Monday, January 23, 2023

Reactions to C&EN's reorganization

Also in this week's C&EN, letters to the editor: 
I have always been impressed by the excellent journalism by C&EN. The scope of the magazine as well as the skill caused a number of friends who are not chemists to become American Chemical Society members solely for a C&EN subscription.

So the current staff trouble at the flagship magazine is deeply concerning, and I hope something will be rapidly remedied. If not, C&EN has no hope of replacing the likes of Newsweek, Bloomberg Businessweek, or the Financial Times for the nonchemist.

James Morris
Foster City, California

I have been an ACS member for decades. By far the most valuable benefit of membership to me is C&EN, which I read regularly, along with Science and Nature. I have been consistently impressed with the quality and independence of the reporting, even when it runs counter to the financial interests of CAS (a division of ACS).

I recently renewed my ACS membership for 2023, but if the changes in editorial control at C&EN degrade this treasured institution, I don’t think I will do so for 2024.

Daniel Erlanson
San Francisco

I am an ACS member. I was concerned by the Dec. 12/19 editorial (page 4). The environmental policy news is the most valuable thing in C&EN, with second place going to the industry and technology trend articles. Frankly, the news about society business, programs, and activities is of low interest to me most of the time.

Chris Lutes
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

 I couldn't agree more. 


  1. Some time ago I worked for a small biotech company that had an a-la-carte prepaid article "subscription" package with ACS Publications. I managed the article "usage" among my colleagues. Some sales executives were in town and asked to meet with me -- likely to convince me to upgrade the package to something bigger.

    Their sales pitch was along the lines of "look at all the great journals we have" -- I tried to explain how unimportant that was when we were looking for a particular reference in the literature. I then used the opportunity to explain that ACS' most important publication was in fact C&EN, which was immensely valuable for current awareness. They seemed surprised, they thought it was just a frill.

    I suspect that there may be a big disconnect in the perceived value of C&EN among ACS' academic and industrial members (the latter valuing it more highly). One has to wonder if they did any surveys, focus groups, market research etc. before making this change.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20