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The Scientist is Back

Staff are determined to continue bringing their readers great content after learning LabX Media Group intends to save the magazine.

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Editor: Here, Bob Grant of The Scientist describes the "emotional rollercoaster ride" the magazine's staff have gone through this month after first learning the magazine was to shut down and then that LabX Media Group intends to buy The Scientist and keep it going.

What an October it’s been at The Scientist. Less than a week after we rolled out our highly anticipated 25th anniversary issue—complete with opinion pieces from life science luminaries, including E.O. Wilson, Craig Venter, George Church, Stephen Friend, and our founder Eugene Garfield—we had to announce the sad news that, due to financial difficulties, we were stopping the presses and pulling the plug on our magazine and website. After a quarter century of serving as essential reading for researchers all over the world, the sun appeared to be setting on The Scientist.

Going from celebrating a successful and eventful 25-year run to mourning the loss of a leading voice in the life science community was an emotional rollercoaster ride, to put it mildly. We received calls and emails from devoted readers and former writers and editors expressing their dismay that The Scientist would no longer be published. But as we learned last week, our ride hadn’t quite come to its end.

After learning of The Scientist‘s demise, Bob Kafato, president of LabX Media Group, made a call that would breathe hope into a resurrection of the magazine. Kafato contacted officers at Sciencenow Inc., The Scientist’s most recent owner, to tell them that he was interested in purchasing and reviving the magazine. On Friday, LabX Media Group—which also publishes a trade magazine, called Lab Manager, focused on the business of running a laboratory—announced the signing of a nonbinding letter of intent with Sciencenow detailing the terms for acquiring The Scientist. Pending the finalization of the deal, the magazine is back in business.

“The quality life science content that The Scientist produces is second to none,” Kafato said in a statement, “and we are happy to be adding this to our portfolio of media products for lab professionals.”

Mary Beth Aberlin, The Scientist‘s editor in chief, announced last week that the editorial and design teams will stay on with the magazine and remain focused on publishing breaking news, discussion-provoking opinion pieces, award-winning articles, and top-notch infographics in the pages of the magazine and on the website. “The editorial team and I are delighted that LabX Media Group has been able to agree on terms with Sciencenow, Inc. with such dispatch,” Aberlin said in a release. “Our dedicated editorial team will remain intact and continue to produce a magazine that maintains our editorial standards.”

We appreciate your patience as we sort out the sale of the magazine and work hard to return to our normal publication schedule. New stories are already appearing on the website, so check there for the latest news and digests from the life sciences. And be sure to check out the bevy of interesting articles from our 25th anniversary issue. They’re all freely accessible and waiting for you to add to the discussion in the comments section.

October has been a bit topsy turvy for us, but we can assure you that The Scientist will be back better than ever, and we hope to remain on your desks, in your inboxes, and on your screens for many years to come.