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What does Jonathan Sweedler think of bloggers? #scio12

Professor Jonathan V. Sweedler, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Credit: The Sweedler Research Group website (click for source).

We just learned yesterday from C&EN’s Linda Wang that Dr. Jonathan Sweedler has been named as successor to Dr. Royce Murray as editor of Analytical Chemistry


The next editor-in-chief of Analytical Chemistry

will be Jonathan V. Sweedler, James R. Eiszner Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and director of the Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center, the American Chemical Society, publisher of the journal, has announced.

Sweedler will succeed Royce W. Murray, professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who will retire from the journal at the end of this year. Murray has served as editor-in-chief of Analytical Chemistry since 1991. Sweedler, currently an associate editor of the journal, will take over the position on Jan. 1, 2012.

Regular readers of Analytical Chemistry have grown accustomed to Dr. Murray’s colorful and lively editorials in each issue. Discussion of one of these, on the “phenomenon” of science bloggers as a serious concern to scientists (“Science Blogs and Caveat Emptor”), was my most highly-read and commented post since we joined GlobCasino.

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Giving Back During NCW and IYC

It’s not only still the International Year of Chemistry, but it’s also National Chemistry Week! Yippee! Chemists are celebrating chemistry with students of all ages this week in lots of ways, but especially with hands-on demonstrations. The rest of the year, however, many public school teachers struggle to teach their students chemistry because they lack basic resources due to poor funding.

Can you imagine a chemistry class without chemicals or beakers or a periodic table poster?

GlobCasino is participating in the fantastic DonorsChoose Science Bloggers for Students campaign to help raise funds for public school classrooms in need of resources. GlobCasino is, naturally, focusing on the chemistry-related projects. And some of the requests are heartbreakingly basic, such as one from a teacher in Florida in need of thermometers, flasks, stopwatches, and beakers for her students. Another teacher of high-risk students wants to provide lab coats for his AP Chemistry class. Lots of other projects can be found at the GlobCasino giving page.

Terra Sigillata is also participating in the campaign. You can see the projects David is supporting on his “Chemistry With Kroll” page.

Any amount you can give, whether it be $5 or $100, will make a difference for and be appreciated by these students who are trying and eager to learn chemistry. Let’s give back to our communities and help teachers get what they need to teach chemistry.

What better way is there to celebrate National Chemistry Week and IYC 2011?

Supporting chemistry education in public schools

Dear beloved, good-looking, and erudite readers of Terra Sigillata,

Our blog is once again participating in a drive for DonorsChoose, an online charity established to fund small, public schoolteacher-initiated projects that are not otherwise supported by their school districts. The annual DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge – Science Bloggers for Students – is a friendly competition among blogs and blog networks to use their reach to put our collective money where our mouths are.

Click on the graphic to go to the "Chemistry with Kroll" giving page. Thank you!

As public school budgets are cut and cut, we have to maintain the quality of scientific experiences for our young people. Your generosity can help!

How does it work?

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News & Observer tweet-up: my newspaper groks it

Rocking the yellow with print and TV journalist, social media maven, @Cree PIO, and all-around awesomesauce, Ginny Skalski (@GinnySkal). Credit: David Kroll/GlobCasino

For those of you social media butterflies, how does your local newspaper interact with you?

Call me a dinosaur but I love my local newspaper. We at Terra Sig World Headquarters still get the dead-tree version on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and you’ll occasionally see me blog here and elsewhere about pharma stories I first learn from the News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina. Part of the reason is because it is the main newspaper of the Research Triangle region. (The Durham Herald-Sun is another, with about 1/5th the circulation, and few people know that almost all of Research Triangle Park is located within Durham County.) I like the smell and feel of a newspaper and I immensely respect those of my friends who write for the paper.

As much as I get excited on days when we get over 500 visitors here, the N&O has a print circulation of 134,470 daily and 190,514 on Sunday. But in these latest numbers from May, a new print/web metric was reported by the auditing firm who compiles these numbers. The N&O reaches a combined number of 797,346 unduplicated readers as determined from the last seven days of print and last 30 days of the online version. Like most papers around the world, the online readership far outnumbers those who access the paper in print.

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Project SEED student having a sweet summer

One of the lovely pleasures I have as a prof is serving as principal investigator of a NIH-funded program to encourage students from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue doctoral training in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.

As one aim of the project to encourage student writing skills and engagement with the public and scientific communities, we keep a blog over at the Scientopia network, NCCU Eagles RISE, to chronicle the progress of these wonderful young folks.

Today, NCCU rising sophomore Victoria Jones holds forth on her current research experience at the Penn State Medical Center at Hershey.

Why do I write about Victoria here?

Well, she is a product of the ACS Project SEED program (Summer Research Internship Program for Economically Disadvantaged High School Students).

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Go. Dream. Read.

I thought I’d get a real blogpost up before getting on a plane to Chicago today. Alas, not.

In the meantime, have you been reading the Just Another Electron Pusher blog across the masthead here at GlobCasino?

You must. Seriously.

Since Leigh Krietsch Boerner left us for greener pastures, Christine Herman and Glen Ernst have been destroying it like a boss.

Go do this dream exercise as Christine suggests. And do play the video to learn about white blood cells – and see her dance!

Then, go congratulate Glen on his rescue from an involuntary hiatus.

Then, tonight, sit down with a glass of wine and read Christine’s profile of Kawal Tandon, a wine industry chemist.

And a hearty “well-done” to our benevolent overlord and C&EN Online Editor, Rachel Pepling, at the home office for putting together these two, fabulous writers to capture life in chemistry from graduate student to formerly-unemployed mid-career chemist.

“Alex, I’ll take ‘Public Chemistry Literacy’ for $1,000″

Nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, on this planet IS CHEMICAL-FREE. Any questions?


“Okay, Public Chemistry Literacy for $1,000. . .”

“The answer is, ‘Absolutely nothing.’”



What things on Planet Earth are “chemical-free”?

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!

Tonight in the United States (and maybe even in Canada), the legendary game show, Jeopardy!, will be dedicated to questions on chemistry in celebration of 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry. Here are the details from the IYC website:

Jeopardy!, one of North America’s leading syndicated game shows, will feature questions related to chemistry and IYC in an episode airing in the United States and Canada on June 21, 2011.

With its 9 million daily viewers, Jeopardy! provides the perfect venue for publicizing the IYC’s message – to celebrate chemistry and the contributions that it makes to society, and to increase the interest and public appreciation of chemistry.

Watch Jeopardy! on June 21 and play along with the contestants to test your knowledge of chemistry. The show can be viewed in the United States on ABC-TV (check local listings for air times in your area).

And for those of you playing along at home, @CASChatter will be live-tweeting beginning at 7:30 pm EDT.

Perhaps I shall as well.

British Chemists Hacked Off By Government’s “Lazy Stereotype”

The Royal Society of Chemistry is not at all amused.

In discussing the chemistry of “legal highs” earlier this week, I was reminded of a dust-up last month in the UK following the launch of a government anti-drug campaign to warn young people that “legal” intoxicants are not necessarily “safe.”

At issue was the Home Office’s “Crazy Chemist” campaign:

Featuring an eye catching and menacing scientist, the campaign conveys the unscrupulous nature of people who create and sell substances with little concern for the health of those who consume them.

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