Chemistry in retrospect: Personal reflections on a polarizing story

Chemistry in retrospect: Personal reflections on a polarizing story

Many scientists will at some point come up against the question regarding what good their work might do for the world. For those working in applied and interdisciplinary areas, this is often easier to rationalize to the public than for those working on fundamental, basic research. In this week’s “Chemistry in retrospect,” Rich Eisenberg tells us the story behind PHIP as a case study for why answering fundamental questions in chemistry is so important to the development of the field.  Read more

Introducing “Chemistry in retrospect”

Introducing "Chemistry in retrospect"

There is a great deal of storytelling that comes along with chemistry. Take a look at any article from our ‘In Your Element’ series and you’ll notice the gentle reverence we give to discoveries and champions of the field. For better or worse, part of what makes a particular event memorable in chemical history is the mythos surrounding it: besides being an important compound, ferrocene comes with the twisting tales of its structural assignment and the back-and-forth between eminent scientists is recounted to students regularly, and we take note of the fact that the original report of C60 to Nature was written by Curl & co-workers in only a single day. These stories, and many like them, are the ones that make us proud to be chemists and excited to continue building these legacies.  Read more

Reactions: Bassam Shakhashiri

Reactions: Bassam Shakhashiri

Professor Bassam Z. Shakhashiri is in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and contributes to national science education policy and practice. He advocates communicating with the general public through engaging science demonstrations, the web, electronic and print media, radio, television, and — best of all — in person.  Read more

Reactions: Jianjun Cheng

Reactions: Jianjun Cheng

Jianjun Cheng is in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, and Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and works on synthetic polymeric biomaterials, self-healing polymers, nanomedicine for drug and gene delivery, and chemistry mediated in vivo targeting. Jianjun recently published a paper in Nature Chemistry entitled “Cooperative polymerization of α-helices induced by macromolecular architecture“.  Read more

Reactions Catch-up: Mike Tarselli

Reactions Catch-up: Mike Tarselli

Mike Tarselli works in the Information Systems division of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) in Cambridge, MA. His projects there involve data management for external science and synthetic biology, while managing a global team of informaticians, web developers, and business analysts.  Read more

Reactions: Alexander Spokoyny

Reactions: Alexander Spokoyny

Alexander Spokoyny is in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles, and works on inorganic cluster chemistry at the interface with materials science and chemical biology. Alex recently published “Atomically precise organomimetic cluster nanomolecules assembled via perfluoroaryl-thiol SNAr chemistry” in Nature Chemistry.  Read more

Reactions: Helmut Schwarz

Reactions: Helmut Schwarz

Helmut Schwarz works in the Department of Chemistry at the Technische Universität Berlin. His experimental and computational research is concerned with understanding why it is so difficult to bring about, in an economically viable and environmentally benign fashion, the conversion of methane to value-added products under ambient conditions. Additionally, his commentary, “On the usefulness of useless information,” was published this week in the inaugural issue of Nature Reviews Chemistry.  Read more

Reactions Catch-up: Stephen Davey

Reactions Catch-up: Stephen Davey

Stephen Davey is the Chief Editor for Nature Reviews Chemistry. Steve was originally interviewed on Reactions in July 2008; given that Nature Reviews Chemistry will release its first issue next week, we thought we would check in and see what’s changed recently.  Read more

Reactions: Bryan Dickinson

Reactions: Bryan Dickinson

Bryan Dickinson is in the Department of Chemistry at The University of Chicago, and works on developing both small molecule and synthetic biology technologies to measure and control chemistry in living cells. Bryan recently published a paper entitled “A fluorescent probe for cysteine depalmitoylation reveals dynamic APT signaling” in Nature Chemical Biology.  Read more