Executive Editor, Life Sciences

Date: Jan 6, 2022

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20036

Company: American Chemical Society

Job title: Executive Editor - Life Sciences, C&EN



Overview of C&EN

C&EN (Chemical & Engineering News) produces authoritative, award-winning journalism from around the world of chemistry, including research, education, industry, funding, and regulatory policy. It is published by but editorially independent of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society dedicated to a single discipline. C&EN is widely considered one of the major benefits of ACS membership. Its weekly magazine reaches more than 150,000 members of ACS, and its website receives more than 13 million page views per year.


We are seeking a talented journalist to lead C&EN’s coverage of the life sciences.


What you’ll do:

  1. Coordinate C&EN’s coverage of the life sciences, including the science and business of inventing new drugs. Coverage spans emerging concepts in molecular biology and biochemistry, novel biotechnologies, new trends in the development of small molecule therapeutics, and emerging biotech firms.
  2. Help conceive, shape, and edit features, ensuring that they are accurate, balanced, and compelling.
  3. Work with the science news editor to ensure a regular stream of similarly high quality breaking news about research breakthroughs. Work with the business editor to ensure C&EN is covering major news developments in the biotech and drug industries.
  4. Oversee the work and career growth of a group of 4-5 staff reporters. Maintain a small network of talented freelance contributors. 
  5. Work with C&EN’s Media Production Lab and C&EN’s video and audio specialists to create images, infographics, video, and podcasts that engage and inform.
  6. Work with C&EN’s Audience team to find the widest possible audience for your reporters’ work.
  7. Nurture contacts in the life sciences, pharma, and biotech communities through attendance at events, email and phone interaction, and social media audience building.
  8. Contribute to editorial strategy decisions across the newsroom.


What you’ll bring:

  1. Experience working as a business or science journalist—7-10 years of experience editing and/or reporting stories about the life sciences is required to apply at the manager level; a minimum of 10 years is required for the senior manager level.
  2. A background in science is required; working knowledge of the life sciences and/or pharma is preferred.
  3. Experience conceptualizing, developing, and shaping powerful, engaging, and accurate stories that resonate with a sophisticated scientific audience.
  4. Proven skill in assigning, editing, and creating digital news, features, and multimedia. 
  5. Strong editorial judgement, journalistic values and ethics, and oral communication skills.
  6. Knowledge of SEO and social media best practices.
  7. Experience managing and recruiting journalists is preferred.


About working at C&EN:

ACS believes in the strength of diversity in all its forms, because inclusion of and respect for diverse people, experiences, and ideas lead to superior solutions to world challenges and advance chemistry as a global, multidisciplinary science. In turn, C&EN believes that to meet its mission to be the world’s go-to source of news about chemistry, our reporting and our newsroom must include diverse perspectives. Therefore, we strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, and members of other historically marginalized communities in the chemical sciences to apply.


How to apply:

Along with a resume, applicants must submit or link to three samples of stories they helped shape. Tell us in a cover letter what you can bring to this position. Send all materials to a_yarnell@acs.org after submitting your résumé below.


Job Location: Position is based in Washington, DC.



Nearest Major Market: Washington DC

Job Segment: Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biotech, Molecular Biology, Science, Research