#RSCPoster 2019 – register now!

Hi #RealTimeChem & #ChemTwitter folks,

Yes, it is nearly that time of year again (no, it’s not #RealTimeChem Week just yet! But I like your enthusiasm), it’s almost #RSCPoster time!

In case you don’t know #RSCPoster is a Twitter conference that bring members of the chemistry research community (such as your wonderful selves) together to share their research, network and engage in rigorous scientific debate.

This year the event will be on Tuesday 5 March 2019, 09:00 GMT – Wednesday 6 March 2019, 09:00 GMT.

Please note! You must register to take part. Registration is open and can be done: here.

If you want to know (a lot) more about how it works please follow this link to the RSC Publishing Blog, which has all the information you need on how to take part.

Here’s also some quick information to give you the basics and all the subject hashtags:

#RealTimeChem’s #RSCPoster challenge.

You may have noticed that I, and by extension @RealTimeChem, am one of the General Committee members this year for the conference, so I’m going to do my best to engage as much as possible.

Now there was a considerable number of posters last year, but my challenge will be to comment on as many as humanly possible during the day, including an appropriate GIF. The challenge for all of you, if you choose to accept it (don’t worry this blog won’t spontaneously combust) is to do the same! Make sure you’re using #RSCPoster in all your replies and let’s help this conference get trending and spread chemistry far and wide on Twitter, especially in the International Year of the Periodic Table (so it’s it about elements use #IYPT2019!).

I hope to see you all there (metaphorically speaking)! Have fun everybody!

-Doctor Galactic-

Conflict of Interest: 
Please note that I would like to make it clear that I work as an editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry. Although I think, most of you know that by now.  

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: https://cen.acs.org/people/awards/2018-RealTimeChem-Week-Awards/96/web/2018/11 


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 chemmedchem@wiley.com. Plus cc in realtimechem@gmail.com

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 realtimechem@gmail.com

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.



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-


#FromSmallToBig photocontest: Win Pint of Science Tickets with Hindawi and #RealTimeChem

Hi everybody,

I’ve got an exciting competition for you all! Courtesy of the fantastic folks at Hindawi, I have 5 tickets to give away to a Pint of Science event near you.


What’s Pint of Science you might ask? Well, I’ll let Hindawi explain:

Spanned across 6 continents and 21 countries with nearly 100,000 attendees, this award-winning festival brings together our favorite scientists to our local pubs, where some of the greatest ideas where born; among friends, sharing a drink and imagining a world where one more question was answered and one more solution was found.

We are proud to announce that we are sponsoring this year’s Pint of Science festival of events in the UK, France, Ireland, and Germany. We invite you to join us for a pint of beer with a touch of science talk, knowledge sharing, and ideas exchange.

To read more about Hindawi’s partnership with Pint of Science see: https://about.hindawi.com/opinion/pint-of-science-celebrating-research-discovery-across-the-globe/ 

Ace huh? How can you win? Well here’s the rules:

Hindawi are sponsoring events across the UK based on “Atoms and Galaxies”. In other words, it is science from the smallest to the biggest. So what better way to win tickets than with a #RealTimeChem photo-contest using the additional hashtag: . All you have to do is tweet a picture on this theme. It can be anything from a picture of the Atomium in Brussels to teeny tiny glassware.

To summarize, a step-by-step guide to enter:

1. Take picture of very small or very big chemistry subject.

2. Tweet picture using #RealTimeChem and #FromSmallToBig and tag @Hindawi. Sprinkle in a little explanation in the tweet

3. You’re entered.  

It is not that long until Pint of Science (14th-16th May). So, this is going to be a fast a furious contest that takes place over just 3 days starting from 9.00 am BST Monday 30th April and finishing at 11.00 pm BST Wednesday 3rd May. 
Winners will be selected and given instructions on how to claim their prizes on 4th May 2018. 
Winners can pick one of the events in the UK (please do check your local is not sold out) as well as events in Ireland, Germany, and France. Event information is below:


Each of the 5 winners will also win a snazzy T-shirt courtesy of Hindawi and modeled here by the incomparable Fani:


Any questions about this photocontest, please do get in touch with me via DM on Twitter (@RealTimeChem).


Good luck and cheers!

-Doctor Galactic-

Chemistry Revision Resources You Need To Succeed

Hi folks,

A quick note that this blog has been featured, alongside some amazing (and far superior) other websites/blogs that are useful for Chemistry revision for students. This has been put together by Matt J at Tutorful.

You can check out the full list here at the link: https://tutorful.co.uk/blog/chemistry-revision-resources-you-need-to-succeed.

I get a shiny badge too.


I like shiny things.

-Doctor Galactic-

#RSCPoster: #RealTimeChem Challenge

Hello everyone,

Tomorrow is the Royal Society of Chemistry’s official Twitter Poster Conference 2018! It’s a great way to share and discuss chemistry like you would at an international conference without all of that pesky travelling.

This is the bread and butter of #RealTimeChem and I’ve challenged myself to post a question on every single #RSCPoster submission I can find:

I know this community loves a good challenge (although you don’t have to be as borderline insane as me).

So, I hereby challenge the rest of you to comment on at least 5 #RSCPoster contributions during the conference. 


Let’s get some great conversations started about the chemistry on display. Details about #RSCPoster are below:


Have fun!

-Doctor Galactic- 


Nominate your #RealTimeChemist of the year


Hello everyone,

Tis the season to be jolly and all that jazz – so drink and be merry folks! Now, to help you do said drinking and perform your merriment duties, I do have one remaining #RealTimeChem Week 2017 mug sitting forlornly in my desk draw.


It looks a lot like this.  Featureless white void not included. 


So the question is, who should be given this unique collectible item? I was thinking of a gladiatorial fight to the death type scenario:


Imagine this, but with labcoats. 

…but I think the world of science has enough problems right now without all of us killing each other over novelty ceramics.

Instead, there will be the next best thing: a Twitter poll!

To populate this Twitter poll with options I would like to ask everyone in the community to nominate who they feel is the most deserving member of the #RealTimeChem community to win this glorious prize. This should be the person who’s contributions via #RealTimeChem have stood out to you most this year.

You can nominate your #RealTimeChemist by doing one of the following: 

  • Sending a DM to @RealTimeChem
  • Sending an email to RealTimeChem@gmail.com
  • Leaving a comment below.

In your nomination please include the following:

  • Twitter Handle of the nominee.
  • A brief reason why you are nominating them.
  • A few examples of your favourite tweets from your nominee this year (optional but helpful).

Nominations close on Friday 22nd December. 


The 4 most nominated #RealTimeChemists will be added to a poll on @RealTimeChem that will run until 1st January 2018


So, get nominating and happy holidays!


-Doctor Galactic-

Big thanks and The Great #RealTimeChem Cook Off 2017 Winners

Hello RealTimeChemists,

2017. It’s been a rough year for the world. Troubling political climate. Troubling social climate. Troubling climate in general. Throughout these rough times it’s important to find something to bring people together and for chemists, that’s chemistry. I’ve greatly enjoyed all your #ChemTogether-ness during this year’s #RealTimeChem Week.  I’m glad that the hashtag continues to be a small haven on social media where everyone in this community can join in and share their enthusiasm for the central science.

Some big thank yous have to go out to a variety of people who have made #RealTimeChem Week possible this year:

  • Firstly, Andy Brunning of @compoundchem. Continues to produce the best chemistry infographics the world wide web has ever seen and also this year’s Beatles inspired #ChemTogether banners. His best work yet. We’ve still never met in person you know (Andy we should work on that).
  • Thanks again to David Peralta, Managing editor of @ChemMedChem and everyone at WileyVCH who continue to enthusiastically support The Great #RealTimeChem Cook Off with prizes.
  • Dorea Reeser and colleagues at C&EN, who have provided a lot of support this year and added greatly to the awards with a very generous donation.
  • Matt Hartings for the kind donation of a signed copy of his book for the very best Cook Off tweet.
  • A final thanks to all my colleagues at the Royal Society of Chemistry, who’ve continued to support this slightly mad endeavour of mine.
  • My wife for her love, understanding and endless patience.


Now, final prizes time. Below I will announce the winners of The Great #RealTimeChem Cook Off 2017:


As mentioned above this year’s contest was again sponsored 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 was a harder choice than last year and that was ridiculously hard. 280 Characters was introduced part way through the week too and, funnily enough, that really suits cooking tweets!

Some sensational entries this year but someone has to win the goodies and the below were chosen based on a number of factors; invention, chemistry content, popularity (via retweets and favourites), general looks of the cook, humour, etc.

After much deliberation both on my part and after consultation with my partners at Wiley, here are the chosen winners. Note that all 5 winners receive the above pack. As a special prize for the very best cook off creation, the overall winner will also receive a signed copy of  Matt Hartings (@sciencegeist) book “Chemistry In Your Kitchen“.

So…*drum roll*

First we have Jess Wade, who bravely took on a recipe from  Heston Blumenthal FRSC. This one was long in the making and looks absolutely fantastic.  Check out the full thread.


A wonderful pie from the Borovik Lab at UCI (you’ll have to let me know who baked this!) with a clear chemistry theme. I also really like the sentiment of the tweet itself, which is inspiring and relevant to the #ChemTogether theme.


Sheer volume of food from Maria is impressive. It’s a full meal. Frankly, I feel absolutely starving by this point in the blog post *tries to eat screen*, especially as these are some of my favourite foods!


You need to see the whole thread to completely appreciate Sarah‘s white chicken chilli, but it’s a great step by step journey. Plus she uses the best Jamie Oliver-ism “wazz it up”.

Overall winner 

Like others above, you have to open the full tweet thread to appreciate the shear awesomeness of this. A multi-layer cake is tricky, but one with an actual trick inside is mind blowing. Plus it’s rainbow coloured and #ChemTogether themed. Respect Victoria. Respect.


Congratulations everybody! To claim your prize pack please send the below details via email to chemmedchem@wiley.com. Plus cc in realtimechem@gmail.com

1) Full name
2) Twitter handle
3) Current affiliation and position (if student, mention lab to which you belong)
4) Complete shipping address


Once again thank you a million times to everyone who took part in #RealTimeChem week 2017. If anyone has got ideas for 2018, it’s never to early to share them with me!

But for now…

mischief managed

-Doctor Galactic-



#RealTimeChem Week 2017 – Awards


Hello everyone, welcome to the #RealTimeChem Week Awards!

First of all, thank you to every one who took part this year and tweeted using #RealTimeChem or #ChemTogether. This community is nothing without the people that are part of it. I’d give everyone of you a prize, but sadly, I’m not clinically insane.

This year the awards are divided in 8 categories. The first 5 are below. Welcome to the best of #RealTimeChem:


Sometimes chemistry doesn’t work as intended, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful.

Runners up. 

Phil seems to have accidentally made one of those glass baubles that you use as a paper weight.

Giorgia seems to have made everybody’s favourite: black tar.


I think we can all feel Conrad’s pain here. Good save by all accounts afterwards!



Chemists are funny people. Witness the funny.

Runners up

Speaks for itself. Cheesy, but funny.

I was born in the 80s, I endorse this joke.


Michelle found this gem waiting for her. Sometimes the jokes come to you.



The OED says a “selfie” is “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media”. Or something. I’m not down with the kids.

Runners up

Suze has the best job. Plus she’s #ChemTogether themed!

As Lab Daily points out Chemistry isn’t all about explosions! We also have glowing stuff. Look! Ooooh!


Safety first from Richard. We can only wonder what hazards await.


Fancy glassware is one of the things that stands out about chemistry. Beakers, flasks, test tubes, pipettes, condensers…so much glassware, so little time.

Runners up

As I was saying above. Andryj speaks the truth.

The humble test tube elevated to art by Bram.


Tiny glassware is the best glassware. It’s the cutest. I like the inclusion of a pen for scale.


Sometimes a still image is not enough, sometimes you gotta get out the video! This was very hotly contested.


Runners up

Who ya gonna call? Tom that’s who! Fantastic slow mo action here. This was only one of several video’s by Tom during the week. You should also check out his rendition of The Periodic Table from memory, whilst also sounding like a chipmunk.

Mike’s video of crystals growing in a vial is beautiful to behold.


Sometimes a transparent oil’s dreams *do* come true! *cue emotional music*. The sudden switch in Cecilia’s video also keeps you on your toes.


The overall winning tweet in each of the five categories above will be awarded this year’s #RealTimeChem Week mug with the #ChemTogether logo (sadly runners up don’t get a prize, except massive kudos this year). 


Winners: to claim your prize please send me the below details, either via DM on Twitter or to realtimechem@gmail.com

-Affiliation (Uni/Company/Department) and position/role
-Email account
-Shipping Address (if at an institution, please indicate the Lab/Division/department and/or Room numbers)


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The following three categories were sponsored by C&EN. The winning tweet will receive the above mug like all the other winners, but also there are additional cash/gift card prizes. You will also have your tweet featured in C&EN’s Chemistry in Pictures (see example here)!  Prizes as follows:

  • $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. International winners will receive an Amazon gift card.


Without further ado:


Runners up

Henry has got the traditional #ReaTimeChem Week balloon party down. Plus in keeping with the colourful theme of this year’s week.


A stylish shot from the Townsend Lab. I hope you’ll pass the prize onto Jamin!


Frankly I think defying gravity is a pretty worthy achievement that’ll let you win most prizes. Fran also produced a great video later too (see here).



Runners up

Some fantastic luminescence crystals from Amie!  They almost seem to be on fire.

Like all true artists, Tracy has named her art. Beautiful crystals and very seasonal!


I should probably say something super insightful about these brilliant crystals… they’re so fluffy!



Runners up

Madison gets some #RealTimeBio in her #RealTimeChem, along with some striking colours.

Andres putting red cabbages to good use.


This was the single most favourited tweet of the week. The ever reliable Brian. This time showing off all your daily fluorescent objects in one colorful arrangement.

To claim your prizes please send me your details above, either via DM on Twitter or to realtimechem@gmail.com

So, congratulations to everyone who won an award and thank you for taking part in #RealTimeChem Week.

If you’re waiting for the Cook Off prizes, those will be announced later in the week!


-Doctor Galactic-