Former Chemical & Engineering News editor in chief Rudy Baum died of cancer in Portland, Oregon, on March 21 at age 68. Baum served the American Chemical Society as an employee and volunteer for more than 40 years. He was a fellow of ACS and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Baum is remembered for his talent for translating technical concepts for the public, his mentorship, and his willingness to tackle controversial topics....Baum’s editorials, many of which emphasized the threat posed by climate change, carried strong opinions and were a source of lively debate among readers that played out in C&EN’s letters to the editor. “I believe Rudy was ahead of his time,” Peter Dervan, the Bren Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, at the California Institute of Technology, writes in an email. “I admired his integrity and courage to speak his mind on critical science issues facing humanity. He made clear his writings were his opinions only but in doing so he pushed his readers to think hard about science and society.” At the 2012 national meeting in Philadelphia, then-ACS President Bassam Z. Shakhashiri held a presidential event titled “Communicating Controversial Science: A Symposium Honoring Rudy M. Baum.”...Baum is survived by his wife, Jan; his son, Rudy Michael; his daughter, Grace; and his sister, Marianna. Donations may be made in his memory to the Friends of the Multnomah County Library or a charity of one’s choice.
I pretty strongly disagreed with some of Rudy's columns, but I admit to reading all of the columns that were his opinions. I suspect that's the best compliment to a columnist. I was pleased to meet Rudy for lunch once, and it was a delightful meeting with lots of stories about the old days of publishing.
Best wishes to his friends and family.