Only time will tell. It’s hard to fault either Scientific American or the American Chemical Society for trying to assure their companies’ long-term health and prosperity, given the imperiled state of journalism. And, surely, no decisions have been made lightly. With that said, however, the industry is undergoing profound and unsettling changes that must be watched closely. Everybody hopes for the best, but, as one source put it, “It doesn’t pay to be too sanguine in this age.”

Curtis Brainard is the editor of The Observatory, CJR's online critique of science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.