This Week on CENtral Science: Chemist Arrested, Fear of Stench, That 70s #Chemjobs, And More
Jan25

This Week on CENtral Science: Chemist Arrested, Fear of Stench, That 70s #Chemjobs, And More

Tweet of the Week: Man, it's #ChemistsBehavingBadly Week or something.— Chemjobber (@Chemjobber) January 22, 2013 And now, to the roundup: The Safety Zone: UC Davis chemist arrested on explosives charges and UC Davis chemist arraigned on explosives, waste disposal, and firearms charges and Friday chemical safety round-up Artful Science: When a Rembrandt copy is not a forgery Just Another Electron Pusher: From the archives—a surplus of PhDs Newscripts: Chemical Abstracts Service’s 70 Millionth Substance and Fear Of Stink: A Century In The Making and Amusing News...

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C&EN Archives
Nov08

C&EN Archives

Three years ago, I decided to write an editorial on a controversy that was swirling around plans to celebrate the centennial of Rachel Carson’s birth (C&EN, June 4, 2007, page 5). I knew from C&EN lore that the magazine had published a highly critical review of Carson’s seminal book “Silent Spring” entitled “Silence, Miss Carson.” I wanted to read the review and see whether there had been any reaction to it from readers. My only recourse was to go to the bound copies of C&EN stored in our conference room, which was where they had been moved from the ACS library when that facility had been dramatically shrunk a few years earlier. “Silent Spring” had been published in 1962, so I pulled the two bound volumes of C&EN for that year from the shelves and started leafing through them, perusing the tables of contents for a review of “Silent Spring.” I eventually found the review—it was strikingly negative and shortsighted—and several issues later a number of letters from readers commenting on the review. I found it interesting that readers’ comments ranged from approving to quite critical. By 1962, many members of ACS were as concerned as Carson about the overuse of pesticides and other chemicals in the environment. In the same issue that contained the review of “Silent Spring” was a story by a C&EN reporter on a scientific meeting where various chemists presented their ideas about the nature of the genetic code. James D. Watson and Francis Crick had deciphered the structure of DNA in 1953, but in 1962 biochemists were still trying to figure out how the arrangement of nucleotides specified the structure of proteins. As I wrote in the 2007 editorial, when Carson wrote “Silent Spring,” the “mechanisms of carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, and teratogenicity had barely begun to be understood.” I bring up this episode because, if all goes as planned, as of today I would not have had to resort to such a laborious (though pleasurable) effort to find “Silence, Miss Carson.” Today marks the launch of C&EN Archives, a brand-new product from ACS that is available for purchase or subscription by libraries. C&EN Archives is the digital collection of all content that has been published in C&EN since the magazine was launched in 1923 as the News Edition of the ACS journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry. When the ACS Publications Division decided to create a digital archive of all ACS journals in 2001, ACS Executive Director Madeleine Jacobs, then C&EN’s editor-in-chief, and I, along with then-Publications Division President Bob Bovenschulte, decided not to include C&EN as part of the collection. Since the journal archive launched,...

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