Announcing #RealTimeChem Week 2020 – #ChemAtHome (30 Nov 2020 – 6 Dec 2020)

Greetings everyone,

Well…2020’s been a bit of a mare hasn’t it? I’d joke about it in my usual off the cuff way, but to be honest… it’s not funny. These have been difficult times for many of you. Best wishes to you all.

What I can do is try to lighten the mood a little with the announcement that #RealTimeChem Week is baaaack!

For those not already in the know, #RealTimeChem Week is a 7 day themed 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 there will hopefully be various events to take part in, competitions and prizes are on offer, so it’s the perfect week to jump in and share some socially distanced 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 Week to share some chemistry and connect to other chemists in the world and have some fun while you’re at it? I think right now we could use some fun. 

I’m sure you have questions, you’re scientists. Here’s some common questions and the related answers below, including details on this year’s theme, events and competitions:

When is it?

30th November- 6th December.

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 #ChemAtHome. That hashtag will also be monitored by me and co-curator Laura during the event. Hell use both. Go wild. Just use one of these hashtags or you’ll be lonely.

Please note that there are 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?

Being that many people in the word have spent more time than usual at home this year due to it’s perhaps not surprising that the theme is  #ChemAtHome!

Chemistry doesn’t just happen in the laboratory or the office, it happens at home too (particularly in 2020).

It’s all here folks: pets on your keyboard! kids in your zoom calls! Chemistry in the kitchen! Chemistry on the kitchen floor! Facemasks! Social distancing! Online conferences! Experiments in your shed!

So time to take off your lab coat, put on your most comfortable clothes and then do some #RealTimeChem! *

* Okay Lab work is perfectly fine too, but make sure you’re COVID secure.

#RealTimeChem Week Awards 2020 

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 previous years with some funky new categories based on this year’s theme.  

As before, C&EN have again kindly sponsored all the award categories with a prize. Below are some details about the awards*

*Please note some details may be subject to change.

C&ENNameplate logo red

The winners for each category will have their tweets featured in a news story by C&EN, to be published online in December. In addition to this, the 7 winners will receive:

  • A $50 Amazon Gift Card Prize (or equivalent for non-US locations) courtesy of C&EN.

Tweets posted on all seven days of the event (30th November – 6th December) are eligible for the awards. They must, however, fall into one of the following “best of” categories (summarized here excellently by Andy):

  • #ReadingChem (lectures, writing theses, homeschooling, reading literature)
  • #ChemHomeOffice (show off your home setup and how you are #RealTimeChem-ing from home)
  • #ChemCoWorkers (show off your chemistry collaborators and they don’t need to be humans!)
  • #EverydayFluorescence (just like #FluorescenceFriday, but better. Obviously.)
  • #KitchenChem (Chemistry and cooking are the same thing, a chance to show off your total synthesis of a baked product!)
  • #ChemAt2m (show us how you are carrying out #RealTimeChem at an appropriate social distance)
  • #BackyardChem (can’t go to the lab, not enough space in the house, why not try the great outdoors. Safely show off some #RealTimeChem in your backyard)

Therefore, to potentially win a prize in the awards all you have to do is tweet something within these categories using #RealTimeChem (or #ChemAtHome) using the appropriate hashtag during the week.

There will also be a Reader’s choice award this year! This will have a prize of a $100 Amazon Gift Card Prize (or equivalent for non-US locations) courtesy of C&EN. More details on how this award will be run coming soon.

We will 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 after the event.

Winners will be asked to provide name and address details via DM or email.

#RealTimeChem Week Adverts

Below you will find banners to help you share the word about #RealTimeChem Week 2020. Designed again by the awesome Andy Brunning of @compoundinterest as usual! ( Feel free to print out and put them around your house even.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is chemathome.png

Other events?

There are some plans in progress for other events for the week that may (or may not) happen. Like a lot of people we’ve experienced a lot of disruption due to the pandemic and so the original larger plans have had to be scaled back a bit. If other events do happen we’ll write them up 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, then please get in touch with me via and I’ll be happy to chat about the possibilities.

-Doctor Galactic-


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