this week's editorial, Deputy editor-in-chief Maureen Rouhi shares her personal experience in the desire to preserve a legacy as well as those of Traude Sadtler:
In a career spanning more than 20 years, my mother amassed a huge collection of books, teaching materials, theses and dissertations, and assorted memorabilia from adoring and grateful students. Proud as she was of what each of her 12 children had become, I know that she yearned for one of us to follow in her footsteps, to be the beneficiary and perpetuator of her professional legacy. In this regard, she was like many accomplished professionals, including Traude Sadtler, the last chemist of the Sadtlers of Philadelphia, renowned for collecting and publishing reference spectral data.
The desire to preserve and perpetuate the material evidence of a life and its achievements runs deep but is not always attended to with deliberate consideration. In my mother's case, much of the evidence of her professional stature is gone, except in a Philippine university library where hundreds of theses and dissertations bear witness to it. In Sadtler's case, the legacy of three generations of chemists will be more systematically preserved, as the story on page 43 lays out.
There's also an audio bonus in the Sadtler piece - Traude Sadtler shares her secret to happiness.