Archive by category | Stephen Davey

Organic chemistry for the YouTube generation

Spoof music videos offer the chance for ageing chemistry geeks such as myself to relive both their chemical and musical past. This video in particular was the cause of much hilarity within the Nature Chemistry team. This video is great – although one of the early lyrics ‘in the lab, working alone’ is a cause for concern – so let’s hope that it is there for artistic reasons rather than anything else. But can such videos serve any useful purpose?  Read more

Rhyming research

Great science is not easily recognized without good writing skills. In view of this, we have decided to introduce a new prerequisite for the consideration of manuscripts at Nature Chemistry: Authors are requested to include a short poem highlighting the novel conclusions of their work. (Special consideration will be given to those who prepare their entire manuscript in iambic pentameter.)  … Read more

A bit of a fischy answer

Readers in the UK will probably be aware of the TV quiz show ‘University Challenge’. It’s a general knowledge quiz in which teams representing universities and colleges from the UK compete (there’s no monetary reward, only the honour of winning). The questions asked are all pretty challenging, and it’s clear from watching the show that the question master — Jeremy Paxman — is extremely knowledgeable about…some of them. This is a fact that Neil has mentioned here before.  Read more

ACS: Organic highlights

I’ve spent the majority of my time in the organic sessions here at the ACS meeting, and the standout highlights have to be the Young Academic Investigators on Monday and the Arthur C. Cope award scholars symposium yesterday. In the first of these I particularly enjoyed talks by Richmond Sarpong and Chris Vanderwal who both spoke on uses of pyridines in natural product synthesis – although from very different perspectives.  Read more

ACS: Pressurized preservation

So, here I am in Washington DC for the fall 2009 meeting of the ACS. This is my first time in DC, so I arrived a day early to fit some touristy activities into my schedule – first stop a photo of The White House from as close as I could get (which in case you didn’t know is a long way away…).  Read more

Pimp my RSS

There’s a huge amount of literature out there, and come April, we hope to be bringing some of the best of it directly to you in one neat little package called Nature Chemistry. Until the journal launches, we have to satisfy our cravings by bringing you a weekly dose of Research Highlights. Every week the Nature Chemistry team gets together to discuss our selections. We like to be as current as possible in terms of the work we select and to achieve this we are big fans of the RSS feed – it seems unlikely that anyone reading a blog would be unaware of this technology but for the uninitiated.  Read more

NChem Research Highlights: Ultracapacitors, nitrogen cleavage and applied asymmetric catalysis

This week both Neil and Gavin are away, although this time they are both working! Neil is attending the 6th International conference on Inorganic Materials in Dresden, and Gav is yet to return from China, having been at TACC 2008 (computational chemistry) and is combining his trip with some visits to labs close by.  Read more

Taking solace in synthesis?

Reading my newspaper on the way to work this morning, I was surprised to discover that Jonny Wilkinson – England rugby hero for those that don’t know – likes a bit of quantum physics. Apparently, he was always full of self-doubt until he discovered Schrödinger’s cat!  Read more