Chemist Song Lin honored by Chemical & Engineering News

Song Lin, associate professor of chemistry in the College of Arts & Sciences, is being honored as an LGBTQ+ trailblazer by Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, in a special Trailblazers issue.

“This collection gives voice to LGBTQ+ members of the chemistry community and celebrates their contributions,” said Tehshik P. Yoon, issue guest editor and chemistry professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “Our hope is to provide visibility to a population that has been marginalized for far too long and whose basic human dignity is only beginning to enjoy legal protection. The inclusion of all our voices in research and education benefits us all.”

Lin said he is honored and proud to be included. “Being a part of this community comes with an opportunity and responsibility to be a role model for the next generation. In addition to being a honor, I also see this as an opportunity to help strengthen our community and inspire future chemists.”

Lin added that his experience at Cornell has been overwhelmingly positive. “My colleagues and students have been supportive of my personal life. My work and life in Ithaca have not been affected because of who I am and as an individual who belongs to the LGBTQ+ community.”

As a researcher in organic chemistry and electrochemistry, Lin works on developing new catalytic methods to address unsolved problems in organic and materials synthesis. He focuses on the rational design of catalysts and the creative use of electrochemistry that will allow for the facile and selective conversion of readily available starting materials, such as sugars, CO2 and abundant natural products, into highly functionalized and value-added products, such as pharmaceuticals and polymers.

All original content in the Trailblazers issue was created by LGBTQ+ writers and many of the commissioned photos of the Trailblazers were taken by LGBTQ+ photographers. A special website accompanies the issue.

“Visibility and awareness are key to the DEI [Diversity, Equity and Inclusion] movement,” said Lin. “The opportunity to share our stories through C&EN creates value for our community, especially in the scientific world. I have personally been inspired by role models who are openly LGBTQ+ and highly visible in the scientific community. I hope this special issue and the stories it tells will inspire and encourage a new generation of LGBTQ+ scientists to overcome adversities, succeed in their pursuit of career goals and happiness, and be their authentic selves.”

For an interview with Prof. Song Lin, see this C&EN story.


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Three people wearing lab coats and protective glasses
Lindsay France/Cornell University Associate professor Song Lin, center, pictured in 2017 with postdoctoral researcher Niankai Fu and graduate student Greg Sauer.