Program Highlights

ACS Publications – C&EN

In 2013, Chemical & Engineering News celebrated 90 years of continuous publication. Each week C&EN posted images and memorable quotations from past issuesin a Tumblr blog called The Watch Glass. This feature was a finalist, along with Glamour and Entertainment Weekly, in the 2013 Folio Awards for Best Use of Social Media, Tumblr Category. Each month C&EN devoted an editor’s page to a reexamination of past coverage, as gleaned from C&EN Archives. A special issue, published on Sept. 9, highlighted nine ways that chemistry changed the world: chemical bonding, plastics, antibiotics, nanotechnology, catalysis, molecular biology, analytical instrumentation, computational chemistry, and environmental awareness. The 90th Anniversary Celebration reached a climax with two live events at the ACS National Meeting in Indianapolis – which included a performance by celebrity chef and award-winning author Alton Brown.

C&EN also co-organized the “Everyday Chemistry” video contest, an interdepartmental collaboration conducted as part of the magazine’s 90th anniversary celebration and the 246th ACS National Meeting and Exposition to encourage chemists globally to communicate the value of chemistry to the public. The contest received 32 video submissions from three countries. The winning video, by ACS member Sally Mitchell, was promoted by C&EN in print and online, and through the ACS Office of Public Affairs’ Bytesize Science video channel and a press release. Coverage of the winning video ranged from the New York Times’ Twitter feed to Dr. Mitchell’s local ABC television affiliate in Syracuse, N.Y. All contestants were recognized by ACS as Chemistry Ambassadors for helping to communicate the value of chemistry to general audiences.

Under the leadership of Editor-In-Chief Maureen Rouhi, C&EN completed a strategic plan for the period 2013-17, which was approved by the ACS Governing Board for Publishing. As part of the early implementation of the plan, C&EN welcomed the arrival of Dr. Kevin Davies in the newly created position of C&EN Publisher. He will explore the expansion of C&EN into new brand-extending initiatives.

C&EN’s digital delivery initiatives continue to advance. Total life-to-date downloads for all C&EN Mobile versions topped 30,000 in 2013. C&EN’s mobile app for Android, C&EN Mobile Optimum, was upgraded with new features – it now offers a new interface, more efficient content loading and response times, a focus on Latest News, and improved user performance. Page views of C&EN Online increased to nearly 7 million in 2013. C&EN also made use of social media outlets in 2013 - in particular, Reddit, Twitter and Facebook. C&EN’s Twitter feed (@cenmag) now has well over 11,000 followers who read, share, and interact with C&EN via this channel. Traffic to C&EN’s Facebook page and YouTube channel also continued to grow. The C&EN Archives received almost 130,000 page views in 2013, a significant increase from 2012.

CENtral Science hosted the #chemsummer blog carnival, inviting participants to submit posts about the chemistry of summer fun (fireworks, pools, sunscreen, etc.). One of the highlights of the carnival was a post by Lauren Wolf, one of CENtral Science’s Newscripts contributors. Lauren brought chemistry to the public by discussing urine, its composition, and its effects on the ocean. Her piece was featured on Gizmodo and mentioned by outlets such as Popular Science. It also received more than 13,000 page views (the network’s most popular for the year), was featured in Nature Chemistry’s “Top Chemistry Blog Posts of 2013,” and will be reprinted in an upcoming issue of “Delaware Beach Life” magazine. C&EN held its first Google+ Hangout, “Countdown to the Chemistry Nobel Prize!” in 2013. The event featured guest panelists discussing candidates and research that might take chemistry’s top prize. The “Hangout” received multiple playbacks and chats on Twitter.

As a means of broadening the reach of C&EN and offering a sample of ACS member benefits, C&EN continued to offer subscriptions for non-member chemists to purchase sample access to the C&EN website for 30 days. C&EN’s Journal News & Community group continued to be active in 2013. The group produced over 170 stories in 2013, for posting on various sections of the ACS Publications Division website. The group also significantly increased the diversity of journals covered, with stories from more than half of ACS journals. Stories produced by the Journal News & Community group in 2013 received over 900,000 page views, and much of the group’s traffic came as a result of C&EN’s social media promotion efforts on Slashdot and Reddit.