Archive by date | March 2010

Materials Girl: ACS: Misconstruing misconceptions

[This post was written on Wednesday morning by Materials Girl] Today, I deviated from the myriad of technical talks and attended some on education (while sadly sacrificing those regarding nanotechnology and food). Teaching — as with food and chocolate — also seems to be a topic with a majority of female attendees. Hmm. We were there to consider “Students’ misconceptions about periodic table properties and its implications to learning chemistry.” Professor Salame used a classic example of memorization without understanding: atomic radius, where students commonly “learn” by memorizing the up-down/left-right trends. But we all knew that – a probing exam  … Read more

ACS San Francisco 2010: Questions time

The meeting is winding down a little and although the week has been good, I’m pleased because I’m ready to come home. These meetings are usually tiring but this one in particular seems to have really taken it out of me. Maybe the jetlag and the 11 hour flight play a role but mostly it’s the long days and that you never really switch off during the week.  Read more

Happy birthday to… us!!

It seems like only yesterday that Nature Chemistry was nothing more that a glint in a publisher’s eye – and here we are now, celebrating our first birthday! Our April issue went live today (more on that in a blog post later this week) and so it has been a whole year since the very first issue (April 2009) was unleashed into the wild.  Read more

Materials Girl: ACS gives theobroma (food of the gods)

[Posted on behalf of Materials Girl] On Sunday, I mentioned via Twitter that the longest lines exist for free food. (I could start a blog on how to feed yourself at conferences without spending a dime, give or take a lack of proper nutrition.) In second place are the booths dishing out non-academic freebies, as if oversized t-shirts and logo-covered canvas bags are the key to happiness. On a similar note, the most crowded talk seems to be here, at the Everything You Want to Know About Chocolate program. The organizers knew what they were doing – aside from the  … Read more

Materials Girl: At the ACS

[Posted on behalf of Materials Girl] According to the flight attendant on intercom, we arrived in “the beautiful tropical paradise” of San Francisco. Hah! Compared to the freezing weather elsewhere, 50-60 °F [10-15.55555 °C – NW] probably is a true paradise, but the joke also felt like a jab towards those of us not running wild on spring break (I never was one of those undergrads). Really, though, this is another sort of paradise – or at least a nice vacation. Winter finals are over, traveling is a rare luxury for me, and, most importantly, I have a valid excuse  … Read more

ACS San Francisco 2010: The week ahead

I’ve arrived safe and sound in sunny San Francisco for the ACS meeting. The journey here was trouble-free and actually quite pleasant. I managed to watch a film, read four manuscripts and see the stunning scenery of Greenland, the Rockies and San Francisco.  Read more