December 22, 2008 | General

Editorial: Looking Back … And Ahead

BioCycle December 2008, Vol. 49, No. 12, p. 4
Nora Goldstein

THE December issue presents a moment to reflect upon the year just ending, and pontificate about what lies ahead in the New Year. For the editors, readers and advertisers of BioCycle, looking back this time has profound significance. BioCycle’s 50th Anniversary is just days away, giving us the opportunity to look way, way back!
At its inception in 1960, the name of our publication was Compost Science. Wrote Editor/Publisher Jerome Goldstein in the inaugural issue’s editorial: “We are thoroughly convinced that there is a need to conserve this country’s as well as the world’s natural resources. We believe that converting municipal and industry organic wastes into useful products would be an effective step forward in a long-range conservation program.”
Those words ring as true today as they did 50 years ago. In fact, given the state of the world’s climate and natural resources today, the significance of those words written so long ago is beyond prescient. It is safe to say that we have gone beyond a need to conserve to a mandate to conserve. And the critical part of that mandate is that the tools to make conservation and climate protection happen are ready to use (and in many places, are in use).
It is very impressive to look inside that tool box and discover the fingerprints of members of the BioCycle community (from 1960 to today). So much of the science and practice of resource conservation – soil, water, air, energy – have been influenced by those dedicated to recycling resources, versus throwing them away.
As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we will be publishing articles, quotes, photos and more from the early years – the formative stages of the composting, organics recycling and renewable energy fields. While we have plenty to cull from here at our offices, we would like to invite you to join us in this “looking back” journey. We are in search of memories and stories in the form of photos, diagrams, correspondence, scientific papers that capture the contributions of the pioneering spirits of the past five decades. (You can email or mail materials to Celeste Madtes, BioCycle, 419 State Ave., Emmaus, PA 18049.)
These retrospectives will be published throughout 2009 – both in the magazine and on the BioCycle website. April 2009 BioCycle is our official Commemorative Issue, which will be featured at the BioCycle International Conference 2009, April 27-30 in San Diego, California (see pages 6-7 for a partial program preview. The April 2009 issue will present a decade-by-decade journey of BioCycle’s reporting on composting equipment and systems, watershed research developments and pioneers and their projects.
The success of BioCycle, both today and for the past 50 years, revolves around the people and projects dedicated to conserving natural resources. We look forward to looking back – and looking ahead – in 2009.

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