#Realtimechem Week – Join us!

#Realtimechem week is nearly upon us (week beginning 22nd April) and so I thought I would invoke a call to arms as such.

Jay (@Doctorgalactic) and I have decided to blog (almost) everyday during #Realtimechem week. I will be attending a computational chemistry course for two of the days and will be in the lab or writing for the rest of the week. At the computational course I will also be meeting some chemistry tweeps that I have never had the pleasure of meeting before, which will add an extra level of excitement.

Do you blog? Do you want to blog but haven’t got around to it yet? Why not start now! It would be great if we could have a #realtimechem blog carnival (#Realtimechemcarnival?). I know that some people don’t have time to blog every day but it would be amazing if we could get as many people as possible blogging on and off during the week. I will try to keep up with all the blog posts and do a daily roundup and I will also do a complete blog roundup at the end of the week. Please consider joining us. The more the merrier!

For further information on #realtimechem week, head over to Doctor Galactic’s place .  If you want to help out, then get in contact with me or him through our blogs or twitter.

My hope is that #Realtimechem week is even better than #realtimechem day. Come on guys, let’s make it the most marvellous week ever!

P.S Jay has now added a #Realtimechem FAQ. It is well worth a read.


My academic family II

This is what I have so far….

family tree-3.0-7

Please let me know if you have worked with or for any of these people so I can add you to the tree. I hope that one day the tree is huge!

When I have filled in as much as I can I am hoping to re-do the tree with circular hubs for very popular people e.g Stoddart. Watch this space!

If you have any questions or additions/subtractions then email me at theorganicsolutionblog at gmail dot com or tweet me @jessthechemist. If you are on there but I haven’t managed to connect you to more than one person due to “artistic” constraints then let me know anyway and I might be able to fit you on my re-do.

Here is another example using NodeXL. It is prettier but some twitter handles/names are a little hidden.

familytree new

If you feel like making your own academic family tree then do share the link here or on twitter using the hashtag #chemistrytwittertree. I can’t wait to see what you all come up with.

ScienceGrrl at MOSI

At the weekend I had the pleasure of being a ScienceGrrl for the day in Manchester at the Museum of Science and Industry. I was joined by a range of women scientists from all walks of life from archaeologists to nuclear physicists to cell biologists. The aim of the day was to communicate to museum-goers about what we do and promote science to all. We all had props relating to our job and the parents and children had to guess what our job involved.

For my prop, I decided to take something interactive and, after a lot of umm-ing and ahh-ing, I finally decided on demonstrating the fun of glow sticks. I went to a dark section of the museum and shared the wonder of chemistry with young children. I described the chemical process occurring in the glow stick and let them “crack” them open and see the chemiluminescence happening in front of their eyes. The children were wide-eyed with wonder at the changing colour and parents were genuinely intrigued by the science involved.


Apart from the props, the other ScienceGrrls and I spent the day wandering around the museum with a badge on saying “I am a Scientist, talk to me”. The idea of this was that we share the reason behind our research and show people how varied and exciting science careers can be. I shared the pharmaceutical relevance of my project, whilst others demonstrated how PET imaging works, how statistics is important in archaeology and how we are all made of stars (yes, really!). We also had the opportunity to stand on a soapbox and share science stories with the museum-goers, which was both a nerve-wracking and exhilarating experience.

My hope is that children went away from the museum inspired to read more about science and think about how science really is all around. I tried to share with all children that I spoke to that chemistry is everywhere, from the shampoo we use to the medicines we take to the cakes that we bake.

I had an amazing day. I met some fantastic women and I am even more inspired to keep researching, but more importantly, to keep sharing my love of science with the world.

Thanks for letting me be a ScienceGrrl for the day, bring on the next event!

p.s. Also check out Biofluff’s, Gemma’s, ScienceGrrl‘s and Becky’s blog posts on the event

My academic family

A short blog post….

I realised today that @KarlDCollins, who blogs at A Retrosynthetic Life, and I have an academic connection: his PhD supervisor (Procter), was my 1st postdoc supervisor’s (Rayner) PhD student. It then came to my attention that @_byronmiller, who blogs at Behind NMR Lines, was in the same lab as Karl for his Masters degree project.

This got me to wondering: what other academic connections do I have out there with my blog followers and tweeps?

Feel free to email me at theorganicsolutionblog at gmail dot com or leave a comment below!

P.S Apart from twitter folk, I have a connection to a Nobel Prize winning chemist, which is almost like me winning one, right? George Olah was my PhD supervisor’s (Sandford) postdoc boss over in the US of A.