Monday, February 6, 2023

You Break It, You Fix It

I have been waiting patiently for the new ACS executive leadership and new leadership of Chemical and Engineering News to offer some kind of a vision or a plan for 2023 and beyond. My hopes have been seemingly dashed so far. 

Rather, this last week has seen a spate of resignations of additional long-time staff from C&EN

By some counts, 21 of 47 C&EN editorial/creative staffers have left since March 2021; 2 were fired in December, 5 more (including the above) have left since then. 

Whatever the reasons ACS had to move C&EN from Publications to Communications, the change and the damage has been done, and it appears to be irreversible. 

While I do care about HOW we got here, I am desperate to understand WHAT is going to be done next. I sense that the magazine has had difficulties in filling positions. That's not a surprise - why would you join a place that is hemorrhaging workers? What is the new leadership doing to change that? Is there a vision? How about a plan? Are there attempts to retain current staffers? If not, why? What plan does ACS have to rehabilitate the image of C&EN

I have a second related question: it's abundantly clear that this change happened with the approval of the highest executive management of the Society. Some (Tom Connelly) have left. Why should we trust those leaders who made this clearly disastrous change with fixing it? 


  1. Hopefully the American Chemical Society's tax status is re-evaluated after they have shown (yet again) that they are a for-profit scientific publishing company masquerading as a non-profit professional society.

  2. My dream is that C&EN does a Defector media-style independent turn and we get the magazine without all the attendant society nonsense

  3. What a massive, embarrassing, and inexplicable unforced error from ACS. What could they possibly have been thinking here? Why would they want to mess with C&EN? Didn't everyone like C&EN as it was, like, a lot?!

  4. C&EN was the chief propaganda apparatus of the ACS. Either ACS has some majorly incompetent leadership or something has gone very wrong that we don't know about.


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