August 23, 2011
In the current issue of Nature Chemistry there is an entire section of “Insight” articles touching on aspects of our life/work as chemists away from the bench. There are some really great reads in there, and, for the moment, these articles are open access. I highly recommend giving them a go through.
Included among this section is a commentary by Declan Fahy, an American University professor of communication who specializes in science communication, and me. Our commentary is titled “Communicating chemistry for public engagement” and, for the chemists in the audience, uses retrosynthesis as a subtext for describing “how” we should be going about communicating chemistry to non-chemists. Declan really taught me a lot while we were writing this, and I’m thrilled that its finally out. My favorite part of writing this commentary was conducting interviews (something I’d never really done before). I had some really great conversations with Roald Hoffmann, Dick Zare, and Deborah Blum.
When you do go to check out the other commentaries, there is a lot of great stuff to choose from. Michele Francl writes on the status of women chemists. C.N.R. Rao covers the benefits and problems with exploiting chemistry in the developing world. David Smith gets into how we should be teaching chemistry so that our students get used to thinking in different ways. Keith Watson talks about the changing landscape of employment in the chemical industry. Roderick Eggert gets into issues surrounding the mining of “rare-earth” minerals and the technologies that we use that rely on these minerals. And Connelly, Vuong and Murcko argue over ways to fix the pharmaceutical industry.
Lots there to enjoy.
p.s. – hopefully the new site formatting will be up by the end of the week.