Chemists Can Break It Down
Oct24

Chemists Can Break It Down

After losing out to physicists last year, chemists have stepped it up to win the 2012 Dance Your Ph.D. contest, organized by Science magazine. More specifically, Peter Liddicoat, a materials scientist at the University of Sydney, in Australia, won with his dance rendition of the chemical nanostructure of aerospace aluminum alloys. "The dance describes the classic engineering problem of combining lightness and strength and how it could be solved using atom scale microscopy to produce a super-alloy," explains Liddicoat, who played "The Scientist" in the circus-style silent movie. Dancers embodying lightness and strength transform into a super-alloy--a lightweight aluminum alloy with the strength of heavy steel, whose crystal lattice structure is represented in a group dance number. "We've had an amazing response," Liddicoat says. "My favorite part of the movie is where I pull out the baby-sized microscope to study a juggling ball--that, and spinning the rainbow umbrella." See for yourself: To create the winning performance, Liddicoat enlisted the talents of his lab colleagues: choreographing, juggling, clowning, and, of course, dancing. Because it was such a team effort, Liddicoat says he felt uncomfortable receiving the $1,000 prize money. So he and the team decided to put it toward their newly launched Biomedical Atom Microscope project. This crowd-funding "experiment"--much like sites devoted to raising money to build a Tesla Science Center or an e-paper watch--was inspired by the science-funding problems that exist around the world. "Crowd funding has just started hitting million-dollar projects, and in a few years, it will be as common knowledge as Youtube and Facebook," Liddicoat predicts. "High-impact science is yet to really try it out, so my project is itself an experiment!"   Check out our Newscripts about crowd funding for the Tesla Science Center here....

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Who Knew Energy Research Was Adorable?
May19

Who Knew Energy Research Was Adorable?

We here at Newscripts love a good kooky video about science. We also love a good voting war. The ongoing Life at the Frontiers of Energy Research Video Contest has both. As part of the buildup to the Department of Energy’s Science For Our Nation’s Energy Future forum, to be held May 25–27 in Washington, D.C., the agency challenged its Energy Frontier Research Centers to a video face-off. DOE asked researchers at the 46 centers to produce entertaining, accessible clips about the science and innovation going on in their labs. The videos were recently assessed by a panel of judges, and the top five were announced. You can see the winners here, but I’ve included one of them in this post, “Carbon in Underland,” from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Who knew carbon dioxide and carbon sequestration could be so cute? That CO2, he’s so supercritical. But that’s not all! I said the competition is "ongoing," so DOE now needs your help to award one of the 26 entries the People’s Choice Award. They’re not all adorable, but some of them are pretty well done. To vote, click here. The winner, along with the top five entries, will be honored during the energy forum in DC. For those who don’t know, the Energy Frontier Research Centers program launched in 2009, and some of the centers are funded with money from that year’s American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. The goal of the centers is to tackle challenges in clean and renewable...

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Green Chemistry Video Contest
Apr16

Green Chemistry Video Contest

Environmental Science & Technology wants to know: How does chemistry help YOU be Green? (No, not green like Kermit. Green as in eco-friendly.) In honor of the 40th anniversaries of Earth Day (4/22), the EPA, and the National Environmental Policy Act, ES&T is sponsoring a video contest. If chemistry is making it easy for you to be green, show it in a video of 3 minutes or less, and you could win up to $500 and an electricity/carbon offset gift. Submit your video or vote for your favorites here. But be sure to read the rules...

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