Dear readers, friends and friendly visitors,
Some updates and news:
- As no small number of you have heard, I will be leaving Springer Nature next week. Ultimately it was a difficult decision, but I have a unique opportunity to make an impact on open access publishing that I couldn’t pass up (more on that in a moment). The team at Nature Chemistry has been phenomenal to work with and I have been blessed to have the chance to learn from some really brilliant people. Of all the things I’ll miss about the job, that will really take the most getting used to.
- Starting Monday, September 25th, I will be taking up my new role as the Publishing Manager for ChemRxiv. If you haven’t heard, the American Chemical Society and its strategic partners have recently launched a preprint server, and honestly the response already has been great. I’m looking forward to working with Darla & co to develop ChemRxiv into a truly powerful tool for research dissemination!
- This blog is officially retiring. As part of a way to stop making excuses for not posting more often and to centralize my online identity, I will be launching a new blog as part of an upcoming personal website, so more content will be forthcoming, just in a new home. I’ll post here one last time once it’s ready for you all to check out!
Thank you to everyone who has supported me in the past 18 months with Nature Chemistry, and I hope I can make you all very proud as ChemRxiv continues to grow!
I have made the questionable decision to participate in the Illinois Marathon today back in Champaign, IL (home of my alma mater). I say “participate” because I “run” much in the way that a wounded water buffalo “runs” from a lion, but I digress.
By the time this post goes live, the race will have started, or will have nearly started, and so if you would like to tweet at me (@organometallica) or send text messages, I will be able to view these on my smart watch during the run. I can’t promise that I’ll respond in a timely fashion, but I will read them.
Wish me luck, as I think I’ll need some quantity of it. More to come later.
[[Happy April Fool’s Day everyone! I’ll be resuming making decisions on Nature Chemistry papers that are not at all based on the outcomes of digital card games on Monday. Have a nice weekend!]]
Let’s talk card games—specifically Magic: the Gathering. At this point, I imagine some number of my readers/Twitter followers have discovered that I do enjoy playing the nearly 25 year old card game. Magic is one of the most popular card games worldwide, and so it’s not entirely surprising that I’ve built a deck or two. In fact, I have had the opportunity to attend major tournaments in multiple countries and have had modest success at these events. My connection with the game is a bit deeper than that, though.
In particular, I got really into Magic about the same time that my career in chemistry was just barely kicking off. While I had played as a child on the school bus, it was April 2013 when my now-colleague David Schilter bumped into me in the UIUC NMR room and casually asked me if I would like to go play some Magic over the weekend — at the time I thought he meant he was going to a magic show, but I had jack all to do and really, really needed to get out of the lab, so I agreed to go. After getting past the initial confusion, I was hooked. Over the next few years, Magic went from being a way to socialize and blow off steam to a real competitive endeavor and an actual revenue stream, as it turns out people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for individual Magic cards. While most people characterize the game as a needlessly complex diversion from Dungeons & Dragons, I believe that it is really an important distraction from life itself — I mean, seriously, if your reaction doesn’t work, what’s more satisfying than using a giant, book-loving Elder Dragon to kill a legendary flying hippo?
So, given my tradition of announcing career transitions on this blog, I am proud to announce that I am leaving my position as Editor of Nature Chemistry to become a professional Magic: the Gathering player. I realized that this announcement was important to deliver before the ACS meeting, for the sake of transparency (and the hope of the odd pick-up game of Commander). The transition really makes sense for me; upon reflection, my favorite part of my transition to editorial work is the increased amount of time I had available to play Magic. Indeed, most of my decisions recently have been made by logging into Magic: the Gathering Online and playing a game of Legacy with Goblin Charbelcher — if I win, the paper goes out to review, and if I lose, the authors get a reject letter. By taking on Magic full-time, I realize that I can detach my success rate from this fickle game called “science” and really focus on honing my craft, a craft which I expect will bring me far more recognition than I ever had for my endeavors in chemistry. I look forward to working with the Magic community and you, dear readers, in this new role. I hope you’ll take a moment to visit the website for my newly formed Magic team (I’m still looking for new members, if you’d like to join Team FeCoNi!) and leave a comment here.
So I went ahead and made my love of chemistry both public and permanent. I’m hoping to get a matching psi on my right arm to complete the Schrodinger equation, but that’s for another time.
Dearest readers, please share your science tattoos here! I would love to see some that you’ve had done!