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.