After five and a half years I’m moving on to new challenges

After five and a half years as editor of Chemistry World I’m moving on to new challenges at a different publication. I leave feeling honoured to have worked with so many talented people, for such an enthusiastic readership, at such a prestigious organisation. 

In these five years at the Royal Society of Chemistry, Chemistry World has gone from strength to strength and nowadays it is known and respected by members of the chemical sciences community worldwide. I’m very proud of this as in this time we have gone through many changes. 

At the beginning of 2012 we redesigned the print magazine to give it a fresh look, a move that was closely followed by a major overhaul of the website in May 2012. This was crucial for us at the time as it allowed us to add functionality that permitted better engagement with our readers and members. It also facilitated our move to e-first and, more generally, the provision of a high quality, up-to-the-minute news service. 

That same year, we launched the Chemistry World iOS and Android apps and we have recently been doing some work to revamp our offering so prepare to be impressed when the new app is ready for release next month.

In 2009 we established our presence in social media channels and this has been one of our most successful activities to date, where we are now able to reach more than 450,000 followers on Facebook and 300,000 on Twitter. This is extraordinary for a publication of this size and is well above the level of activity that some of our competitors have experienced. 

In this time, the team has grown from six to 10 and this September we appointed our first US correspondent, Rebecca Trager, who is based in Washington DC and will be covering the North American territory. We also now have a very strong team of freelancers reporting from all corners of the world including strategically important countries such as China, Russia and India. 

To capitalise on the popularity and subsequent growth in usage of video and audio content, we appointed a multimedia expert to the team, Ben Valsler. If you visit the website you’ll see his work there in the form of podcasts, video documentaries and interviews, etc.

What else to mention? In 2011 we launched a webinar programme and since then we have partnered with some of the biggest names in the industry including PerkinElmer, Shimadzu and Waters. We’ve been nominated for the Online Media Awards in the Best specialist site for journalism two years running. Our own Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the year award is going from strength to strength and in 2013 we successfully  run the second edition of the Chemistry World science communication competition, with entrants from all over the world taking part. 

But this is just a snapshot of the achievements of the last five and a half years. All this has been thanks to:

-the many talented people that have been on the team (editorial, design, commercial sales) over the years, many of whom are still friends and collaborate with us. You’ve all been wonderful.

-the editorial board members and international advisory board. You have been extremely supportive and enthusiastic. I couldn’t have asked for more.

-you, our readers and members. You’ve stayed with us all along: talked to us, wrote to us, called us… Keep doing it!  

And thanks go to the Royal Society of Chemistry for giving me this opportunity. It’s been a pleasure.