EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE | September 09, 2013

Chemical & Engineering News celebrates its 90th anniversary

Note to journalists: Please report that this research was presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.

A press conference on this topic will be held Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 8 a.m. in the ACS Press Center, Room 211, in the Indiana Convention Center. Reporters can attend in person or access live audio and video of the event and ask questions at www.ustream.tv/channel/acslive.

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 9, 2013 — A weekly news magazine that has been around since before Time began celebrates its 90th anniversary this week with a special issue commemorating chemistry’s contributions over the past nine decades to medicine, industry and other scientific advances that have improved people’s lives. The magazine is Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), a publication of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. C&EN is also sponsoring a slew of celebratory events here at the ACS’ 246th National Meeting & Exposition, which continues through Thursday in the Indiana Convention Center and downtown hotels. Among them: A webinar on food fraud and an appearance by Alton Brown, host of the popular Food Network series Iron Chef America.

First published 11 weeks before Time debuted, the magazine that would become C&EN began its historic run on Jan. 10, 1923, as the Industrial & Engineering Chemistry News Edition. By 1942, when it was renamed C&EN, the “Newsmagazine of the Chemistry World” had become — and continues to be — the largest-circulation publication serving the chemical profession and industry.

C&EN’s goals 90 years ago remain at the core of its objectives today. “C&EN’s vision is to be the first choice for reliable news and information on the chemical enterprise,” said Maureen Rouhi, Ph.D., its editor-in-chief. “Our mission is to provide readers with significant news and analysis of the global chemistry enterprise in a timely, accurate and balanced fashion. And we strive to keep readers informed of the activities and official policies of the American Chemical Society.”

The magazine, however, has evolved with readers’ changing preferences for obtaining news and information about chemistry and many related fields of science. Today, for instance, in addition to the print edition published every Monday, C&EN posts stories online on a daily basis and offers a suite of digital products that include the CENtral Science blogs, a YouTube channel and apps for iPhone and Android smartphones.

“C&EN’s value to scientists, and stature in the scientific community, is reflected in its circulation to the ACS membership,” said Brian D. Crawford, Ph.D., president, ACS Publications. “At a time when other newsmagazines have experienced sharp declines in circulation, C&EN continues to attract an audience of more than 130,000 subscribing scientists and other readers who follow it in print, online and on their mobile devices each week. It doesn’t just lead the industry, it dominates it.”

“On behalf of ACS’ members, I am delighted to thank and to congratulate the writers, editors, designers and other C&EN staffers over the years who have made our society’s news publication a must-read for scientists, businesspeople, policymakers and others,” said Marinda Li Wu, Ph.D., ACS president.

This week’s commemorative issue features articles focusing on chemistry’s contributions to nine vital areas of scientific achievement since the 1920s. These include the development of antibiotics, the emergence of plastics, the rise of environmental awareness and the growth of nanotechnology. Each story includes a “Learning from the Past” sidebar that summarizes significant developments chronicled in C&EN Archives. In addition, the issue includes a sampling of readers’ favorite stories, a poster outlining how chemistry has changed the modern world and a C&EN first: a chemistry-oriented crossword puzzle.

The webinar, “Food Fraud: How Scientists Detect It and What You Should Know,” begins at 11 a.m. on Tuesday. Open to the public, it features presentations by three food authentication experts who will discuss what types of food are most often faked, what chemical methods and instrumentation are used to detect fakes and what analytical gaps exist in this area of research. The panelists are Jeffrey Moore, Ph.D., a senior scientific liasion at U.S. Pharmacopeia; Selina Wang, Ph.D., research director of the Olive Center, University of California-Davis; and Kimberley Warner, Ph.D., a senior scientist at Oceana, an international advocacy group working to protect the world’s oceans. They will answer questions following their discussion. Registration is required.

Also on Tuesday, celebrity chef Alton Brown will speak to ACS National Meeting attendees in the Indiana Convention Center. Brown, a culinary commentator on the Food Network and author of three New York Times best-selling books, will discuss how to effectively communicate science to the public.

Rouhi said C&EN is hosting Alton Brown because of his talent in communicating the science that millions of people unknowingly use every day in their own kitchens and backyard grills. “Cooking involves some of the oldest and most widely used principles of chemistry, and we are delighted to feature Alton’s demonstrations,” Rouhi said. “They underscore how scientific concepts can be explained to nonscientists in understandable terms without sacrificing accuracy.”

In addition to these events, C&EN has launched The Watch Glass, a random walk through 90 years of the magazine. This Tumblr page explores the magazine’s history through pictures and quotes. Each item links to a story in the C&EN Archives, such as a 1955 cover story in honor of Linus Pauling’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry and a 1986 feature on the efforts to discover drugs and vaccines to combat AIDS.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

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The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

Founded 90 years ago, C&EN has evolved over the years. From top left, 1928, 1939, 1947 and 1970. Bottom left, 1984, 1993, 1997 and 2013.
Credit: Chemical & Engineering News