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:

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
  • 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 Plus cc in

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

-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)


CENNameplateblack (1)


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

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- 

About #RealTimeChem Week 2017 – #ChemTogether


Hello again everybody,

It’s almost that time again, time for #RealTimeChem Week! For those not in the know, #RealTimeChem Week is a 7 day event to help raise awareness of the #RealTimeChem chemistry community on Twitter and encourage as many chemists as possible to tweet about their chemistry. During the week various events, competitions and prizes are on offer, just to make it all the more fun and exciting.

If you are completely new and want to know more about #RealTimeChem in general, then follow this link to the regular “About…” page, where you can learn all about the project and the community.

If you don’t use #RealTimeChem all that regularly, this is the week to give it a go. Why not take some time during #RealTimeChem to share some chemistry and connect to other chemists in the world and have some fun while you’re at it?

When is it?

6th November- 12th November.

It runs all day, for all 7 days.


How do I take part again?

Just tweet about chemistry using the hashtag #RealTimeChem. Simple as that. Well you can also use this year’s theme hashtag #ChemTogether. That will also be monitored by me during the event. Hell use both. Go wild. Just use one of these hashtags.

So what’s the theme during this year’s event?

The theme this year has, like in previous years, it’s own hashtag #ChemTogether – as chosen via poll by the community itself.

To me, this is what it is about. Other may have their own interpretation:

Recent 21st Century history has made it feel like the world is tearing itself apart. Old wounds are being reopened. New ones are being cut. And those cuts, old and new, run deep. At times like this it can be difficult not to dwell on the negatives with so much hate, anger and fear in the world. 

Yet there is always positives and hope. It reminds me of a short passage one of my favourite reads: 

“‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo.

‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’

Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkein, The Shadow of the past, The Fellowship of the Ring. 

What we have chosen to do with the time given to us, is study Chemistry. The central science.  Molecules and their reactions. We are united in a common purpose to push the bounds of human knowledge and we’re going to have some fun while doing it. None of us can do this alone, we have our chemistry friends and colleagues, our fellowship, if you will.

This #RealTimeChem Week is about bringing that fellowship closer together. To do chemistry together.

To #ChemTogether.  

#RealTimeChem Week Adverts

Below you will find some banners to help you share the word about #RealTimeChem Week 2017. Designed again by the awesome Andy Brunning of @compoundinterest (

#RealTimeChem Awards 2017 


Just like previous years, I will be offering awards for the best tweets during #RealTimeChem Week. The format has radically changed this time.

Awards will be given out for tweets posted on all seven days of the event, however, this year the old daily award system has been retired and replaced by new “best of” categories.  These are as follows:

  • Selfie 
  • Video 
  • Chem Joke
  • Glassware
  • Chem Fail
  • Colorful Chem (sponsored by C&EN – see below)
  • Reaction Pic  (sponsored by C&EN – see below)
  • Crystal Pic (sponsored by C&EN – see below)

Most of these categories are intentionally broad and they hopefully cover the majority of areas that #RealTimeChem encompasses. So… to potentially win a prize in the awards all you have to do is tweet something within these categories using #RealTimeChem during the week. I’ll be keeping an eye on the hashtag and gathering up the best tweets with a summary of winners at the end of the week. There will be one winner per category and two honorable mentions as runners up (no prizes for these I’m afraid, except in the C&EN sponsored categories).

Each winner (i.e. 8 of you) will receive the traditional, #RealTimeChem Week mug with this years #ChemTogether theme on it.


This years snazzy mug (my favourite design so far!)


Prizes winners will be announced on  Wednesday 15th November. Winners will be asked to provide address details and then mug prizes will be sent out late November/early December.

Update: New prizes from C&EN. 

CENNameplateblack (1)

Copyright ©2017 American Chemical Society

After talks with the wonderful folks at C&EN, the following three categories:

  • Colorful Chem 
  • Reaction Pic  
  • Crystal Pic 

have been sponsored for additional cash/gift card prizes. You will also have your tweet featured in C&EN’s Chemistry in Pictures (see example here)! So the very best Reaction Pic, Crystal Pic and Colorful Chem tweets of the week will receive the following (in addition to the winners receiving a mug):

  • $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. However, international entries are also eligible. Instead of a cash prize you will receive an Amazon gift card.

Reminder that to enter in for a prize you simply need to tweet using the hashtag #RealTimeChem during the week and make sure that your tweet fits one of the categories. Best of luck!

The Great #RealTimeChem Cook Off (11th– 12th November) 

Now on its third year, The Great #RealTimeChem Cook Off celebrates the perfect combination that is chemistry and cooking.

This year’s contest is again sponsored by the @ChemPubSoc_Euro journals.*

Five winners will 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 (which you can use for all your #RealTimeChem posts and personal travels!)
-Other Wiley-VCH goodies!


This years goodies to be won!

The competition only takes place on the weekend of #RealTimeChem Week. Feel free to cook something during the week, but the tweet must be shared on the weekend of November 11th-12th to count.

All you have to do to enter the competition is to tweet your culinary creation (anything cooking, baking or food related) and include #RealTimeChem #whatscooking & @ChemPubSoc_Euro at the end of your tweet. Your tweet should include a picture or video of your creation and ideally have a short description (the description can even talk about the chemistry in your cooking! It’s up to you). Alternatively, you can write/link a recipe for others to try.

Everyone who tweets a cooking-related post using these hashtags will be entered into the competition, and 5 favourites will win a prize.

Hopefully with a bit more notice this time, you’ll all have time to get some ingredients in and post a tweet. I look forward to seeing what you all come up with!

*@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).

Update: Additional prize! Matt Hartings (@sciencegeist) has kindly offered one winner a signed copy of his book “Chemistry In Your Kitchen” as a prize. This will be awarded to the very best Cook Off tweet of the weekend. 

The #RealTimeChem Week Blog Carnival – #ChemTogether (6th-12th November)

While the primary action for #RealTimeChem Week takes place on Twitter, there is also a blog carnival that runs alongside it. Chemistry bloggers are part of a thriving community and there are some excellent writers out there just waiting for readers.

Previously, #RealTimeChem Week 2015 had a “Back to the Future” theme, resulting in some fantastic posts on #OldTimeChem and #FutureTimeChem (highlights are available here at SciTechConnect).

#RealTimeChem Week 2016 was focused on “New elements in chemistry” (#NewElemChem) which focused on a range of topics about new experiences in the blogger’s chemical lives (round ups here and here at SciTechConnect).

This year, it’s all about #ChemTogether:

Write a blog post telling a story in your life as a chemist where you have collaborated with another chemist (or chemists!). This could be the story of how a recent research paper came into being,  a daring tale of an adventure you had attending a chemistry conference or a personal narrative about how chemists are the most fun people at parties. You could answer that long standing question; what should a group of chemists be called anyway? You could blog about how chemists do things together periodically – like we haven’t heard that joke before. This is your story. Let us know how you #ChemTogether.

So, if you are a blogger, write a post and share it during the Week on Twitter using the hastag #ChemTogether. The carnival this year is being hosted here on Doctor Galactic & The Labcoat Cowboy. I will be looking out for this hashtag and will collect your blog post into round ups (2-3 times in the week depending on numbers) so they are all in one place for easy access.

Please note, if you don’t use the hashtag, then your post won’t be included in the carnival, so please make sure you remember to add it. I’ll also be retweeting these via @RealTimeChem to draw attention to them during the week. Happy writing!


Other events/competitions

#Ozchem competition by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI)


Logo © 2017 The Royal Australian Chemical Institute Incorporated.


For all you chemists in the community based in the land down under, RACI (who are behind the excellent #ozchem hashtag) are running a series of competitions during #RealTimeChem Week. There are three participation prizes on offer for Australian Chemists:

  • Best #ChemTogether photograph (you don’t even need Twitter for this one)
  • Twitter adoption prize
  • Outstanding contribution

For the full details on how to enter these competition, please see the RACI website post:


Kit Chapman’s Signed Periodic Table Auction in aid of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH)

A fantastic opportunity to own a piece of history and also help raise money for an amazing charity in East Anglia. To learn more about the vital work of EACH please click here.

More information can be found in Kit’s Tweets below. Also check out the auction page on eBay itself here.

Want to run a competition or event?


There is always room for more chemistry-based fun. If you would like to run an event or competition during #RealTimeChem Week or to sponsor one of the above events, then please get in touch with me via and I’ll be happy to chat about the possibilities.

-Doctor Galactic-