Editorial: Welcome to the future
It's rare that Chemistry World uses this column to advertise itself. But this month, please indulge us for a moment as we tell you about all the new features we've added to the magazine, and our website.
This issue sees the arrival of three new columnists, who will be giving you the inside track on science from their very different perspectives.
Philip Ball, a long-term contributor to Chemistry World, brings us his take on some of the most striking discoveries of the month in 'The Crucible'. Phil, who last year won the prestigious Aventis Prize for his book, Critical Mass, will throw diverse nuggets of science into the melting pot and draw out connections and contrasts between them, illuminating the broader context of the research.
Meanwhile Derek Lowe, a medicinal chemist working in the pharmaceutical industry in the US, comments on the challenges - both business and scientific - that face drug companies today. Derek has gained a substantial readership as the author of the 'In the Pipeline' weblog (or blog, for the uninitiated), and now brings the same wit and wisdom to our pages.
Another refugee from the blogosphere is Dylan Stiles, whose tenderbutton.com diary quickly became a must-read for web-savvy chemists. The trials and tribulations - along with distractions and diversions - of a humble Californian graduate student have turned Dylan in something of an online celebrity, and Chemistry World is delighted to bring you regular snapshots from his life.
The web is busily obliterating traditional boundaries between media, so that online diarists can easily find themselves on the printed page. But this traffic can flow both ways, and Chemistry World's own blog has been picking up followers since its launch in late August. Along with providing an opportunity to comment on our daily news output, it is also a discussion forum for the comment and opinion pieces that now make up an important part of the magazine.
So why not tell us what you think about the growing culture of 'chemophobia' which has seen misleading reports on food contamination gather headlines across Europe (see News and Comment).
The power of the internet is also enabling print media to expand into broadcasting, and Chemistry World has joined the fray with its very own podcast. Launched last month, our podcast is essentially a half-hour radio programme that you can download to your computer, absolutely free of charge.
And despite the name, you don't even need an iPod to listen to it: just a computer with a sound card. Bringing you highlights from our magazine and news website, it also hosts interviews with the researchers who make the science happen, and discussion about the hottest molecular topics of the month. Download your copy today and you can start listening to your favourite magazine as well as reading it.
Mark Peplow, editor
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