Chemistry stars don’t shine in Science Magazine’s Twitter galaxy.

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while since I last blogged all the way back during #RealTimeChem week. A lot of interesting stuff has happened in the online chemistry world since then, in particular Science Magazine’s much debated and hugely controversial “Top 50 science stars of Twitter“. I’m a little late to write a long winded blog post on how immensely wrong this list was, but suffice to say it mostly boiled down to 1) a lack of women (4 out of 50!) and 2) zero chemists.

A galaxy of science stars. Probably more likely to find Wally than a chemist in here.

Although considering that Science Magazine has tried to rectify their original mistakes by creating a sequel to this list, which adds an extra 50 stars, maybe I’m not so late after all. If at first you don’t succeed and all that jazz. While the new list is something of an improvement in that it adds some more women into the mix, it also adds in a raft of all male economists and Brian May (who may have completed his thesis recently, but I’d hardly consider his stardom due to science).

The excellent Paige Brown Jarreau addressed the lack of women in the original list in some considerable style with her blog post response to Science Magazine’s list. It’s well worth a read, explains the situation far more succinctly than I could and is a fantastic guide to finding some of the many women who tweet about science on a daily basis (you can also check the hashtag #WomenTweetScienceToo). I maintain that a career in science (in all of it’s shapes and forms) should be open to both genders on this planet.  Anyone who disagrees with this… well, here’s a door. Please use it.

No, that white light isn't heaven, it's oblivion.

No, that white light isn’t heaven, it’s oblivion.

With respect to the second point earlier, considering the amount of time I’ve spent on Twitter conversing and interacting with other chemists via #RealTimeChem, I was rather flabbergasted by the omission of every single one of them, especially considering that there are some who are plenty more active than many of the Tweeters on Science Magazine’s so-called “Top 50″.

So, when I was approached by Lauren Wolf to be a member of a panel to choose 20 Chemists Worth Following on Twitter I jumped at the chance. Please check the link if you want to find some cool Chemists to follow. Alternatively, check out Stuart Cantrill’s somewhat larger list as well (you could also follow @RealTimeChem, but hopefully you already know about that one).

With the release of the second longer list and still a lack of any chemists, it does begin to beg the question…where are the social media stars of chemistry? Why doesn’t our branch of science have anyone with enough popularity (judging from the number of followers anyway) to make it on to this list? Why is the most famous modern chemist the average person on the street can name most probably a fictional meth peddler?

He does wear a hat well.

These are difficult questions to answer. Chemistry certainly has a well documented image problem in the wider mainstream media at the moment. An image where chemicals are more often than not instantly labelled as “bad” and big pharma is the equivalent of the stereotypical moustache-twirling evil villain of old black and white movies.

It might be that Chemistry seemingly doesn’t have the same sex appeal as other sciences such as physics, which can pull any number of fancy universe spanning subjects out of its bag of tricks.

Just look at that. Physicists have claimed the universe as their playground.

They’ve also got Professor Brian Cox, super star. A man who is so not a fan of chemistry he’s hopeful that the notion of chemistry will disappear forever to be replaced by his beloved physics.

How can we improve this situation? How can we ensure a chemist is included on any future lists of science’s social media stars?

We work harder. We shout louder. We show the world what chemistry means to us and what it should mean to human kind. We engage. We enthuse. We excite. We amaze.  

Oh… and we should probably all tweet a lot more. 

-The Lab Coat Cowboy-

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#RealTimeChem week 2014 – Tweets of the Week

Hello everyone,

First of all, thank you very much to everyone who took part in #RealTimeChem week this year. Once again it was great fun and fantastic to see such a wide variety of chemists taking part from across the globe. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in 2015!

Obviously, #RealTimeChem is a 24/7 project, so feel free to keep sharing chemistry whenever you want and engage with your fellow chemists around the world.

There were a lot of really great tweets this week as seen in this years awards. This was actually really really hard to decide on. If I had enough prizes I would have given you all one. Unfortunately, only the very best of the best can win one of this years prizes.

This years must have item for the discerning chemist.

Time to find out who has won these beauties!

RTCW2014Tweetsoftheweek

 

Below you shall find the three winners of the “Tweets of the Week” for #RealTimeChem week 2014. These three tweeters not only produced these excellent tweets, but also many more throughout the week and I think they are all worthy winners of a #RealTimeChem Week 2014 mug. Congratulations to you all!

WINNERS 

LauraJane

From Monday – this tweet from the whimsical Laura Jane (@laurajane0103) was only one of many fantastic contributions during the week. It sums up a typical day in the laboratory for many in a fun way. It’s what #RealTimeChem is all about and was a great way to start the week.

 

Andres

From Tuesday – this polyurethane strawberry milkshake almost looked good enough to drink! Andres Tretiakov (@Andrestrujado) shared a whole host of wacky, fantastic and exciting chemistry during the week and any one of them could have won a Platinum award, but I try not to give out more than one to any contributor!

 

JohnGrimes

 

From Wednesday - food was a big theme of #RealTimeChem week this year and I’m definitely a fan of cooking (even if I’m not that good at it). John Grimes (@jgrimesjr) shared quite a range of tweets over the week, but my favourite was this close up tweet of a delicious looking peanut butter-y product. It could also be the clouds of a gas giant! Either way I love the texture in it and I also really appreciate the humour with which the tweet was delivered, chemistry often looks better than it smells!

 

 

So there you have it. If all three winners could please send me a DM on twitter with their address as soon as possible and I’ll get that prize out to you.

Once again thank you to everyone who took part in #RealTimeChem week 2014. I hope you had fun, learned something new and found some new connections in the chemistry world.

mischief managed

-Doctor Galactic & The Lab Coat Cowboy-

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Things to do during #RealTimeChem week 2014

RTCWeekBannerInternational2So #RealTimeChem week 2014 is upon us!

 

Tweet some chemistry with #RealTimeChem

Obviously the first thing you can do is take part in #RealTimeChem week by actually tweeting what you are up to in the world of Chemistry using the hashtag #RealTimeChem.

You could even win an award in the #RealTimeChem awards, with the possibility of winning a #RealTimeChem week 2014 mug (very rare indeed!).

Join in with #RealTimeChemCarnival.

RealTimeChemCarnival2014

If you have a blog and are thinking of posting something this week then consider taking part in the blog carnival, which is kindly being hosted by @JessTheChemist at The Organic Solution. Just make sure you use the hashtag #RealTimeChemCarnival so that Jess can add you to the list.

If anyone is looking for blog posts to read this week, you can obviously search on twitter for the hashtag.

Have some fun with “chemistsholdingmolecularmodels“.

chemistsholdingmolecularmodels

Have a bit of fun by uploading a picture of yourself (I believe this is what all the hip people call a selfie) holding a molecular model. This just looks like a fun little project. I wonder how many chemists and structures this can collect over time?

Just let me know when you’ve uploaded your picture by sharing with #RealTimeChem.

Draw some #Freehandrings

This was rather popular last time. So why not have a go at challenging your fellow chemists to a game of #Freehandrings. No prizes for this one, except some minor internet fame as everyone marvels at your amazing ring drawing prowess.

 

Try @azmanam’s #ChemDrawChallenge!

Azmanam, creator of #RealTimeChem, has challenged the community to help improve the design of well known mechanisms. Dare you try to take him on?

Anything else? 

If you have a chemistry related project that you’d like highlighted during #RealTimeChem week, then let me know and I’ll add it up here for people to find.

 

-Doctor Galactic & The Lab Coat Cowboy-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tweets of the week prizes! #RealTimeChem Week 2014

Hello all,

As you may recall last year I gave away some ChemSpider Lab Coats as prizes for the “Tweets of the Week”, which were kindly donated by the RSC. This year I’ve splashed out a little and got some #RealTimeChem branded mugs to give away to the top three Tweeters.

This years must have item for the discerning chemist.

This years must have item for the discerning chemist.

For information on how you can win a mug of your very own, check out the FAQ, which tells you all about the “RealTimeChem Awards” and how they work.

So make sure you tweet something fantastic next week for #RealTimeChem week 2014, which starts on 23rd June.

Good luck!

-Doctor Galactic & The Lab Coat Cowboy-

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RealTimeChem Week 2014 – starts 23rd June 2014

Dear RealTimeChem brigade & other chemists of the world,

This year’s #RealTimeChem Week will take place the week starting Monday 23rd June 2014.

For further information check out the updated FAQ. Posters you can use are still to come if anyone fancies designing some I will happily put them up on the FAQ for people to use.

RTCWeekBannerInternational2014

 

So please spread the word and I hope you’ll share something fantastic with us that week in the Twitterverse.

 

Best,

-Doctor Galactic & The Lab Coat Cowboy-

 

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Milestones and RealTimeChem Week 2014

Hello everybody!

The Blog lives! I have been away from it for a little too long. To be fair, I’ve been busy with work and life in general, both of which haven’t left much time for writing. However, I aim to get back in the saddle in the next few months. I’ve got a few ideas regarding #RealTimeChem and creating a hub on the blog for chemists to come to and find useful resources. First priority though it to update the FAQ for #RealTimeChem for general use so that newcomers know what it’s all about. I’ve almost completed so fingers crossed it’ll be up in the next few weeks.

While Doctor Galactic and the Lab Coat Cowboy has been off the interweb, the Twitter account has continued to document some great #RealTimeChem from across the world and last week it reached a significant milestone by gaining it’s 2000th follower (which is still less than Chemistry Cat…). It’s also past 9,500 Tweets and closing in on the magical 10,000th tweet (we’ve actually Tweeted more times than both Nature Chemistry and Chemistry World, but notably not more than infamous tweet splurgers Angewandte Chemie), the vast majority of these tweets are retweets of actual Real-time chemistry in action. There’s been a fantastic amount of variety in location and content of these Tweets and I’m always excited to log in each day and see what everyone’s been up to.

When I started the feed I didn’t believe it’d ever reach such a number and it’s a testament to the fantastic chemistry community on Twitter that it’s got this far. So thanks to everyone who has joined in so far and I hope you’ll continue to share your chemistry and have fun engaging with other chemists around the world. I am open to any ideas and suggestions from the community for what #RealTimeChem can do for them, so feel free to email me at RealTimeChem@gmail.com.

I imagine many of you are wondering about this….

Real Time Chem Week 2014 - it'll happen. Once we've decided WHEN it'll happen.

Real Time Chem Week 2014 – it’ll happen. Once we’ve decided WHEN it’ll happen.

Certainly, the second annual RealTimeChem week will be happening this year. It will likely run slightly differently. There will probably be some new prizes if I can snag some. The question is this…when should it be? As usual this shall be decided by you, the community.

I’ve been a late on the game so April is a little bit out of the running this year, as the event needs some proper prep time. You can vote for up to 3 different months and if you have any more specific suggestions for the timing of the event, then please sound off in the comments section.

Anywho, I must bid you adieu for now.

 

-Doctor Galactic & The Lab Coat Cowboy-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to Chemistry Week 2013

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Hello everyone!
As you may be aware this week is Chemistry Week! This is run every two years by the Royal Society of Chemistry and highlights the importance of Chemistry to the masses. This years theme is health, to which chemistry has made more than a significant contribution.

If you want to know more about the week and the events that are being run, here’s a useful link to the RSC page for Chemistry Week here.

If, like me, you are a social media geek then you can follow events via the hashtag #ChemistryWeek.

@RealTimeChem will be highlighting as much Chemistry Week material as it can find. In addition, this week is the perfect week to show us your chemistry, so use either #ChemistryWeek or #RealTimeChem to let the world know about it, particularly if it is health related.

Looking forward to all the Chemistry Week fun!

-The Lab Coat Cowboy-

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