Linda Wang

Linda Wang

Senior Editor

Chemical & Engineering News, American Chemical Society


B.S., University of Wisconsin

M.S., Science & Tech Journalism

Linda Wang has been an editor at Chemical & Engineering News, the membership magazine of the ACS, for 10 years. She writes articles about ACS member activities, programs, and events — anything that might be of interest to the ACS membership at the national level. Her "Scenes from the National Meeting" photographic series has appeared in C&EN for many years. She also writes about employment and education issues.

After earning her bachelor's degree in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Wang attended graduate school at Texas A&M University, studying science and technology journalism. "I enjoy writing, and I'm good at it," she says. "I like to look at the big picture," she adds, explaining that lab research required her to narrow her focus too much for her liking.

She completed her master's degree in 2001, after which she became an assistant editor for the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The editor who hired her had also graduated from the science journalism program at A&M. Wang says, "I'll never know if having that connection gave me an edge in getting that position, but I'm sure it didn't hurt!"

In 2003, Wang saw a C&EN assistant editor's job posted in the National Association of Science Writers' job bulletin. Her father is a 50-year member of ACS, so she remembers seeing copies of C&EN around the house as she was growing up. Wang applied for and got the job, and she began work in the magazine's production group. Later, she began working in C&EN's ACS news and special features group, where she now works as a senior editor.

After every interview, I ask people if there's anything I haven't asked. That often leads to interesting insights that I never thought to find out.

Primary job responsibilities:

I'm primarily responsible for reporting and writing articles for C&EN, but I have been branching out to other forms of storytelling through photos, videos, multimedia projects, and even social networking. I also attend ACS national meetings, where I am responsible for putting together the meeting photo spread. It's a lot of fun engaging with other ACS members and finding out what's on their minds.

Typical day on the job:

A typical day involves checking and responding to e-mails, doing internet research, interviewing sources for news and feature articles, grabbing lunch, attending meetings, transcribing interview tapes — oh, and writing!

Work schedule:

I typically work 40 hours a week, sometimes more if I'm trying to meet a deadline. I am lucky in that I rarely need to work overtime. The environment can be fast-paced at times, but it is mostly relaxed, and I set my own pace. 

I go to the ACS national meetings twice a year. Other than that, I do most of my reporting on the phone, from my office. I do sometimes interview local sources on-site

Tools you can't live without:

I spend a lot of my time on e-mails and phone calls, so I guess a computer, phone, and tape recorder are things I can't do my job without! I also use professional-quality camera, video, and sound recording equipment for multimedia work.

Work environment:

I primarily work in the office, but I try to get out whenever I can because often my best ideas and stories come out of interacting with others.

What you like most about your job:

I like the flexibility of my job to come up with story ideas that interest me. I also like being able to help people with the work that I do. I feel that I can help job seekers with my reporting and writing.

Best productivity trick:

I have a things-to-do list, and I love checking things off.

Best career advice you've received:

Moving forward is one step at a time! Also, diversify your skill set and keep your options open about where you want to work.

Skills or talents that make you a good fit for your job:

I am an extrovert and I love interacting with people. I also love taking photos, which helps me in my job.

Essential habit you wish you'd started earlier:

After every interview, I ask people if there's anything I haven't asked. That often leads to interesting insights that I never thought to find out. Also, the best way to get people to talk is to be a good listener.

Anything else you'd like to mention about your career?

If you're passionate about something, you'll find a way to succeed and make a living doing so.

Favorite ACS resource:

The people at ACS are what makes this such a great organization.