Category → Events
Everyone loves a good year-end roundup. Chemists are no exception.
But condensing a year’s worth of discoveries into a neat little “top 10″ package is bound to stir up some discussion. What goes on the list? Who got left out?
We hope you readers will help hash out these questions at C&EN’s second Google Hangout, “Top Chemistry Moments of 2013“. It’s on Thursday, January 9, at 3PM Eastern US time. For those new to Google Hangouts, they are video chats broadcast live on the web. You can watch from Google Plus or YouTube. After the chat is finished it is archived on YouTube for anyone to view.
Join the Hangout here.
Carmen Drahl and Lauren Wolf will speak with Laura Howes and Ashutosh Jogalekar about the people and the research that made chemistry news in 2013, and talk about what to watch in 2014.
Follow the conversation, and ask questions to the speakers on Twitter using the hashtag #topchem.
Who’s going to take home the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry? Will chemistry’s most coveted honor go to (GASP!) a biologist?
Is there any point to all this pre-Nobel speculation? Maybe not, but there’s no denying chemists enjoy taking part in the conversation.
That’s why we hope readers will tune in to C&EN’s first Google Hangout, “Countdown to the Chemistry Nobel!” this Thursday, October 3, at 3PM Eastern US time. For those new to Google Hangouts, they are video chats broadcast live on the web. You can watch from Google Plus or YouTube. After the chat is finished it is archived on YouTube for anyone to view.
Join the Hangout here.
Carmen Drahl and Lauren Wolf will speak with Neil Withers and Paul Bracher about the runup to this year’s prize, which will be announced Wednesday, October 9. What predictions are out there already and how reliable are they? Why did so few people predict that Dan Shechtman would win the Nobel Prize for quasicrystals? Watch for a discussion about these and other questions.
Follow the conversation, and ask questions to the speakers on Twitter using the hashtag #chemnobel.
UPDATE 10/2: I’m excited to announce another guest has joined the hangout: Simon Frantz.
Lauren Wolf is an associate editor at Chemical & Engineering News. Follow her on Twitter @laurenkwolf
Celebrating 90 Years of Chemistry News Coverage
With this week’s issue, C&EN celebrates its 90th anniversary. Even if I do say so myself, we’ve put out a pretty terrific edition. The bulk of our coverage this week is stories on nine major ways chemistry has had a profound effect on our world over the previous nine decades. (Thanks to Ash over at The Curious Wavefunction for his thoughts on the chemical bond and chemistry as the GlobCasino in response to this editorial package.)
But we’ve put together a lot more than the main stories to celebrate this milestone. There’s a supplemental timeline for starters. We’ve also compiled a list of readers’ favorite articles and devoted a whole page to an inebriating Newscripts. Here on the network, Beth Halford will be celebrating Newscripts’ 70th anniversary throughout the week with batches of Department of Obscure Information gems. We even have a crossword puzzle (I know this thrills some of you immensely)!
And if you hadn’t noticed the entries in the weekly roundups, let me draw your attention now to The Watch Glass tumblr, where former C&EN intern Deirdre Lockwood has been taking us on a random and fascinating walk through C&EN’s archives.
Obviously, not only has the science changed over the past nine decades, but how we share the news with you has as well. This anniversary issue is the first one in which online components were part of the planning process from the very beginning. I feel fortunate to be part of a publication eager to explore the opportunities digital platforms–blogs, social media, videos, interactive graphics, you name it–are creating for communicating news of the chemical world.
I leave you not with a (real) cupcake or a toast, but with a charming anecdote Sarah Everts uncovered while working on her piece about the history of structural biology:
Talk to any old-school structural biologist–I mean the folks who solved protein structures in the 50s, 60s and 70s when uncovering the 3D topology of a small enzyme might take years or decades–and they’ll wax nostalgically about the Alps.
As I was working on this week’s article about the history of structural biology, nearly everyone I interviewed mentioned a series of conferences that took place in the Austrian Alps, first in Hirschegg and then Alpbach.
Max Perutz, who solved the structure of hemoglobin after a 22-year effort, and his fellow Austrian crystallographer in Munich named Walter Hoppe began organizing these Alpen conferences in the late 60s. The first one was “a turning point in the history of the field,” says Michael Rossmann, now at Purdue who initially worked with Perutz on hemoglobin.
“Some people had thought that myoglobin and hemoglobin were just one-time splashes,” that protein crystallography wouldn’t go much further, he says. “But at the meeting you got the feeling that these two proteins were only just the beginning.”
At the time, the field was so small, that all forty participants fit into the original hut, whose dining hall and conference room where one and the same, and also connected to the kitchen, says Robert Huber of the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, whose thesis supervisor was Hoppe.
Skiing took place in the morning—sometimes with speed competitions—while science was discussed in the afternoons and evenings. “It was such as small community, people were encouraged to bring their families,” Huber says. “Everybody knew each other and what everybody was working on,” Rossmann says.
Over the next few years, until the mid 1970s, Perutz and Hoppe hosted several other similar meetings in the Alps until the field had outgrown the mountain cabin venues. Researchers who were fortunate to attend these early meetings describe them with great nostalgia.
New structures would garner applause, Huber says, and participants spend hours passing around pints of German beer and balsa wood models of proteins.
Sometimes the crowd of scientists would don 3D glasses to squint at the stereochemical images of protein structures projected onto a screen, surely a curious sight for any hikers straggling by.
A far cry from the American Chemical Society meeting happening in Indy this week!
How can chemists protect bees and other pollinators from harmful pesticides? Why is a company that makes video game graphics processors sponsoring an ACS meeting competition? The answers to these questions and more are in this round of C&EN Picks, our video highlights of newsworthy ACS National Meeting sessions. See you in Indianapolis on September 8!
UPDATE 9/9/13: It’s come to our attention that in Sunday’s video, the photos for Daniel Kittle and Bret Huff were switched. We’d like to apologize to them and to you for the oversight, and to thank Vicky Kittle and Milea Kammer, who brought this to our attention on Facebook.
Sarah Everts talks Artful Science at conservation meeting, Jyllian Kemsley moderated #chemsafety panel
We interrupt our regular overlord schedule for some self-promotion.
This Saturday, Sarah Everts will speak at the American Institute for Conservation meeting in Indianapolis. You might’ve gleaned her location from her Twitter feed. Her talk will be during the Research and Technical Studies luncheon, and is entitled ‘Artful Science: Quirky Trends and Fascinating Discoveries in Cultural Heritage Research, from a Journalist’s Perspective’.
Sarah is the second GlobCasino blogger in as many weeks to be on the conference circuit. On May 19, Jyllian Kemsley moderated a panel at the Council for Chemical Research annual meeting. The panel billed itself as an update on the pilot safety collaborations Dow Chemical has undertaken with the University of Minnesota, Penn State University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara.