Guest Post: “Why I Am Blogging on amphoteros.com” by Andrei Yudin

Today’s guest post is by Andrei Yudin, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Toronto. His research group aims to build new bridges between basic chemistry research and drug discovery. During a sabbatical, Yudin launched a blog, and soon discovered that blogging brings several tangible benefits to his group as well as his research program. You can read his blog at www.amphoteros.com. I have always been intrigued by science blogging, but the barrier to give it a shot of my own has been steep. When I started my sabbatical in July of 2013, I realized that I would have some extra time, making it the best moment for me to begin blogging. The idea of connecting with a target audience of fellow researchers using a new means was especially attractive to me. In addition, as I was running experiments during my sabbatical, my graduate students and faculty colleagues were curious about what it was I was cooking in the lab. I did not want them to think that I was “breaking bad”, so I decided to put it all out there – my successes, my failures, and a good dose of self-ridicule. This is how www.amphoteros.com saw its first post on July 20, 2013. I quickly realized that there were relatively few research-oriented chemistry blogs, which stands in contrast to other disciplines such as biology. While the culture of chemistry is different and chemists do not often feel the need to collaborate with one another, our craft is becoming more interdisciplinary and new ways of communicating scientific findings and/or sharing opinions are only going to help. At the moment, amphoteros is driven by my keen interest in science advances both basic and applied. People ask me how I find time for writing and coming up with original subject matter on a daily basis. I somehow do not feel challenged by this: there is always something “bloggable” I can come up with during my train ride back home. I cover a range of subjects and I always look forward to the feedback I get from the readers. The usual way I conceive my posts is by thinking about one of the dominant thoughts that has been consuming me on a given day. Typically, these musings are related to a particular publication, although I do not make a distinction between what’s current and what’s old. To me, something that is important, yet published 50 years ago, is current. In terms of content, I like to have a lot of graphics on my posts. This gives me a chance to practice ideas for my future lecture presentations. In academia, we always think...

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This Week on CENtral Science: #FlameChallenge 3, Informex, and more

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Tweet of the Week: @rivas_nathan @deborahblum I sometimes use the tagline, "It's all natural: like asbestos, cyanide, and arsenic!" — Shawn Weaver (@coweaver) January 17, 2014 To the Network: Newscripts: Amusing News Aliquots The Safety Zone: Friday chemical safety round up and How freight company Saia trains and monitors its drivers and How McKinsey makes training mandatory The Watch Glass: Guiding Black Academics and Selman A. Waksman and Chemical Spill...

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This Week on CENtral Science: Rainbow Flame Test Safety, #Topchem, and more

Tweet of the Week: Tip o’ the hat to friend of CENtral Science Biochembelle for pointing this one out: life is like emotional Jenga. — Myq Kaplan (@myqkaplan) January 8, 2014 To the Network: Grand CENtral: “Top Chemistry Moments of 2013″ Google Hangout #topchem 1/9 3PM Eastern The Safety Zone: Performing the ‘rainbow’ flame test demo safely Newscripts: Amusing News Aliquots The Watch Glass: Chemical Lab Safety and the Impact of OSHA and Surviving Stress and...

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