Editors’ Note (Spring 2022)

It takes energy to write, print, and read this magazine: energy to power our writing devices, to extract the ink on this page, and to transport the magazine from the printing press. Energy; isn’t it just electrifying? 

From a young age, we learned that energy plays a crucial role in everything from our food to our cars. In our science classes, we study how our bodies use ATP for energy, how energy is released as a byproduct of combustion, and how energy and motion are related. Energy, or the capacity to do work, is the center of all phenomena in the natural world. Humanity draws energy from sources like the sun or dinosaur juice, and we use energy to power things from our airfryers to our airplanes. Energy literally powers our world and will remain a key topic in science and politics. In this issue of CHASM, we’re ecstatic to share a foray into energy. 

Energy is also a topic adjacent to climate change, which was another theme CHASM considered before landing on energy. We thought it would be more meaningful to hone in on a specific perspective of climate change, and CHASM writers rose to the task by addressing the key questions of how we get energy and why we use it. Writers imagined how we might power our cities with electricity from nuclear reactions, the seas and tides, or the earth itself. An infographic on energy production and usage in the US gives fast facts that convey the importance of sustainable energy. Anticipating innovations to our transportation, some wrote on the potential of hydrogen fuel cells and biofuels as emission-free ways to power our vehicles. Given the Russia-Ukraine war, many writers touched on the political ramifications of energy. An interview with the U.S. Energy Secretary under President Obama also provides insight on energy security concerns. 

Beyond energy, CHASM readers will find a litany of articles. Articles on recent discoveries in genomics and epidemiology are sure to bring back fond memories of 9th grade biology; you can confuse your brain with neuroscience articles explaining how we store those memories. Or, if you’ve ever wondered how food gets to your table, you can chew on some articles on agricultural practices and systems. Lastly, articles on the Ecobash and Girls Advancing in STEM Conference will keep you up to date on student interactions with science. 

As the new Editors-In-Chiefs of CHASM, we are excited to continue providing insight to the scientific world around us. We hope you are feeling as electric as we are about this edition and future ones!

-Allison Wu and Tim Guan, Editors-in-Chief