Let’s talk journals—specifically Nature Chemistry. At this point, I imagine those who have kept up with my writing would not be surprised by the high regard in which I hold the publication. While it’s easy to cite the impact of Nature Chemistry on the basis of its publications, citations, and general reputation, my relationship with the journal is more difficult to quantify. I have had the honor of having my writing appear in the journal on more than one occasion, and having access to Stu and the gang for impromptu discussions was an important aspect of my graduate education. My connection with the journal is a bit deeper than that, though.
In particular, the journal was founded about the same time that my career in chemistry was just barely kicking off. In April 2009, when the inaugural issue of Nature Chemistry was released, I was nearly done with my sophomore organic coursework and had been involved with my first undergraduate research experience for a few months. At this point I was already looking toward internships in the Boston pharmaceutical industry, but I distinctly remember my undergraduate research advisor at the time giving me a copy of that first issue—I can clearly picture the cover, with its concentric rings of polyoxometalate crystals. That issue was on my desk for many years (sadly lost to one move or another over time), and looking back, it’s incredible how much that issue ended up forecasting in my professional life. The Commentary article was written by Jeff Moore and Phil Janowicz on their (at the time) new course at Illinois using a new approach to online coursework to adapt traditional organic chemistry lectures to the ever-increasing class sizes at the institution. I am intimately familiar with the topic because I ended up attending graduate school at Illinois and volunteered as Jeff’s teaching assistant for nearly all of my teaching assignments in no small part due to that article. The rest of that issue’s table of contents reads something like a laundry list of nearly every topic I have been academically interested in at one point or another. I continued to follow the journal throughout my education and I firmly believe that my transition from bioorganic chemistry to mechanistic organometallic chemistry began in my exposure to some of the early work published in Nature Chemistry.
This is all to say that I believe that a scientific journal with well-crafted “front matter” is a powerful educational tool, and I would argue that Nature Chemistry is a rare example where the front and back sections are both of extraordinarily high quality. This is why I am proud to announce that I have accepted a position as Editor of Nature Chemistry beginning in April 2016. I am excited to be able to contribute to the promotion of high-quality research via the journal and hope to bring a new perspective to the review of articles in the areas of organic, inorganic and organometallic chemistry. I look forward to working with the team and you, dear readers, in this new role.