#FromSmallToBig photocontest: Win Pint of Science Tickets with Hindawi and #RealTimeChem

Hi everybody,

I’ve got an exciting competition for you all! Courtesy of the fantastic folks at Hindawi, I have 5 tickets to give away to a Pint of Science event near you.


What’s Pint of Science you might ask? Well, I’ll let Hindawi explain:

Spanned across 6 continents and 21 countries with nearly 100,000 attendees, this award-winning festival brings together our favorite scientists to our local pubs, where some of the greatest ideas where born; among friends, sharing a drink and imagining a world where one more question was answered and one more solution was found.

We are proud to announce that we are sponsoring this year’s Pint of Science festival of events in the UK, France, Ireland, and Germany. We invite you to join us for a pint of beer with a touch of science talk, knowledge sharing, and ideas exchange.

To read more about Hindawi’s partnership with Pint of Science see: https://about.hindawi.com/opinion/pint-of-science-celebrating-research-discovery-across-the-globe/ 

Ace huh? How can you win? Well here’s the rules:

Hindawi are sponsoring events across the UK based on “Atoms and Galaxies”. In other words, it is science from the smallest to the biggest. So what better way to win tickets than with a #RealTimeChem photo-contest using the additional hashtag: . All you have to do is tweet a picture on this theme. It can be anything from a picture of the Atomium in Brussels to teeny tiny glassware.

To summarize, a step-by-step guide to enter:

1. Take picture of very small or very big chemistry subject.

2. Tweet picture using #RealTimeChem and #FromSmallToBig and tag @Hindawi. Sprinkle in a little explanation in the tweet

3. You’re entered.  

It is not that long until Pint of Science (14th-16th May). So, this is going to be a fast a furious contest that takes place over just 3 days starting from 9.00 am BST Monday 30th April and finishing at 11.00 pm BST Wednesday 3rd May. 
Winners will be selected and given instructions on how to claim their prizes on 4th May 2018. 
Winners can pick one of the events in the UK (please do check your local is not sold out) as well as events in Ireland, Germany, and France. Event information is below:


Each of the 5 winners will also win a snazzy T-shirt courtesy of Hindawi and modeled here by the incomparable Fani:


Any questions about this photocontest, please do get in touch with me via DM on Twitter (@RealTimeChem).


Good luck and cheers!

-Doctor Galactic-


Chemistry Revision Resources You Need To Succeed

Hi folks,

A quick note that this blog has been featured, alongside some amazing (and far superior) other websites/blogs that are useful for Chemistry revision for students. This has been put together by Matt J at Tutorful.

You can check out the full list here at the link: https://tutorful.co.uk/blog/chemistry-revision-resources-you-need-to-succeed.

I get a shiny badge too.


I like shiny things.

-Doctor Galactic-

#RSCPoster: #RealTimeChem Challenge

Hello everyone,

Tomorrow is the Royal Society of Chemistry’s official Twitter Poster Conference 2018! It’s a great way to share and discuss chemistry like you would at an international conference without all of that pesky travelling.

This is the bread and butter of #RealTimeChem and I’ve challenged myself to post a question on every single #RSCPoster submission I can find:

I know this community loves a good challenge (although you don’t have to be as borderline insane as me).

So, I hereby challenge the rest of you to comment on at least 5 #RSCPoster contributions during the conference. 


Let’s get some great conversations started about the chemistry on display. Details about #RSCPoster are below:


Have fun!

-Doctor Galactic- 


Nominate your #RealTimeChemist of the year


Hello everyone,

Tis the season to be jolly and all that jazz – so drink and be merry folks! Now, to help you do said drinking and perform your merriment duties, I do have one remaining #RealTimeChem Week 2017 mug sitting forlornly in my desk draw.


It looks a lot like this.  Featureless white void not included. 


So the question is, who should be given this unique collectible item? I was thinking of a gladiatorial fight to the death type scenario:


Imagine this, but with labcoats. 

…but I think the world of science has enough problems right now without all of us killing each other over novelty ceramics.

Instead, there will be the next best thing: a Twitter poll!

To populate this Twitter poll with options I would like to ask everyone in the community to nominate who they feel is the most deserving member of the #RealTimeChem community to win this glorious prize. This should be the person who’s contributions via #RealTimeChem have stood out to you most this year.

You can nominate your #RealTimeChemist by doing one of the following: 

  • Sending a DM to @RealTimeChem
  • Sending an email to RealTimeChem@gmail.com
  • Leaving a comment below.

In your nomination please include the following:

  • Twitter Handle of the nominee.
  • A brief reason why you are nominating them.
  • A few examples of your favourite tweets from your nominee this year (optional but helpful).

Nominations close on Friday 22nd December. 


The 4 most nominated #RealTimeChemists will be added to a poll on @RealTimeChem that will run until 1st January 2018


So, get nominating and happy holidays!


-Doctor Galactic-

Big thanks and The Great #RealTimeChem Cook Off 2017 Winners

Hello RealTimeChemists,

2017. It’s been a rough year for the world. Troubling political climate. Troubling social climate. Troubling climate in general. Throughout these rough times it’s important to find something to bring people together and for chemists, that’s chemistry. I’ve greatly enjoyed all your #ChemTogether-ness during this year’s #RealTimeChem Week.  I’m glad that the hashtag continues to be a small haven on social media where everyone in this community can join in and share their enthusiasm for the central science.

Some big thank yous have to go out to a variety of people who have made #RealTimeChem Week possible this year:

  • Firstly, Andy Brunning of @compoundchem. Continues to produce the best chemistry infographics the world wide web has ever seen and also this year’s Beatles inspired #ChemTogether banners. His best work yet. We’ve still never met in person you know (Andy we should work on that).
  • Thanks again to David Peralta, Managing editor of @ChemMedChem and everyone at WileyVCH who continue to enthusiastically support The Great #RealTimeChem Cook Off with prizes.
  • Dorea Reeser and colleagues at C&EN, who have provided a lot of support this year and added greatly to the awards with a very generous donation.
  • Matt Hartings for the kind donation of a signed copy of his book for the very best Cook Off tweet.
  • A final thanks to all my colleagues at the Royal Society of Chemistry, who’ve continued to support this slightly mad endeavour of mine.
  • My wife for her love, understanding and endless patience.


Now, final prizes time. Below I will announce the winners of The Great #RealTimeChem Cook Off 2017:


As mentioned above this year’s contest was again sponsored by @WileyVCH‘s society chemistry journals.* The five winners below all receive a ChemPubSoc Europe package containing:

A copy of What’s Cooking in Chemistry: How Leading Chemists Succeed in the Kitchen
-An exclusive #chemquackers scientist rubber duck (everybody wants one of these. Hell, I want one.)
-Other Wiley-VCH goodies!


The prizes for this year’s Cook off in all their glory.

*@ChemEurJ, @ChemistrySelect, @ChemistryOpen, @ChemBioChem, @ChemCatChem, @ChemMedChem@ChemElectroChem, @ChemPhysChem, @ChemPlusChem, @ChemSusChem,@ChemPhotoChem, @EurJIC, and Eur. J. Org. Chem (all journals of @ChemPubSoc_Euro); @ChemAsianJ, @AsianJOrgChem, and @ChemNanoMat (all journals of the Asian Chemical Editorial Society); and @angew_chem (a journal of @GDCh_aktuell).


This was a harder choice than last year and that was ridiculously hard. 280 Characters was introduced part way through the week too and, funnily enough, that really suits cooking tweets!

Some sensational entries this year but someone has to win the goodies and the below were chosen based on a number of factors; invention, chemistry content, popularity (via retweets and favourites), general looks of the cook, humour, etc.

After much deliberation both on my part and after consultation with my partners at Wiley, here are the chosen winners. Note that all 5 winners receive the above pack. As a special prize for the very best cook off creation, the overall winner will also receive a signed copy of  Matt Hartings (@sciencegeist) book “Chemistry In Your Kitchen“.

So…*drum roll*

First we have Jess Wade, who bravely took on a recipe from  Heston Blumenthal FRSC. This one was long in the making and looks absolutely fantastic.  Check out the full thread.


A wonderful pie from the Borovik Lab at UCI (you’ll have to let me know who baked this!) with a clear chemistry theme. I also really like the sentiment of the tweet itself, which is inspiring and relevant to the #ChemTogether theme.


Sheer volume of food from Maria is impressive. It’s a full meal. Frankly, I feel absolutely starving by this point in the blog post *tries to eat screen*, especially as these are some of my favourite foods!


You need to see the whole thread to completely appreciate Sarah‘s white chicken chilli, but it’s a great step by step journey. Plus she uses the best Jamie Oliver-ism “wazz it up”.

Overall winner 

Like others above, you have to open the full tweet thread to appreciate the shear awesomeness of this. A multi-layer cake is tricky, but one with an actual trick inside is mind blowing. Plus it’s rainbow coloured and #ChemTogether themed. Respect Victoria. Respect.


Congratulations everybody! To claim your prize pack please send the below details via email to chemmedchem@wiley.com. Plus cc in realtimechem@gmail.com

1) Full name
2) Twitter handle
3) Current affiliation and position (if student, mention lab to which you belong)
4) Complete shipping address


Once again thank you a million times to everyone who took part in #RealTimeChem week 2017. If anyone has got ideas for 2018, it’s never to early to share them with me!

But for now…

mischief managed

-Doctor Galactic-



#RealTimeChem Week 2017 – Awards


Hello everyone, welcome to the #RealTimeChem Week Awards!

First of all, thank you to every one who took part this year and tweeted using #RealTimeChem or #ChemTogether. This community is nothing without the people that are part of it. I’d give everyone of you a prize, but sadly, I’m not clinically insane.

This year the awards are divided in 8 categories. The first 5 are below. Welcome to the best of #RealTimeChem:


Sometimes chemistry doesn’t work as intended, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful.

Runners up. 

Phil seems to have accidentally made one of those glass baubles that you use as a paper weight.

Giorgia seems to have made everybody’s favourite: black tar.


I think we can all feel Conrad’s pain here. Good save by all accounts afterwards!



Chemists are funny people. Witness the funny.

Runners up

Speaks for itself. Cheesy, but funny.

I was born in the 80s, I endorse this joke.


Michelle found this gem waiting for her. Sometimes the jokes come to you.



The OED says a “selfie” is “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media”. Or something. I’m not down with the kids.

Runners up

Suze has the best job. Plus she’s #ChemTogether themed!

As Lab Daily points out Chemistry isn’t all about explosions! We also have glowing stuff. Look! Ooooh!


Safety first from Richard. We can only wonder what hazards await.


Fancy glassware is one of the things that stands out about chemistry. Beakers, flasks, test tubes, pipettes, condensers…so much glassware, so little time.

Runners up

As I was saying above. Andryj speaks the truth.

The humble test tube elevated to art by Bram.


Tiny glassware is the best glassware. It’s the cutest. I like the inclusion of a pen for scale.


Sometimes a still image is not enough, sometimes you gotta get out the video! This was very hotly contested.


Runners up

Who ya gonna call? Tom that’s who! Fantastic slow mo action here. This was only one of several video’s by Tom during the week. You should also check out his rendition of The Periodic Table from memory, whilst also sounding like a chipmunk.

Mike’s video of crystals growing in a vial is beautiful to behold.


Sometimes a transparent oil’s dreams *do* come true! *cue emotional music*. The sudden switch in Cecilia’s video also keeps you on your toes.


The overall winning tweet in each of the five categories above will be awarded this year’s #RealTimeChem Week mug with the #ChemTogether logo (sadly runners up don’t get a prize, except massive kudos this year). 


Winners: to claim your prize please send me the below details, either via DM on Twitter or to realtimechem@gmail.com

-Affiliation (Uni/Company/Department) and position/role
-Email account
-Shipping Address (if at an institution, please indicate the Lab/Division/department and/or Room numbers)


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The following three categories were sponsored by C&EN. The winning tweet will receive the above mug like all the other winners, but also there are additional cash/gift card prizes. You will also have your tweet featured in C&EN’s Chemistry in Pictures (see example here)!  Prizes as follows:

  • $100 for the 3 winners in each category (3 prizes in total)
  • $25 for each runner up (6 prizes in total)

Please note that cash prizes are only for US-based competitors. International winners will receive an Amazon gift card.


Without further ado:


Runners up

Henry has got the traditional #ReaTimeChem Week balloon party down. Plus in keeping with the colourful theme of this year’s week.


A stylish shot from the Townsend Lab. I hope you’ll pass the prize onto Jamin!


Frankly I think defying gravity is a pretty worthy achievement that’ll let you win most prizes. Fran also produced a great video later too (see here).



Runners up

Some fantastic luminescence crystals from Amie!  They almost seem to be on fire.

Like all true artists, Tracy has named her art. Beautiful crystals and very seasonal!


I should probably say something super insightful about these brilliant crystals… they’re so fluffy!



Runners up

Madison gets some #RealTimeBio in her #RealTimeChem, along with some striking colours.

Andres putting red cabbages to good use.


This was the single most favourited tweet of the week. The ever reliable Brian. This time showing off all your daily fluorescent objects in one colorful arrangement.

To claim your prizes please send me your details above, either via DM on Twitter or to realtimechem@gmail.com

So, congratulations to everyone who won an award and thank you for taking part in #RealTimeChem Week.

If you’re waiting for the Cook Off prizes, those will be announced later in the week!


-Doctor Galactic-


#ChemTogether Blog Carnival Round up


Hello bloggers and blog readers!

Welcome to the blog carnival round up for #RealTimeChem week. As noted above this year blog posts are all about the hashtag theme, #ChemTogether. There’s been some really interesting stuff written so far, which you can find in the round up below:

Thanks to everyone above for blogging this week. I’ll update this round up at the end of the week if there are any further blog posts.

-Doctor Galactic-