Highlights from the inaugural issue of ACS Central Science

March 23, 2015

Today, ACS is launching its first open access multidisciplinary research journal. Aspiring to communicate the most novel and impactful science developments, ACS Central Science will feature peer-reviewed articles reporting on timely original research across chemistry and its allied sciences. Free to readers and authors alike, original research content will be accompanied by additional editorial features.

These additional editorial features include news stories contributed by the Society's award-winning science journalists, invited topical reviews (called Outlooks) from acknowledged experts around the world, and provocative First Reactions, in which leading thinkers provide incisive summaries and reflections on research presented in the journal and other issues of scientific importance.

In her inaugural editorial, Editor-in-Chief Carolyn Bertozzi lays out her vision. Titled "The Centrality of Chemistry," Bertozzi discusses what being "the central science" means, the journal's selection and review criteria, and the benefits of open access publishing. She envisions ACS Central Science "serving as a portal into the worlds of chemistry and chemical engineering, thereby elevating [chemists'] visibility and stature in society." She notes, "popularized almost 40 years ago, the term 'central science' is now widely used to describe chemistry's focal role in bridging the physical and life sciences, and the basic sciences with applied disciplines like medicine and engineering."

Also in the issue, George M. Church, geneticist and founder of the Personal Genome Project, discusses President Obama's plans for a $215-million Precision Medicine Initiative. In a First Reactions article, Church discusses the opportunities for this initiative with particular emphasis on the role of chemistry. Advances in analytical chemistry are key, he says, as they have dramatically reduced the cost of DNA sequencing and will make monitoring of genetic and environmental factors practical in real time. Synthetic chemistry will also play a role in delivering genetic treatments to patients.

The first Outlook published comes from Omar Yaghi and colleagues. In this article, they review the literature on the globalization of science and map out a potential road ahead. They explain the importance of a strong mentoring tradition as a catalyst for diversity using chemical "family trees" to illustrate their point. In addition to the overarching idea of supporting mentorship, the authors outline eight principles to guide the development of science in developing nations. Despite the many intricacies involved in pursuing the goal, as Yaghi states, "To us, the goal is not complicated: developing global science is simply about extending our experiences and knowledge to all people -- a practice that has long been established in places with an extensive tradition of excellence in academia."
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The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 158,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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