ICCOSS XX: What’s in a name

In one of the sessions on ‘crystal engineering’, Guy Orpen told us about his hesitation to use this term: is it really engineering? The problem is reproducibility. If an engineer sets out to make a bicycle, and ends up with a submarine, he won’t be happy. Now if a scientist sets out to make a bicycle and finds that he made a submarine, he’ll be delighted. Yes, yes, it’s not quite a bicycle, but hey it is a means of transportation, only in water, right? And now having discovered this one by serendipity, we’ll make better submarines! In fact, the role of serendipity has been widely acknowledged throughout the conference.  Read more

ICCOSS XX: A colourful start

Hello from Bangalore! I  have to say I’m pretty excited to be here, both because of the conference programme and the location. This is my first time in India, and  although, admittedly, I have only been here 2 days, it is easy to see why Bangalore is called the ‘Garden City’ – magnificent trees and luxuriant vegetation everywhere . This is even more true when it comes to our conference venue, the Indian Institute of Science, which has enormous charm. Our Convener, Guru Row, told us yesterday in the opening remarks that the Institute is now becoming a College, and will be welcoming undergraduate students in just three weeks – now, this is a place I wouldn’t mind going to university!  Read more

Nature Chemistry Impact Factor

For those of you who care about such things, Nature Chemistry now has an Impact Factor (IF). It is 17.9 (or, if you really want us to quote it to three decimal places, it’s 17.927). We realise that the IF is far from a perfect metric; really, we do. And we also appreciate that there are a range of opinions out there amongst our audience on the matter — some of you love the IF, some of you hate it. For those of you who aren’t about to click away in a rage or aren’t sick of IFs, I’m going to drill a little more deeply into our number and what it might mean, if anything.  Read more

Essay competition update

Since we announced our essay competition last month, we’ve had a few questions regarding eligibility and one or two other queries. We’ve replied individually to each query, but just in case there is any confusion out there, this is what we had to say:  … Read more

Elemental examples

You might have heard by now that we are running an essay competition (I promise we won’t keep banging on about it quite so much for a little while) – unless you happen to be at the upcoming ACS meeting in Anaheim… if you swing by booth 1020 at the expo, you might hear a little more about it!  Read more