About #RealTimeChem Week 2018 – #Chem4Life


Hello again everybody,


It’s almost that time again, time for #RealTimeChem Week! Apologies for the late notice this year, I’ve had a bit of a rollercoaster, which has slowed up my usually efficient creation of this FAQ for the week. Anyway…

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 as they are doing it. During the week various events, competitions and prizes are on offer, so it’s the perfect week to jump in and share some chemistry with your fellow chemists.

If you are completely new to the community 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.

So, 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?

I’m sure you have questions, you’re scientists. Here’s some common questions and the related answers below, including details on the various competitions you can enter:

When is it?

12th November- 18th 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. You can also use this year’s theme hashtag #Chem4Life. That will also be monitored by me during the event. Hell use both. Go wild. Just use one of these hashtags or you’ll be lonely.

Please note that there are a lot of different events this year and there are other hashtags you should use to enter the related competitions, more details on these are below.

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

The theme this year has, like in previous years, it’s own hashtag #Chem4Life – as chosen via poll by the community itself and suggested by @g_laudadio. My interpretation is as follows:

Chemistry isn’t just the scientific subject that we love. It is an ever present part of our daily lives. You find chemistry everywhere. It’s in the foods we eat and the air we breathe. It can clean your sink and make your car rust. It can make you fall in love and make you cry. It is there is every child’s toy and Chemistry is there in every object you see or touch, whether you realise it or not.  

This year’s theme, #Chem4Life, celebrates the chemistry you encounter during your day.

#RealTimeChem Week Advert

Below you will find banners to help you share the word about #RealTimeChem Week 2018. Designed again by the awesome Andy Brunning of @compoundinterest as usual! (www.compoundchem.com)




#RealTimeChem Awards 2018 

RTCW 2018 awards

Just like all previous years, the main event of #RealTimeChem Week is the Awards. These are given to our favourite tweets during #RealTimeChem Week. The format this year is pretty much the same as last year with a few changes to categories for added variety and a new means of announcing the results. 

This year, C&EN have kindly sponsored all the award categories with a top prize.

C&ENNameplate logo red

The winner and 2 runners up for each category will have their tweets featured as a news story by C&EN, to be published online on 23rd November. In addition to this, the 8 winners i.e. those at the top of each category will receive:

  • A $50 Amazon Gift Card Prize (or equivalent for non-US locations) courtesy of C&EN.
  • A print copy of a C&EN issue with a spread featuring your tweet.
  • An exclusive #RealTimeChem Week 2018 mug (see below) provided by me. 

This years mug. Looking mighty fine. 

Tweets posted on all seven days of the event (12th-18th November) are eligible for the awards. They must, however, fall into one of the following “best of” categories:

  • #ChemSelfie (Share a cheeky selfie of you in chemistry action)
  • #ChemVideo (Super exciting chemistry videos!)
  • #ChemEd (for all those teachers and educators)
  • #CompChem (experimentalists don’t have all the fun!)
  • #BioChem (for all of you who get a side of biology with your chemistry)
  • #ReactionPic (pictures of reactions on the go, whether in gloveboxes or fumehoods in glassware, flow or labs-on-chips!)
  • #CrystalPic (fabulous and colourful crystal pictures)
  • #AnalyticalChem (for analytical chemists and their instruments)

Most of these categories are intentionally broad and they hopefully cover the majority of areas that #RealTimeChem encompasses.

Therefore, 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, published in C&EN. As mentioned there will be one winner per category and two honorable mentions as runners up (sadly no additional prizes are available for runners up).

Prizes winners will be announced by C&EN on  Friday 23rd November.

Winners will be asked to provide name and address details via DM or email. Please note that mug prizes will be sent out during December/early January.


The Great #RealTimeChem Cook Off (17th– 18th November) 

RTCW 2018 Cook off

Now in its fourth glorious year, The Great #RealTimeChem Cook Off is back! It doesn’t get any more everyday than the chemistry of cooking.

Once again, this year’s contest is sponsored by the @ChemPubSoc_Euro journals.*

Five winners will receive a ChemPubSoc Europe package containing


A look at the goodies on offer as prizes.

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 17th-18th 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.

Good luck and have fun cooking (also eating)!

Disclaimer: I will not be held personally responsible for #RealTimeChem related cake overdoses or weight gain as a result of this cook off.

*@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).

#Chem4Life outreach competition – sponsored by Hindawi

RTCW 2018 outreach competition

  • Competition suggested by and run in conjunction with @Bythewayalex

Whether it is discussing your research with family or writing a scientific paper, chemistry requires communication skills. However, the way in which we communicate to different audiences can vary enormously. Until now, the #RealTimeChem community facilitates communication between chemists, but this year we want to broaden our horizons.

We would like to bring chemists into the limelight by showcasing our day-to-day activities to a public audience. We would like you to either write a tweet or tweet a short video to describe the current chemistry that you are doing (hint – it does not have to be front-line research!). You should aim to use non-technical terms where possible and keep the message simple. Remember, we are trying to broaden our horizons and not exclude people.

Once you have your tweet ready to send, make sure to include #Chem4Life and one of the below hashtags, depending on the day of the week. It is important to include non-chemistry hashtags to ensure that we reach a larger audience. The best tweets which get the most public engagement will have the chance of winning a prize provided by this competition’s sponsor open access publisher Hindawi.

The additional hashtags to use:








There is a prize on offer for the winner (no runners up in this instance), which is a Samsung Tablet kindly provided by Hindawi. A Samsung Galaxy Tab A (10.5”, 32GB, with Wi-Fi). More details on the prize itself here.


The winner will be decided by myself, @bythewayalex and the folks at Hindawi. Winner will be announced on Friday 23rd November on this blog.


The #RealTimeChem Week Blog Carnival – #Chem4Life (12th-18th November)

RTCW 2018 blog carnival

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 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).

Last year, the blog carnival focused on #ChemTogether, where members of the community told stories about working together and collaborations during their lives as chemists. The round up can be found here.  

This year, it’s all about #Chem4Life:

Write a blog post about the chemistry found in everyday life. This can be about the most simple task, like brushing your teeth, all the way up to complex life functions like the chemistry of how we breathe. This is your chance to show your readers that chemistry is always with us, all day long. It’s #Chem4Life.

So, if you are a blogger, write a post and share it during the Week on Twitter using the hashtag #Chem4Life. The carnival this year is again 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 (twice during the week depending on numbers) so they are all in one place for easy access.

There is already one entry in the blog carnival that will be hosted here on the blog from Gabriele Laudadio explaining the nature of #Chem4Life that will be released on Monday 12th to kick the whole thing off.

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!


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-