Letter from the Editor

Greetings from overcast Philadelphia.Judith Currano

I am delighted to be writing to you once again as editor of the Chemical Information Bulletin, a role that I particularly enjoyed last time I held it. I think that some of the best information sources available to chemists are other chemists, and I am proud to be able to help CINF members tell others about their activities and the activities of the division at large.

This is the first time that I have edited a post-meeting issue of the CIB, and my experience differed greatly from editing a pre-meeting issue. Rather than worrying about the formatting of information from the technical program (and praying that the ACS systems used to obtain this information had supplied us with the correct room numbers, times, and session organizers), I was free to read and contemplate interesting and informative reports from many of these self-same technical sessions. I have always loved this aspect of the post-meeting CIB because ACS meetings have gotten so busy that it is impossible to attend every single talk that sounds interesting. I extend my gratitude to the many session organizers who, although they had already worked extremely hard to organize symposia on cutting-edge topics in our discipline, were still willing to expend extra time and effort to prepare reports and summaries of the happenings at their symposia.

We certainly live in an “interesting time” in the field of chemical information, and I am not sure whether this is a blessing or a curse. Many of the symposium topics centered on acquiring, using, and reusing research data in ways that are in keeping with funders’ mandates for the sharing of data and publications. These topics reflect the establishment and growth of many new avenues for chemical information research and practice. The danger, as always, lies in the fact that many of us must simultaneously maintain traditional services and research practices while expanding into new areas. It is the job of our community to meld the old with the new, developing systems and workflows that will merge the traditional with the innovative. Based on the six symposium reports encapsulated in this issue, we are definitely up to the challenge!

In addition to the symposium reports, I am pleased to present two feature articles: an interview with Stuart Chalk by Svetlana Korolev and a retrospective on the SPARC Organic Letters experiment by David Shobe. Both are extremely interesting reading, and I hope you will find them inspiring and thought-provoking, respectively. While you are reading, be sure to take note of the activities of our committees and our sponsors, and, if you have a hankering for more reading in our discipline, check out the book reviews so thoughtfully provided by Bob Buntrock.

Before concluding, I must apologize for the tardiness of this issue, which came due at the busiest time of the semester, and acknowledge the support and assistance of the many people who worked on short notice to make it as interesting and error-free as possible! My heartfelt thanks go to the production team, Stuart Chalk, Bonnie Lawlor, David Shobe, and Wendy Warr for the hours that they put in copyediting and preparing the digital version of the CIB, which would not exist without their efforts.

Although we do live in “interesting times,” I, for one, would definitely be bored if it were otherwise!

Judith N. Currano
University of Pennsylvania

currano@pobox.upenn.edu