Tuesday, October 14, 2014

When will C&EN go digital-only? I shudder to think

From this week's C&EN, a funny letter: 
Yes, “moving to an exclusively digital format” would preserve natural resources, as Chris Erickson lucidly explained in his letter to the editor (C&EN, July 28, page 4). But I beg ACS to retain the print version of Chemical & Engineering News. It is, frankly, the principal benefit I derive from membership. 
Receiving C&EN in my otherwise crowded-with-catalogs mailbox is a weekly delight. I can read it anywhere. It gives me real-world examples of innovation that I can share with all my students. Moreover, I share issues with my AP chemistry students, who use them to help satisfy curricular requirement 4 from the College Board. 
C&EN helps them connect their knowledge of chemistry and science to major societal or technological components better than any other resource. Thanks to you and the ink and trees that you use in a responsible way to communicate important news to us. 
W. Patrick Cunningham
San Antonio
Perhaps I may offend, I'm pretty sure Mr. Erickson was concern trolling Rudy Baum. But I think Mr. Cunningham is right when he thinks that, for many people, C&EN is one of the major benefits of ACS membership. 

7 comments:

  1. There is something to be said about getting a magazine in the mail.

    Going in the opposite direction of Mr. Cunningham, I HATE getting my month AARP magazine [*]. It's a monthly reminder of "Hey you- you're old!" I don't think an email would put up such an affront.



    [*] For non-US readers, AARP is the American Association of Retired People, but you don't have to be retired to belong. You or your spouse just has to be 50 or older. Which means that even a 21-year old woman can have one (if she is married to a 50-year old man).

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  2. For me, the biggest benefit is the 25 free ACS articles. There are always a few articles a month which I am interested in but cannot justify putting on my employer's expense account. Mostly this consists of papers by former colleagues or that are close to my doctoral or post-doc work, but are not related to what I am working on now.

    But yes, I like C&EN.

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  3. I'm a student, and I definitely wouldn't have bought the membership if I wasn't going to get a magazine every week.

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  4. As I do all of my CEN reading on the john, losing the print version would be a travesty!!

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    1. I have often referred to it as the "chemistry bathroom reader"

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  5. It is a shame that the major benefit of being a member of the ACS appears, in the eyes of many members, to be receiving a weekly rag. I would rather that the organization be more concerned about the professional welfare of its members (i.e. the job market). Additionally, switching to "paperless" for environmental reasons would be an example of the ACS "getting with the times".

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    1. It is a shame, but it is the primary benefit for many. The ACS does not work to the benefit of it's members. The ACS leadership should be ashamed.

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