Thank you to everyone who clicked on the link to our Chem@Cam survey in the February email or from the department website.
Of the 73 responses received (about a 2.5% response rate), most were generally very positive, with 64 saying the level of the research stories was ‘about right’.
The favourite section was ‘articles about current research,’ followed by ‘alumni articles’ and ‘news & awards’, though the puzzle corner also had quite a few vociferous supporters!
This transition period between editors does offer the opportunity to try some new ideas and make some changes in response to your comments. ‘I’m really not too sure about those back covers’ was a typical comment about the cartoons on the back, which have probably had their day and will no longer be appearing.
Some also thought there was ‘too much news about current staff’ which isn’t always ‘relevant’ for alumni, as one answer put it. In response to this, we will consult with department members and all staff about other options, such as perhaps starting a separate e-newsletter with more comprehensive items about staff news and events. This could be circulated within the department and, of course, to any former staff or alumni who would like to receive it.
A common theme was a request for more news about alumni and ‘a chance for members of research groups to reconnect.’ We will be working on some new alumni features such as “Where are they now?” and the chance to identify people who appear in old group photos! In the July Chem@Cam email you’ll also find an invitation to join in the department’s “Call my Bluff” wine tasting during the alumni festival, and we encourage you to contact your contemporaries and arrange to meet here.
Continuation of print editions
Regarding the modern problem of email v. hard copy, paper is still a winner by some margin, so don’t worry – we will still be posting two editions of Chem@Cam a year, which will occasionally be supplemented by illustrated emails to keep you up to date with Chemistry Department news and events.
We will continue to work hard to inform and entertain all our readers about what’s happening in Chemistry at Cambridge and beyond. We hope we merit these words of approval: “I enjoy receiving each issue – I think you’ve got it just right. Well done” and to continue to satisfy the respondent who said: “[it’s] always just a pleasant surprise when it turns up on the doormat.”