Last month I accepted the Actuarial Review editor-in-chief baton from my predecessor, Grover Edie, after many years of volunteering as a copyeditor and occasional author. This transition motivated me to reflect a bit on the story of our magazine. I refer to as “our magazine” because — with its member newsletter origin and its evolution into a respected trade publication — AR is a powerful voice for CAS members to communicate with each other and the world beyond our profession.
In the age of a 24-hour news cycle, the recession of print media and the explosion of citizen journalism, AR has been consistently ahead of its time. AR delivers a beautiful glossy magazine (with specifically commissioned cover art) to members’ mailboxes and has developed a snappy website. Produced by volunteer authors and editors in partnership with top-flight CAS staff, it draws upon the most effective aspects of citizen and conventional journalism. Its bi-monthly news cycle allows time for our actuaries to dissect the complex issues of our industry and time — accentuating magazines’ structural preference (compared to more real-time media) for having the decisive say over the first or most biting take.
Our magazine is a way for us to get to know our 10,000 plus and growing member base (See an upcoming article on Bob Conger) and our professional staff sidekicks (Ashley Givens in Staff Spotlight). It takes us to places in the actuarial world we may not see every day (like CE audits or Latin American exam sittings). It celebrates our successes (like awards for CAS research) and lays bare our challenges (see cover story, “The Tech in Our Cars”). It is a reflection on our past (features on inflation across the decades), present (our volunteers’ extensive coverage of the Annual Meeting) and future (outgoing CAS President Roosevelt Mosley’s poignant reflections in Random Sampler about his confidence in the actuaries of tomorrow).
When I was young, I would often wait by the mailbox for the latest Sports Illustrated or Rolling Stone, or skulk around Borders paging through Time and Popular Science. Our world looks very different today, but I never lost that excitement to get lost in a good magazine. Our committed volunteer working group, professional staff, and I will strive to deliver you that exhilaration one issue at a time.