Over the next week or so here on Of Schemes and Memes we’re introducing you to all the blogs on the new nature.com blogs site. We started off with the News blog, followed by the Spoonful of Medicine, from Nature Medicine. Now we hear from Neil Withers and the team at Nature Chemistry, who run the Sceptical Chymist blog….
Welcome to the new-look Sceptical Chymist! Of course, if you’re just reading this in your RSS reader, then things will look pretty familiar (unless you’re logging on to Google Reader for the first time in a few months — but then you probably can’t see through the tears of frustration you’re weeping).
All the other nature.com blogs are having a re-vamp, so we’ve been asked to do a post to introduce the blog to any new readers. Regular readers may even learn something too — or you can skip the next two paragraphs to see what’s new!
We’ve been blogging at the Sceptical Chymist since March 2006 — the first post even handily explained the name (it’s from the book written by Robert Boyle in 1661, which is a useful point to consider as when chemistry started emerging from alchemy;). It started out with contributions from editors from Nature, Nature Chemical Biology and Nature Nanotechnology, but has since evolved to mainly us, the editors of Nature Chemistry — which was just a twinkle in a publisher’s eye back in 2006! Since then, it’s been a great way to communicate with readers less formally than in an editorial or other journal article, plus a wonderful means of generating discussion and receiving feedback.
You can expect to read interviews with chemists around the world in our Reactions series, reports from conferences we attend, ’edited highlights‘ of editorials and In Your Element, our monthly Blogroll column, as well as the occasional post inspired by almost anything. We also have a brave cadre of guest columnists: our two current guests are both graduate students negotiating the academic maze.
That’s the old blog; what’s new? Well, apart from lots of behind-the-scenes improvements that will make blogging much easier for us, you can see that it’s more seamlessly incorporated in the Nature Chemistry website. The side navigation is a bit less cluttered too. Hopefully the main improvement will be in the commenting: now, once your first comment has been approved, your subsequent ones will go live immediately. This should make discussions a bit more dynamic, and remove the wait while we fish every single comment (including our own!) out of the spam filter.
So have a look round, make yourself at home, test out the comments and let us know what you think!
The Nature Chemistry team.