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I’m out of town today, folks, so I scheduled a roundup for everything we had as of overlord press time.
Tweet of the Week:
No, no, no *closes think geek* I can’t have ALL the things.
— Jamie Gallagher (@JamieBGall) May 9, 2013
And now, to the network:
Cleantech Chemistry: No Magic In China’s Solar Industry
TWO tweets of the week to make up for none on Monday:
Something I have learned: you only complete one project by ignoring a whole bunch of other projects for a while.
— Kate Clancy (@KateClancy) April 26, 2013
— Eric Popczun (@ePopczun) April 22, 2013
To the network:
Cleantech Chemistry: Solar Boom in Japan, with Battery to Match
Grand CENtral: Guest Re-post: “In defense of chemphobia” by Andrew Bissette
Terra Sigillata: The Cinnamon Challenge: On Being Charged with #Chemophobia
Tweet of the week:
— CHEMIST HULK (@ChemistHulk) April 10, 2013
I know, I know. There were a plethora of #ACSnola gems to choose from. But I wouldn’t want to make CHEMIST HULK angry…
To the network:
Tweet of the week:
Thumbs down to the death of Roger Ebert, Thumbs up for his life and his career. Although we all have different taste, you saved us from duds
— Daily Brew (@D_B_Connect) April 5, 2013
I’m baaaaack! Many thanks to Carmen for both overlording in my absence and agreeing to co-overlord in my return. Today we’re mourning the loss of film critic Roger Ebert, but we’re also celebrating the birthday of Terra Sig owner and ubermensch, David Kroll!
To the network:
Grand CENtral: C&EN Picks for ACS New Orleans #ACSNOLA
Just Another Electron Pusher: Why some women may choose not to enter STEM careers and ACS Webinar: Chemists at U.S. Customs and Border Protection
The Haystack: Liveblogging First-Time Disclosures of Drug Structures from #ACSNOLA (bookmark this link for next week)
The Safety Zone: Chemical and laboratory safety at #ACSNOLA
How can chemists mitigate the effects of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina? What are the latest chemistry mobile apps? And how are emulsions making a difference in medical imaging? Sessions at next week’s ACS National Meeting in New Orleans will be covering those timely topics. Watch all of our picks below. If you’ll be in New Orleans, you can also see these videos in the convention center.
Storify: Reaction to USA Today Investigation Revealing Reviews For Arsenic-Based Life Paper #Arseniclife
Usually, Grand CENtral is for roundups and other announcements, but I’m going to invoke overlord privilege to post a Storify summary of something I think is important.
A quick announcement, folks:
Today at 1PM Eastern, Terra Sigillata’s David Kroll will be on HuffPostLive to chat about the stresses of life in academe. Go here for the live event.
A little background: Earlier this month, a survey from jobs website CareerCast concluded that “college professor” was the least stressful job in America. The survey- along with a writeup about it from Forbes’s Susan Adams- drew the collective ire of America’s stressed-out professoriate, as this Inside Higher Ed story explains.
The backlash spawned its own Twitter hashtag- #RealForbesProfessors. And at Forbes, David wrote an explainer- “Top 10 Reasons Being a University Professor is a Stressful Job” – that has garnered north of 85,000 page views.
The CareerCast survey’s definition of stress had the most to do with physical demands, environmental conditions, and occupational hazards. But I venture that next time they do their survey, they’ll broaden that definition.
ScienceOnline2013 is but three short weeks away. Dr. Rubidium and I will be there to make sure that a major chemistry talking point gets a good airing. I’m talking, of course, about chemophobia – the idea that everything “synthetic” or “chemical” is somehow other, somehow less desirable and less safe than what’s “natural” or “organic”. (And the gulf between how chemists and the rest of the world define the word organic? Well, that is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.)
Our session is on Sat, Feb 2, 10:30-11:30 am, Room 3
CHECK OUT THE SESSION WIKI: We’ve posted a slew of links there to spark discussion. What have we missed? Tell us in the comments here or on the wiki itself. You don’t have to be registered for the conference to comment there.
You’ll see from those links that we’ve shared many a facepalm moment about “chemical-free” this-or-that. I can’t help but feel that our conversations have a little bit of that dreaded echo-chamber quality. We folks having the conversations are affirming one another. But are we changing any minds? Are we reaching any influencers? I’m not sure.
I’ll quote Forbes contributor Trevor Butterworth, who said what I’m getting at quite eloquently last August in regard to a particular mainstream media chemophobia flap.
Last May, Deborah Blum, a Pulitzer-winning science writer and a professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin, published a column pleading with the New York Times’ opinion columnist Nick Kristof to stop writing about chemical risk.
Blum’s column got a lot of positive coverage, with many commenters further “fisking” Kristof’s apocalyptic claims and the politics behind them. It made, alas, not a blind bit of difference. At the bookend of summer, Kristof is at it again.
No one ever said that changing minds is easy. In fact, I think it’s one of the hardest things to do. I hope that some of what will emerge from our discussion are some guidelines, some rules of engagement if you will. Chemophobia isn’t just happening in NYTimes op-eds. It happens during work hours and off-hours. Maybe by starting small, we can take back the message.