Guest Post: “Google Glass and Twitter for Chemistry Education” by Arash Soheili
Aug06

Guest Post: “Google Glass and Twitter for Chemistry Education” by Arash Soheili

Today’s guest post is from Arash Soheili, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center. As curator of the Twitter account @Total_Synthesis, which is turning 2 this month, no new total synthesis in the journals escapes his watchful eye. He’s passionate about teaching chemistry. And we’re jealous of him because he got to visit Google’s NYC offices to pick up his very own Google Glass. Check out his tech musings at Android Cowboy. I love organic chemistry and have been practicing it in academia and industry for over a decade. I’m also a huge fan of technology and strongly believe that there is a place for it in chemistry education. In fact, I would even say that in the next decade it will become a necessity to incorporate technology as part of the formal teaching toolkit. That process is already happening informally with so many educational videos on YouTube from enthusiasts and educators. But so many technology tools are constantly changing and it will take a strong effort on educators to find the methods that work best. Just like running an experiment in the lab, it will take planning, as well as some trial and error, to get the best results. My personal experience with chemistry and education started about two years ago. I wanted to find a way to reach more people and introduce new and interesting topics in chemistry using existing social networks. My passion for natural product synthesis led me to start a total synthesis Twitter feed. I check all the major organic chemistry journals daily and tweet any completed total synthesis of a natural product that I find. If you are interested in natural product synthesis then you can easily follow the Twitter feed and be up to date. You can also join the conversation by using the hashtag #totalsynthesis. The idea was very simple, but it had yet to be executed. Now in two years there are close to 1000 followers and it serves as an archive of over 400 natural product syntheses in all the major journals. This information would be hard to collect and very laborious using the typical search methods like Google, ACS, SciFinder, etc. It is an idea that can be duplicated for any other topic of interest in science and can be even tried in a formal class setting. Similar ideas include the online Twitter #chemclub by Andrew Bissette. Social media tools are far from the only game in town. Hardware tools have huge potential for application in chemistry education. One example is Google Glass which is basically a head mounted computer with the ability to...

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C&EN Picks for ACS New Orleans #ACSNOLA
Apr02

C&EN Picks for ACS New Orleans #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...

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Introducing C&EN Mobile
Aug17

Introducing C&EN Mobile

My office BlackBerry, which I had only become reasonably comfortable using over the past few months, recently decided to stop downloading e-mail. I could still send e-mail and use the device as a phone. I could even access the Internet with it. But it wouldn’t accept e-mail. So I needed a new phone, and I had to decide what kind of a phone to get. Now, I hate to admit this, but I have reached the age where I find new technology somewhat intimidating. A couple of weeks ago, I listened to C&EN Associate Editor Carmen Drahl, who has never met a technology she didn’t embrace with gusto, talk about her iPhone as not just a smartphone but a “complete reporter’s toolbox,” which can be used as a camera, video camera, and tape recorder. I was daunted. But I also knew that, as the editor-in-chief of this magazine, I needed to at least grasp how my staff are using technology to do their jobs. And, as important, how C&EN’s readers are accessing the magazine. So now I have an iPhone 4. In a text, one of my sons asked me, “So, how does it feel to have a tiny computer in your pocket?” Which brings me to the subject of this Editor’s Page. With this week’s issue, we proudly introduce C&EN Mobile, which is designed to bring C&EN’s rich content to your mobile device—iPhone, iPad, or Android phone—formatted to optimize its readability on that device. The C&EN Mobile app is available for free from Apple's App Store or the Android Market. Download it and you have automatic access to all C&EN Online Latest News stories, the 10 blogs on the CENtral Science blog network, and ACS Careers job postings. That’s a lot of content you can access on your phone for free. We post one or more—often as many as six—Latest News stories every day of the workweek to keep you up-to-date on breaking developments in the chemistry enterprise, from business news, to basic and applied research, to important policy developments, to news about ACS. And the CENtral Science network is a rich collection of blogs from C&EN editors and guest contributors as varied as The Safety Zone, in which Associate Editor Jyllian Kemsley explores important issues of lab safety, and The Haystack, in which Senior Editor Lisa Jarvis and Drahl focus on drug discovery. You can get a chuckle from the Newscripts blog maintained by Senior Editor Bethany Halford and Associate Editor Lauren Wolf. Or check out what some of our outside bloggers—Terra Sigillata’s David Kroll, Just Another Electron Pusher’s Christine Herman and Glen Ernst, and Transition States’...

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