Subscribe to Newsletter
Techniques & Tools Thin Layer Chromatography

Those Who Cannot Remember the Past

The Analytical Scientist has a (we think good) habit of sharing the fascinating stories of yesteryear, and this issue is no different. Our feature, which investigates life and separation science behind the Iron Curtain, is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of a dedicated group of Eastern European researchers, many of whom are still working today. With few resources at their disposal, they pushed forward the theory of chromatography immeasurably, and concentrated their energy on more accessible techniques, such as thin layer chromatography. However, with limited access to Western journals and conferences, their findings often went largely unrecognized; several contributors point out instances of work being duplicated years – or even decades – later by groups who were unaware that they were following in the footsteps of others.

We hear much about the reproducibility crisis that plagues most areas of science – and it’s certainly a grand challenge for the future. But there are those who argue that there is rather too much repetition at play in certain other camps (1). Unintentional duplication of efforts slows progress, especially in a “supporting science” like analytical chemistry. Younger researchers may be forgiven for missing seminal work published behind the Iron Curtain. But, as Ian Wilson pointed out last month, in a fast-paced, technology-focused field like analytical science, there can be a tendency to regard anything more than five years old as archaic. Trusty solutions should not be cast aside in favor of the “latest and greatest” (but sometimes unproven) techniques.

We feel it is our duty to report on the innovations that are likely to shape the future, but it’s just as important for us to explore the past of our fascinating and diverse field from time to time. This month’s Profession article shares a scheme with a similar vision; by allowing top scientists to tell their stories in their own words, and explain why they made the decisions they did, CASSS (formerly the California Separation Science Society) hope to inform and inspire up-and-coming researchers – and perhaps help them to avoid oft-made mistakes.

Telling personal stories is at the core of what we do at The Analytical Scientist, and we hope that’s reflected in the nearly 1,500 articles we’ve published over the past five years.

Charlotte Barker


Receive content, products, events as well as relevant industry updates from The Analytical Scientist and its sponsors.
Stay up to date with our other newsletters and sponsors information, tailored specifically to the fields you are interested in

When you click “Subscribe” we will email you a link, which you must click to verify the email address above and activate your subscription. If you do not receive this email, please contact us at [email protected].
If you wish to unsubscribe, you can update your preferences at any point.

About the Author
Charlotte Barker

Associate Content Director

After studying biology at Imperial College London, I got my start in biomedical publishing as a commissioning editor for healthcare journals, and I’ve spent my career covering everything from early-stage research to clinical medicine. Attracted by the creativity, talent and passion of the team, I joined Texere Publishing in 2014, where I’m now Associate Content Director and Editor of The Cannabis Scientist.

Register to The Analytical Scientist

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:
  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Analytical Scientist magazine