Catch Nancy Jackson on National Public Radio
May13

Catch Nancy Jackson on National Public Radio

Tune in to National Public Radio at 8pm EDT on Mon., May 16th, and Mon., May 23, to hear ACS President Nancy Jackson talk about the International Year of Chemistry on the NPR show “The Best of Our Knowledge” with host Glenn Busby. Topics will include the central role that chemistry plays in our modern world, ACS’s chemistry ambassadors, science education, and mentoring in chemistry. “The Best of Our Knowledge” features leading experts whose discoveries shape our ways of thinking and redefine our understanding of today’s knowledge-driven society. The original broadcasts will air on the WAMC NPR network in the Northeastern U.S. The programs will be rebroadcast on WAMC network at 3pm on Fri., May 20, and Fri., May 27. Listeners can also tune in on the web at http://www.wamc.org/prog-tbook.html during these times. NPR affiliate radio stations nationwide will broadcast the segments on Wed., May 18, and Wed., May 25. Check your local NPR affiliate for the program times. After the segments air, podcasts will be posted online at the WAMC website, and CDs can be ordered by calling (800)...

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IYC Weekly Round-up, 4/23-4/29

Here are some of the weekly happenings from this last week: A profile of Mouhoussine Nacro, a chemistry professor in Burkin Faso (C&EN) ACS Global Challenges-Chemistry Solutions podcast, “Developing New Materials: A greener process for a key ingredient used to make paint, diapers, and other products“ IYC Virtual Journal, Issue 4, on energy Journal of Chemical Education’s virtual journal, “The Chemical Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” (originally published in March, but revisited the social media circles this...

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IYC Weekly Round-up, 3/26-4/1

Some of the IYC happenings from last week: Mediaplanet published an eight-page section called “The Business of Chemistry” (PDF link) in The Washington Post on March 30. Watch Neil Da Costa’s press briefing on his ACS national meeting presentation, “Creating the Perfect Bloody Mary,” to toast IYC 2011 in proper fashion. Beer drinkers might enjoy the ACS Webinar from 3/31, “Advanced Chemistry of Beer and Brew.” If wine is more to your liking, there will be a Chemistry of Wine session in the Houston area tomorrow (4/5/11). In addition to news coverage of the national meeting, Linda Wang also put together a lovely IYC-related photo essay last...

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Overdue IYC Weekly Round-up

Sorry for missing last week, folks. To make up for it, this edition will include items from the last two weeks, 3/12-3/25: Science magazine’s March 18th issue included an editorial from Harry Gray and Jay Labinger on chemistry as the “central” science. The Chemical Institute of Canada’s YouTube video contest, “It’s Chemistry, Eh?,” launched in February and submissions are due by April 22. Yes, I slipped in an old item, but we weren’t up and running when the contest started… Congratulations to inorganic electrochemist Lesley Yellowlees, who was elected the first female president of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Newscripts focused on commemorative chemistry stamps, including an image gallery, in the March 14th issue of C&EN. World Water Day was March 22. ACS launched its Pennies for Pur Water campaign. Stay tuned for IYC updates from the ACS national meeting in Anaheim next...

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World’s biggest chemistry lesson wows kids
Mar18

World’s biggest chemistry lesson wows kids

Posted on behalf of assistant managing editor Sophie Rovner: ACS President-Elect Bassam Z. Shakhashiri alerted us recently to a record-breaking International Year of Chemistry event that took place recently in Belgium. Some 562 primary school students gathered for the world’s biggest chemistry lesson on Feb. 28. essenscia, a federation of companies in the chemical industry and life sciences, and Technopolis, a Flemish science center, pulled the event together. Shakhashiri, a chemistry professor at University of Wisconsin, Madison, who regularly puts on ‘Science is Fun’ shows in shopping centers, schools, and other public places, helped the Belgian students make bath salt, hair gel, and toothpaste. The event marked the official launch of Chemistry Week, when kids aged 10 to 18 took a close look at chemistry at different venues around the country. To help celebrate the International Year of Chemistry, essenscia is organizing a series of activities in Belgium to give the public, and particularly children, the opportunity to discover chemistry. The federation is motivated by the fact that the chemical sector is faced with an aging population and a lack of new young talent. You can find an overview of all the activities taking place during the International Year of Chemistry at...

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Chemists: Tell us your story
Mar17

Chemists: Tell us your story

Dawit Tibebu has a way with trash. Visit his bench at Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa University and you’ll find him crafting distilling flasks from discarded heat-tempered light bulbs and condensers made from hoses snaked through discarded and conjoined water bottles. With lab set ups built from discarded materials such as these, the chemistry student and his mentor Sileshi Yitbarek hope to help bring simple, hands-on chemistry experiments to regional and rural schools in Africa that can’t afford traditional lab equipment. I heard Dawit’s story from Peter Mahaffy, a chemistry professor at King’s University College in Edmonton and chair of the IUPAC committee that helped make 2011 the International Year of Chemistry. The International Year of Chemistry’s “success will be measured by how we engage the public,” Mahaffy told me over lunch last week. He had just landed in Boston to speak about the year-long celebration at the invitation of the American Chemical Society’s Northeastern section. To capture the public’s attention, he argued, chemists need to tell more stories like Dawit’s. “Human stories–not stories of chemicals or substances–are what drive interest in the subject of chemistry,” he explained. “Those are the stories we need to be telling.” I couldn’t agree more. Those are exactly the kind of the stories we’re trying to tell at C&EN. If you’ve got an inspiring human story of chemistry like Dawit’s, please share it...

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