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 (www.compoundchem.com).

#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: https://www.raci.org.au/raci-news/realtimechem-week


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 realtimechem@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to chat about the possibilities.

-Doctor Galactic-

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