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Celebrating the 1939 Leo Szilard letter to FDR and setting the record straight

Leo Szilard was the principal architect of the famousletter to FDR. But even today Einstein's name is the onemost associated with the event. This needs to change(Image: NNSA). Today marks the 74th anniversary of the famous letter that physicist Leo Szilard wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt. Show More Summary

The complex truth about "smart" drugs

In 'Limitless', the character played by Bradley Cooper takes a cognitive enhancement pill that allows him to finish his book in four days, learn the piano in a week and make millions on the stock market in two weeks (Picture: Philadelphia Soundstages). Show More Summary

The clearest essay on physics I have read: The beauty and clarity of Paul Dirac's prose

Paul Dirac was sort of the Ernest Hemingway of physics, only better. Both his equations and his prose were as tight, spare and to the point as Hemingway. But unlike the delightfully rough-hewn storytelling of Hemingway Dirac's creation were, in Freeman Dyson's words, "like perfect mathematical sculptures falling from the sky". Show More Summary

Genius and Einstein: From 'Great Man' to 'Every Man'?

Einstein is the poster child for genius because he was a genius The American organic chemist Robert Burns Woodward was a genius; the craft at which he excelled better than anyone else was making molecules, some of which were so complex that nobody before him thought they could be made. Show More Summary

A Year in the Life of a New Research Lab…in Less than One Minute

The Hanson Research Group’s first experiment—initiated my second day on the job—involved two strategically placed Brinno TLC200 time-lapse cameras programmed to take one photo per day. The video from our first camera that covered our...Show More Summary

C&EN Onion

A new blog takes a very satirical look at the daily lives of chemists. A sampling of the story titles are below: Graduate Student Power Tripping After First Nature Publication Dartmouth Senior Admits Never Read McQuarrie’s “Quantum Chemistry,” Only Sits On Dorm Table To Impress Girls Summer Undergraduate Student Far Too Excited About Running Columns … Continue reading »

Tragic: Indiana University Chem PhD Candidate on Downed Malaysian Flight

Indiana University student Karlijn Keijzer was a passenger aboard Malaysian flight 17 which crashed in Ukraine on July 17. The 25 year old was a PhD candidate in chemistry on vacation when she died. A great loss for chemistry. A great loss for all of us. Fox59 Indianapolis has an interview and nice video tribute … Continue reading »

The problem with Food Babe

The Charlotte Observer has a good article on Food Babe, a health and nutrition activist who has been responsible for many a scientist and science writer's heartburn over the last few years, and not for good reasons. The article places...Show More Summary

A response to recent events

The re-post of my Feynman post on SciAm and the note attached to it have led me to write this response. Several readers have asked me what happened, so I will endeavor to clear the air and provide what I consider to be a complete story from my perspective. Show More Summary

Richard Feynman, sexism and changing perceptions of a scientific icon

I fell in love with Richard Feynman when I was in middle school. That is when I discovered "Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman" in my dad's bookshelf. For the first few hours I laughed till tears were rolling out of my eyes. This was not science, it was choice entertainment of the highest order. Show More Summary

Memoir of a First Year Assistant Professor

As of July 1st I’ve been an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Florida State University for one year. It has been a roller coaster ride complete with exhilarating highs and crushing lows all occurring at a frenzied pace. The last year has been incredible though and I thought I would share some thoughts on my … Continue reading »

Can biomass char remove toxic synthetic chemicals from drinking water?

Earlier this morning, Aqueous Solutions launched a science crowd-funding campaign through experiment.com!We're raising money to purchase laboratory supplies, reagents, etc., for a series of micro-column tests in the lab that will determine...Show More Summary

Molecular modeling and physics: A tale of two disciplines

The LHC is a product of both time and multiple disciplines In my professional field of molecular modeling and drug discovery I often feel like an explorer who has arrived on the shores of a new continent with a very sketchy map in his pocket. Show More Summary

Is the Coop bank fishing for an anti-science cause?

The Cooperative bank has had its troubles of late, mismanagement, scandal ridden executives and massive debts have seen an the organisation that prided itself on its ethical policy forced to reevaluate its self image. At the moment it takes a stance, both through its investments and the customers its accepts, that supports communities, tackles povety, … Continue reading »

Food for the souls of the most hungry

I’ve just come back from the Cheltenham Science Festival. It was a truly inspiring week of educating and entertaining science, maths and technology. Insights direct from Richard Dawkins (he didn’t claim he wanted to kill Santa), to  mesmerising...Show More Summary

Winter is coming, or is it always cold in Russia?

Fire at the regional trade union council building in Odessa, Ukraine Photo: Barcroft Media In the midst of the Ukrainian crisis, tactics reminiscent of the Cold War began emerging—ones that trace back to the KGB laboratories half a century ago. Show More Summary

Just So You Know

We are speaking at the 248th ACS National Meeting & Exposition on August 10-14, 2014 in San Francisco, CA USA. Chemists Without Borders - Bego Gerber, our Chairman and Co-Founder, is presenting our ongoing humanitarian work on Sunday...Show More Summary

Crystallography and chemistry: The culture issue

Image: Charles Reynolds and ACS Med Chem Letters Charles Reynolds who is a well-known structure-based drug design expert has an editorial in ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters touching on an issue that lies at the confluence of crystallography, medicinal chemistry and modeling: flaws in protein ligand co-crystal structures. Show More Summary

Making sense of chemical stories

Discussions on chemophobia (or whatever you want to call it) is a perennial favourite on chemistry blogs. But the conversation rarely extends out of our echo chamber. But now Sense about Science have joined the discussion with the publication of a guide entitled  Making Sense of Chemical Stories. Sense about Science is a respected charitable … Continue reading »

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