1st Anniversary at CENtral Science!
Aug25

1st Anniversary at CENtral Science!

Many thanks to all of you, Dear Readers and C&EN editors and staff, I have been writing here for one year. Last August 24th, we moved the Terra Sigillata blog here after its purgatory in indie WordPress land following four years at ScienceBlogs. The announcement came at the a ACS Medicinal Chemistry Lunch-and-Learn session on pharmaceutical and chemistry blogging led by Carmen Drahl at last year’s Boston meeting. the setting seemed appropriate for the launch because I was on the panel with two of my own blogging idols, Derek Lowe of In the Pipeline and Ed Silverman of Pharmalot. In my inaugural post here last year, The Right Chemistry, I expressed my sincere thanks to Carmen and C&EN Online Editor Rachel Pepling for taking in this wayward blogger. Although I am technically a biologist, I have appreciated since my undergrad days that chemistry was central to moving forward in this field. As a pharmacologist whose previous pseudonym acknowledged Journal of Biological Chemistry founder, John Jacob Abel, I have always appreciated that my field would not be here without the efforts of synthetic chemists. So, I hope that in the past year I have brought you a biologist’s view of – and reverence for – the discipline of chemistry. I should also note that while Carmen and Rachel are my personal heroes, my extended family at C&EN have also been instrumental in helping me develop as a science writer. Amanda Yarnell has been a constant source of advice and inspiration, offering freely of her time to a guy who isn’t even on staff. I had the delightful pleasure of spending a week with Lauren Wolf at the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop and have been very impressed by how she has worked so hard to go from being a laser chemist to crafting engaging pieces in the neurosciences. C&EN Editor-in-Chief, Rudy Baum, was kind enough to spend one-on-one time with me at the ACS Boston meeting encouraging me in both my writing and chemical education and diversity in chemistry efforts. Lisa Jarvis keeps me keen on pharma & chemistry business with early morning tweets and I often finish the day interacting with Jyllian Kemsley on the Left Coast. Then there are also folks like Linda Wang who remind me that we actually did meet when I write to congratulate them on a great feature and say that I can’t wait to meet them. Carmen even hosted me for a nice visit to the C&EN HQ at ACS in Washington when I was lecturing at Johns Hopkins for Mary Knudson’s faculty writing class earlier this year. Good and patient folks like Stu...

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Radiochem query in the school parking lot
Aug23

Radiochem query in the school parking lot

So, I saw this today after dropping off PharmKid at her elementary school – a great homemade car sun visor: Do you know the answer? Actually, first things first: do you know what the question is asking? We’ll give a little more information later. I have no idea who the teacher or parent is who has this visor – the school goes from kindergarten to 5th grade and while I think our kids are brilliant, I’m not sure they will know the answer to the question. I’ll just say for now that this visor brought me back to my radioisotopes undergraduate class at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science where the late Dr. Grafton Chase asked us to calculate the amount of radioactivity in a cargo ship full of...

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Ooooh, shiny! The new C&EN Mobile iPhone/iPad app
Aug17

Ooooh, shiny! The new C&EN Mobile iPhone/iPad app

Hi. I’m back, briefly. A convergence of family and day job commitments have kept me away from you for the last week but I wanted to check in. Last night, I saw something on Twitter that C&EN has released their Apple iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad mobile app. You see, I tend to wind down my day reading on my iPhone in the dark to ease my way into somnolence – not just catching up on news and science but also reading some great non-fiction on The Atavist such as science writer David Dobbs’ outstanding story, My Mother’s Lover (backstory here). But the C&EN tweet led me to immediately load the new, free C&EN Mobile app on my gadget. Note: Although this post is appearing on a C&EN-hosted blog, the following is exclusively my own unsolicited commentary on the new C&EN app. You can learn more about the app at the C&EN Mobile site and in this lighthearted video led off with our fearless leader, C&EN Online Editor and fellow University of Florida grad, Rachel Pepling. C&EN Mobile ad from ACS Pressroom on Vimeo. You can go to this page to get more information. The highlights are that the app comes already loaded with the July 25 edition of C&EN with the option of free downloads of all from August. (I do admit to being a bit disappointed that they didn’t give you the July 4 issue for free so you could have a good laugh a certain hapless natural products researcher, courtesy of C&EN Associate Editor, Dr. Lauren Wolf.) However, previous and future issues will be available for $2.99 each. Right now, the issues only go back to July 11 but I’m not sure what plans there are to offer archives. That would be great – there’s an awesome back issue on the 100 most noteworthy pharmaceuticals that I love to go back to for lecture material. The other key features listed by the home office are: Preview each weekly issue’s table of contents Store purchased/downloaded issues in the “My Library” feature and read them offline Get instant updates from C&EN Online using the pull-down refresh feature on “Latest News,” “CENtral Science,” and “Jobs” Read and comment directly on posts from the CENtral Science blog network Share stories via email, Facebook, and Twitter View an alternate landscape layout of the table of contents for the iPad And guess which feature most excites me? Yes! You can read, comment on, and email/FB/Tweet posts from the CENtral Science blogs! The only cons or questions I have is whether one’s ACS membership qualifies one for a certain number of issues at reduced or no...

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