Chemical Processing Anniversary: A Milestone Merits Musing

Sept. 25, 2018
My ten years at Chemical Processing calls for looking both back and forward

I recently celebrated my 10-year anniversary with Chemical Processing. For journalists, it’s easy to circle back to see a decade’s worth of work. Since 2008, I’ve moderated close to 100 webinars. The very first one was on compliance with REACH, a European Union regulation adopted in 2006 to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that chemicals may pose. Fast forward to today and I still have a few webinars left to moderate in 2018. You can access those and on-demand webinars here.


I’ve written oodles of news stories (the early stories cover process safety and best practices just like the current ones do — you can check out our news coverage). I’ve also written 83 columns for the magazine, counting this one. Through the years, I’ve addressed redesigns, several of the webinars, popular content and social media best practices to name a few. You can check out all of my columns here.

I’ve also penned over 300 blogs of varying topics — from BASF’s campaign to help consumers understand what they do (see: “Competitive Edge — It's All in The Slogan”) to predatory publishers who value money more than scientific integrity (see: “Fake Science Sullies Sound Research”). In between, I’ve managed to write about farting bugs, numerous winners of the Ig Nobel award (which honors achievements that make people laugh but then think), creepy Christmas songs, beer made from wastewater and coffee improved by chemistry. You can find all these and more topics here. In addition to the editorial coverage, I’ve also introduced fun stuff to our site. A relatively new addition here is our quizzes. A few years ago, I decided it was time to test the knowledge of our readers. Granted, these quizzes don’t require an all-night study session, but they do let you take a needed break and maybe even learn something new along the way. You can access them here.

Another light-hearted aspect of is our Comical Processing cartoons. These draw all sorts of funny captions. We now have over 150 cartoons in our gallery. For me, working with award-winning artist Jerry King to create cartoons aimed at the chemical industry is a fun endeavor. I give him a general direction and he runs with it — although he does note that he couldn’t pass his kid’s chemistry class. “As a cartoonist, I’m able to find humor in most topics. But the humor is pretty basic, and not for true experts in the field.”

While he may think he’s only offering basic humor, reader reactions to the cartoons prove that he’s on point. Each monthly cartoon gets at least 25 cartoon caption submissions. And, over the years, we’ve had several folks reach out to us to ask if they can use a Comical Processing cartoon in their presentations because it’s spot-on for the topic they are discussing. In a few months, we’ll be celebrating 10 years of cartoons from Jerry King. Stay tuned for the online party particulars.

While 10 years seems such a long time, I feel I’m just getting started in the chemical industry. There are many more ideas to bring to the table. If you have ideas for me, please email me.

Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing's Senior Digital Editor. She's enjoying her anniversary. You can email her at [email protected].

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