentrates section.
During my many days of reading through Letters to the Editor, I thought how wonderful it is to see ACS members react to the published content. Whether sharing praise or disappointment, the letters provided a glimpse into how important C&EN is to chemists, professionally and personally. It was fascinating, as a college student, to see how members took the time to write. It was clear they wanted C&EN to remain a high-quality magazine with the most up-to-date and relevant chemistry news.
Fast-forward to today, and as the chief operating officer of ACS, my view of C&EN is much broader than it once was. When I worked in ACS Education, I looked at C&EN as a tool for students, teachers, professors, and others in the academic community. Moving into ACS Membership, I became more in tune with the member value of C&EN and how it helps us keep chemists informed of what is happening within ACS and around the globe.
Now that my portfolio has expanded to include all society programs as well as Washington IT and the Office of Philanthropy, I see C&EN as a valued partner across all ACS. It provides a platform for us to recognize ACS members, highlight educational advancements, share information about ACS events, spotlight the science, and so much more.
C&EN remains one of the most valued benefits of membership in ACS. In fact, it is the most-used product provided by ACS and one of the most important, right after our technical journals, according to our 2022 membership survey. Over 80% of our members reported reading C&EN, and 92% of readers are satisfied with it.
Based on member feedback, I know that C&EN not only provides the latest information but also builds a sense of community around chemistry. I smile when I hear members asking one another whether they read a specific article or saw a certain photo in C&EN. I appreciate how the magazine brings people from all walks of life together to share chemistry and to learn about what’s to come. The value of C&EN to ACS members and the entire chemistry community is unmatched.
I extend my thanks to C&EN staffers of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Your commitment to sharing science-related news helps link ACS members around the globe. Because of you, we are reaching mailboxes, both physically and virtually, in a meaningful way. Because of you, ACS members have a reliable, go-to source for chemistry news, career information, and society news. Thank you to all who have contributed to C&EN throughout the years, and happy 100th birthday.
Views expressed on this page are those of the author and not necessarily those of ACS.