Why Chemistry Honors Need to Be More Representative - ACS Axial | ACS Publications

Why Chemistry Honors Need to Be More Representative

Analytical Chemistry Editor-in-Chief Jonathan V. Sweedler was recently named to the #1 spot in the 2019 Power List, published by The Analytical Scientist. He had the following to say about the list and its implications for the wider field.

While it is always fun to see your name on a list of influential measurement scientists, I have several thoughts to share. First, it is gratifying to see the number of ACS measurement science journal editors, associate editors, and editorial advisory board members included. Our journals’ successes are driven by their expertise.

However, I also notice who is not included and question if the list is truly representative of the current state of the field. For example, women make up only about 30% of the list, with only three in the top 20. I wonder why. Does it accurately represent the number of women nominated by readers of The Analytical Scientist, and more importantly, reflect those who should be recognized for making notable contributions to the field? It is hard to know without knowing more about the selection process. Regardless of the reason, as a discipline, we must do better than this.

Also surprising is the lack of scientists from Asia. At a time when more than a third of the published analytical manuscripts are from Asia, I would expect similar numbers of scientists from this region to be included in a list designed to showcase: “…the tremendous range of talent, ingenuity and leadership present across all corners of analytical science on a global scale.” China, Japan, and Korea have many world leaders in measurement science, and with some notable exceptions, they are underrepresented in the Power List.

Thus, while I applaud the effort to generate a list of the top 100 analytical scientists, I hope all of us who participate in the nomination and selection process strive for a more representative list in the future.

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