Scholar chosen for senior position at top chemistry journal

Joseph B. Schlenoff, Mandelkern Professor of Polymer Science.

A renowned Florida State University chemist has been selected for a senior editor position with the leading surface science journal Langmuir, published by the 161,000-member American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

Joseph B. Schlenoff, Mandelkern Professor of Polymer Sciencein FSU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, began his role with the journal in mid-January. This is his first appointment as an editor and he will be expected to handle a minimum of 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts submitted each year.

“This is a position of great trust and responsibility,” Schlenoff said. “Journal editors act as arbitrators for what is ‘good’ science. The standards need to be high but innovation can take many forms and can emerge from anywhere at any time. This is also what makes the job so interesting.”

According to the 2013 Journal Citation Report, which critically evaluated the world’s leading academic journals, Langmuir was ranked first in the category of materials science, second in the category of physical chemistry and fifth in the category of multidisciplinary chemistry. The journal was started in 1985 and named after the Nobel laureate Irving Langmuir.

“The science and papers published in Langmuir routinely have an international impact, shaping the future of our society,” Schlenoff said. “As a ChemiNole, I am pleased to have been put into this position of trust and responsibility.”

While Schlenoff admits the new role will certainly be demanding, he has no plans to slow down his research into thin polymer coatings that influence the attachment and growth of cells, which have applications in both the healthcare and biotechnology industries.

Florida State has spent decades building up a leading materials research program that could attract notable prospects like Schlenoff and give them the tools they needed to find success. Part of the strength of that program lies in the interdisciplinary focus of the university — bringing scientists from different research areas together to problem solve and approach issues with different ways of thinking. FSU’s latest interdisciplinary hiring efforts are centered on the areas of Energy and Materials, Brain Health and Disease, and Coastal and Marine Research.

“Seeing our faculty reach high-level positions in leading research journals is always a cause for celebration, especially given the difficulty in obtaining such a role,” said Gary K. Ostrander, FSU’s vice president for Research. “My congratulations go out to Joe for this honor, and also to Langmuir, for selecting such an accomplished scientist to help.