Archive by category | Stephen Davey

ACS: All in good taste

My first highlight of the meeting was Eric Anslyn’s talk ’ Mimicking the mammalian chemical senses using supramolecular chemistry’. Here I learned that, like me, Anslyn is a Coca-Cola man…by which I mean that he doesn’t like the taste of the diet version – I presume this applies to other soda brands as well. It’s not just him though, his chemistry can tell the difference too.  Read more

ACS: Heroes…

I don’t attend too many press conferences at the ACS meeting – because they are aimed at a much more general audience than a chemistry journal editor (that’s not a bad thing – read on). On Sunday, however, I attended a press conference with the intriguing title of ‘New Heroes of Chemistry’. I really had no idea what this was about as I didn’t read the press release in advance.  Read more

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