Thank yous & prize winners for the Great #RealTimeChem Cook Off & Outreach Competition

Hello RealTimeChemists,

2018. My how the years fly by. This year’s #RealTimeChem Week was all about #Chem4Life, a theme chosen by community member Gabriele Laudadio (@g_laudadio) who wrote an excellent summary here that is far more poetic than I can possibly be. Suffice to say, it was another fun week of all things chemistry and thanks have to go out to everyone who joined in and tweeted. 

While the week event is over for yet another year, don’t forget that #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.

As ever, this event doesn’t happen without a variety of people behind the scenes to whom I must offer a shout out:

  • As every year since 2015, I have to thank Andy Brunning of @compoundchem. Somehow Andy manages to surpass himself with each passing year. His artwork is as much #RealTimeChem at this stage as this blog is. We’ve still never met in person (one of these days!!)
  • Big, big thanks to Dorea Reeser and colleagues at C&EN this year for sponsoring the main awards and hosting them over on their website and also in print. The magazine has always supported #RealTimeChem since its early days back in the mists of 2012. 
  • Thank you again to David Peralta, Managing editor of @ChemMedChem and everyone at WileyVCH who continue to enthusiastically support The Great #RealTimeChem Cook Off with prizes and their expertise in selecting the best cooking and cakes. 
  • Big thanks to Alex (@bythewayalex) for reaching out this year with his Outreach Competition idea and doing all the legwork on designing it. I look forward to his future SciComm endeavours. Additional thanks go out to the University of York for their support of Alex’s idea and #RealTimeChem Week this year in particular. 
  • Huge thanks to Fani and everyone at Open Access publisher Hindawi for being so enthusiastic and wanting to get involved with #RealTimeChem and the Outreach competition this year (plus providing the prize – more about that below). 
  • Finally, to my wife for her love, understanding and endless patience with me. Also to my little boy Noah, for being a bundle of energy and joy and life. 


FYI, if you are looking for the main #RealTimeChem Awards these are being posted by C&EN magazine today – here’s a link to the post: 


Now, Cook Off prizes time. Below I will announce the winners of The Great #RealTimeChem Cook Off 2018:

As mentioned above this year’s contest was sponsored again 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 selection process gets harder every year so it’s a good thing that its not just down to me or you’d probably get this post at some point in 2019! David Peralta and the folks at WileyVCH made the final choices here and they are excellent as usual. Thanks to everyone who took part. I won’t blather on here while you sit there with baited breath, so without further ado:

*drum roll*

  • @Teachforaliving continues to be one of my favourite #chemed folks and she has won in this competition previously, but this year she knocked it out of the park again with some excellent cake designs! Seriously impressive stuff. 


  • @teodorolaino. As this tweet says: PIZZA! Delicious-looking product, and good pictures too as a demo of fermentation in action.


  • @honestlyruss. These are so cuuuuute. Plus bees are cool. My toddler has so, so it must be true. Also macarons are tough, and these look perfect and well decorated in addition to the fun (and chemistry related) theme too!


  • @JeffreyYWMak. Have I ever mention that lamb is my favourite meat? No. Well, it is. I’d go around Jeff’s house any day. I love this tweet too, reading like your average chemistry paper experimental. 


  • @dumblyd0re. As David P put it: “Nice curry and cake combo!” The #RealTimeChem theme was obviously well received and it was a very well made (plus tasty – disclaimer: this is the first Cook Off entry I have had the option of tasting as they work at the RSC


Congratulations everybody! To claim your prize pack please send the below details via email to Plus cc in

1) Full name

2) E-mail address

3) Shipping address

4) Institute/affiliation

5) Lab/Professor/Division, if any.



The final winner to mention today. The winner of the #Chem4Life Outreach Competition sponsored by open access publisher Hindawi. 

Thanks to everyone who entered this competition. After careful consideration of all the tweets that fulfilled the entry requirements for the competition (i.e those that used a public hashtag in combination with #Chem4Life), the judging panel (comprised of myself, Alex & the folks at Hindawi) have decided that the winner of the prize (a Samsung Galaxy Tab A) is:

  • @howitt_julia –  an environmental and analytical chemist for her tweets on carbon and nutrient dyanmics in rivers/floodplains.  


Congratulations Julia! To claim your prize please send me a DM on Twitter with the below details. Alternatively, email me at

1) Full name

2) E-mail address

3) Shipping address

4) Institute/affiliation


Once again thank you a million times to everyone who took part in #RealTimeChem week 2018. Here’s to all of you and to next year. 


mischief managed

-Doctor Galactic-




The meaning of #Chem4Life: Chemistry for Life and Life in Chemistry

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to the 2018 #RealTimeChem week! My suggestion for this year’s theme was the most voted on Twitter and it’s now time to explain to all of you why I proposed this hashtag.


First of all, my name is Gabriele Laudadio, and I am currently pursuing my PhD at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the group of Dr. Timothy Noël. Since I was a child, I have been fascinated by chemistry and how the interaction between different molecules originated life as we know it. For this reason, as soon as I graduated high school student, I decided to go for it: I wanted to be a chemist!

From the very beginning, I realized how tough studying chemistry can be. So many different disciplines, so many different courses to attend. None of this scared me though, quite the opposite happened: the more I got into the field, the more I knew that it was worth all my time.

Learning the basics of chemistry felt like learning a new language. Atoms make up the alphabet, molecules can be used to form sentences and drawing reaction mechanisms pretty much compares to grammar: the rules are clear but there’s always an exception! The amazing thing about the chemical language? It’s universal! Chemistry can be used to communicate with any other fellow chemist around the world and to unravel the mystery of our universe.

Looking back to the last couple centuries, it’s so clear that chemistry not only serves the purposes of the chemical community, but affects society as a whole. From the understanding of microbiology to new approaches in the synthesis of bioactive compounds, from the production of polymers to the relevance of transition metal complexes in drug discovery…this list could be so long! What’s certain is that the Chemistry in all these discoveries radically changed the Life of every human being on this planet.

And that’s where the theme I suggested comes from: a reminder that Chemistry and Life are indissolubly linked together. What’s left to us chemists, scientists, and curious tweeps around the world is the task to learn the language of chemistry to interact with Nature. Have you had the chance in your career to glimpse into the bond between Chemistry and Nature? How did your research contribute to bring us one step further as society? Tell us all about it this week! This will be an awesome discussion I am certainly looking forward to!

But there’s also a second meaning for this #Chem4Life RealTimeChem week, one for all the insiders of the chemistry world. Nothing in life binds people together like common passions and interests, so this week we want to know how Chemistry impacted your own life. Which people/places/adventures changed your life as a chemist? Myself, I had the chance to meet fantastic people during my studies: many of my lab mates are among my best friends and I even had the luck to find love over chemistry books (My wife probably knew I liked her the moment I enthusiastically offered her my jealously guarded Org Chem notes during our masters )

So let’s use the great platform of Twitter to talk about Life in Chemistry!

And don’t get me wrong: I know life as a chemists is not all sunshine and rainbows. There’s many challenges all of us face when devoting our time to Chemistry, both as scientists and as human beings. So don’t hold back and feel free to start any discussions on “the dark side” of chemistry as well… (what about working-life balance, funding situation, preprint papers, issues with the peer-reviewing systems, diversity in science, intercultural awareness in international labs…)

I certainly hope that this #Chem4Life will be a great opportunity for all chemists to remind ourselves of how lucky we are to work in this great field, to inspire and support each other through real-life examples and to reflect as a community on what we hope to achieve/improve in the future.


Chemistry for Life and Life in Chemistry, one for all, all for one!


Enjoy this lovely week, and don’t’ forget the hashtag! #Chem4Life.




Author Biography: 

Gabriele Laudadio received his masters degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Pisa in 2016. 
He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in the group of Dr Timothy Noël at the Eindhoven University of Technology. 
His research focuses on the application of Green Chemistry to improve Organic Chemistry methodologies, 
combining continuous-flow microreactor technology with electrochemistry and photochemistry.