ChemistryViews turns ten this year. A good reason to celebrate with you and our owner societies (16 European chemical societies who publish ChemistryViews and 15 high-quality journals under the brand ChemPubSoc Europe).
Throughout the year, we will look at our most popular content, we have little tasks for you (don’t worry, they will be easy to do and great fun), and lots of presents to give to you (for example, our #chemquackers ducks and bags), as well as special prizes (such as iPads and books).
We will start on February 3, 2020, with a #creativecolumn competition. Watch this space, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or register for our anniversary reminder (12 emails throughout this year and then you are automatically unsubscribed again).
In the meantime, read more about ChemistryViews in my Editorial below and/or take the quiz “Did you Know This About ChemistryViews?”.
ChemistryViews Turns 10 This Year
1 Made in Europe for the World
ChemistryViews.org is the magazine of ChemPubSoc Europe. It supports 16 European national societies. Each society has a national membership magazine published in their national language, which is an important link to their respective members. ChemistryViews connects these magazines and provides international outreach. ChemistryViews published its first content in May 2010. Since then, this joint European science news magazine has grown steadily and is read in many regions of the world.
Though we already had a great start in the first year, the usage has grown by 1,500 % by the end of 2019. Even though the annual growth has slowed, we are still gaining many readers each year. Usage is coming nearly equally from Europe, the Americas, and Asia. In 2010, we had readers from 70 % of all countries in the world; in 2019, from 90 %. Since the beginning, the USA is the country where most usage comes from. China is catching up, with the 6th place in 2019. UK and Germany are our strongest European countries userwise.
2 Who Is the Person Behind this Research or Idea?
ChemistryViews covers recent advances in research, industry, and education in texts, videos, and interactive features. We look at breaking research and highlight the work of international scientists, introduce interesting projects, report on new trends, and cover what is happening in the community. But beyond this, we are very much interested in the people behind the science or behind an idea.
Science is not happening in a vacuum. From history, we know that external circumstances, a person’s personality, small coincidences, being at the right place at the right time have a great influence. Lothar Meyer, for example, probably came out slightly ahead of Mendeleev with the periodic table, but Mendeleev gained more credit and is seen as the father of the periodic table. To understand this, you have to look at the personalities of both researchers and at the different research environments in Russia and Germany at that time .
This is only one of many examples of why we consider it important to get to know people and to find out who is behind an idea, which personality, which circumstances, which influences are important.
We are very grateful that we could talk to young and experienced persons, women and men, from around the world – wonderful, creative, courageous persons. We are thrilled when we can meet outstanding, well-known scientists, but we also want to give a voice to those who have a lot to say but are not that easily heard or always in the spotlight.
We are very grateful that many shared their thoughts and opinions with us and gave us the opportunity to learn new things, look at something from a different angle, inspire us or provoke us, make us think, make us laugh. We have more exciting interviews in the pipeline. However, since we cannot be everywhere, we are always happy to receive your suggestions.
But not only our team is enthusiastic about the interviews, you, our readers, are as well. The most popular articles in 2018 and 2019, for example, were two interviews : In 2019, one with Professor Gianluca Maria Farinola, the President of the Organic Chemistry Division of EuChemS and of the Organic Chemistry Division of the Italian Chemical Society (SCI) . He talks about his fascination for organic chemistry, the value chemists bring to society, and the impulses needed from young scientists. And in 2018, one with Dr. Xin Su, Editorial Manager and first Editor of Angewandte Chemie based in China . Angewandte is the flagship journal of the GDCh (German Chemical Society) and one of the most renowned chemistry journals in the world. Xin Su talks about his interest in publishing, Angewandte Chemie, and China.
2.2 Behind the Science
There is little or no space in a paper to talk about difficulties and aberrations, about luck and coincidence, about the personal background of a research project. In the Behind the Science series, journal editors talk to authors about their recently published articles. We learn why topics were approached, how co-operations came about, what was difficult, what failed, what was most exciting, how much patience was needed, and learn about the scientist and his/her team.
3 Science Is Lots of Fun
In addition to hard science, we also want to mention the fun and easy topics in chemistry and the joy of chemistry. Klaus Roth, Professor Emeritus of the TU Berlin, Germany, dedicates his articles – with admirable research work and a great deal of humor – to the chemistry in many everyday products. We read about the chemistry of a hangover, the Oktoberfest rearrangement, or Espresso, a three-step preparation, to only name a few.
But also we in the editorial team do not shy away from research work. Thus, in 2011, we succeeded in meeting Fridolin E. Coli, the gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium, well known in the field of biochemistry, biotechnology, and microbiology, and talking about his more than one hundred years of experience in research.
We are happy that our quizzes – especially the Who’s Next quizzes predicting the next Nobel Prize laureate in Chemistry –, the joke collections, and, of course, #chemquackers are so popular. The lovable rubber duck #chemquackers was born at the 6th EuCheMS Chemistry Congress (ECC) in Seville, Spain, in 2016. Since then, the ducks’ adventures throughout the (chemistry) world are being posted on social media. What experiments will be carried out? Which duck will travel the furthest? Who will meet the most prominent scientists? Follow #chemquackers on Twitter and Instagram to find out!
4 Communicating Science—Science Outreach
Part of our content deals with education. Clever Pictures explain the chemistry of everyday chemistry or topics of general interest in one or more graphics. Some articles give tips for scientific publishing and laboratory work, others explain terms like fracking, fluorescence, bosons, or how touch screens, batteries, or blood types work.
Simple, short explanations help pupils and students in learning and understanding chemistry, they help the more experienced to remember what they have learned long time ago, and provide ideas and topics suitable for communicating with a wider audience.
We support scientists who want to communicate the relevance of their work and the overall importance of science to the public. We all know this is increasingly important. There are many great ideas on how science can be made accessible to a wider audience, how interest can be aroused. We provide a forum to share such ideas and by this inspire others. Among the content you liked best in 2019 is the description of a chemistry escape room for high school students organized by the Jung Chemiker Forum (JCF, German Young Chemists Network) of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh, German Chemical Society). The school children had to solve riddles. The event aimed to raise the students’ interest in science, especially in chemistry .
The big issues of our time which are discussed in society are also addressed in ChemistryViews. Some of these topics are climate change, health care, clean water, food. They all need chemistry to be solved. The paleontologist Nick Pyenson gave an additional reason to the obvious why scientists are needed at the 2020 World Economic Forum: People are needed “who understand the complexity of the world, and who possess both confidence with creative problem-solving and the patience needed to play the long game. Scientists have these traits in abundance, along with the credibility and competence to make a difference at the table of global leadership, which the world certainly needs.”
May we all live up to our responsibility as scientists. It is clear that we can only do so together, as an international, diverse, interdisciplinary community. And not by “only” fixing problems with existing solutions but by questioning the underlying beliefs and assumptions that drive our thinking and behavior. Radical innovations are needed. Research and industry must work together to implement innovations and bring them into production. Focus on and funding for new ideas and technologies must be given.
A lot has changed in the past ten years and this will continue in our rapidly changing times. We are curious about what the next ten years will bring.
Many thanks to all of you, our readers and supporters, for the exciting and successful time. We are looking forward to a continued exchange with you about fascinating scientists, inspiring people, great research, groundbreaking technologies, and funny or surprising things.
 Francesca Novara, Eric Scerri, Minor Contributors Count as Much as Heroic Discoverers, ChemViews Mag. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1002/chemv.201900115
 The Content You Liked Best in 2019, ChermViews Mag. 2020.
- Did you Know This About ChemistryViews?
- CreativeColumn Competition – will start on February 3, 2020