#RealTimeChem Week 2016 – FAQ

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Hello everybody,

It’s almost that time again, time for #RealTimeChem Week! 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 to tweet about their chemistry as possible. During the week various events, competitions and prizes are on offer, just to make it all the more fun and exciting.

If you are completely new and want to know more about #RealTimeChem in general, then following this link to the regular FAQ, where you can learn all about the project and the community.

If you don’t use #RealTimeChem all that regularly, this is the week to give it a go. 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?

 

When is it?

31st October-6th 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.

 

So whats going on during this years event?

This year has seen the proposed addition of four brand new elements to the periodic table: nihonium, moscovium, tennessine and oganesson (due to be ratified in November). And with these additions the periodic table is now full. Row 7 is done folks! Such a big change doesn’t happen all that often and it’s been just one of a number of big changes that have occurred, and not just in chemistry, in chemistry during 2016.

From a personal perspective, I became a father for the first time this year and while asking about the community for ideas for #RealTimeChem Week this year, a theme that resonated with me was a suggestion from @nadineborduas:

As such, this year’s overall event theme is “New Elements in Chemistry” i.e. #NewElemChem – but this is not just about the periodic table’s new additions, it’s all about you. What new elements have been introduced in your life as a chemist or to your chemistry this year? Perhaps you’ve just started your life as a chemist? Maybe you’ve made some new, ground breaking discoveries? Had to learn new skills? Got new equipment or glass ware?  All the new things.

Of course the event isn’t limited to the theme, but this is just a few suggestions to think upon and will also be the subject of all #RealTimeChem Blog Carnival posts (more on that below).

 

#RealTimeChem Week Advert

Below you can find some banners to help you share the word about #RealTimeChem Week 2016. Designed again by the awesome Andy Brunning of @compoundinterest (www.compoundchem.com)

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Plus in a few different colours:

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#RealTimeChem Awards 2016 (31st October – 4th November)

Just like previous years, I will be offering awards for the best tweets during #RealTimeChem Week. The format has, again, changed a little due to circumstances and budget. This year, after noting that tweets are often quite slim on the weekend portion of #RealTimeChem week, I’ve decided to focus the awards on the 5 days of the working week, with The Great #RealTimeChem Cook off taking up the weekend slot.

So, all you have to do to potentially win a prize in the awards is tweet using #RealTimeChem on the Monday-Friday. There are three different awards available: Ag, Au and Pt. 10 awards will be given each of the five days (6 Ag, 3 Au, 1 Pt). Those winning the coveted Platinum award (5 total) will each win a prize, which is, as usual, a #RealTimeChem mug with this year’s snazzy logo emblazoned on it:

mug-preview

This years mug prize.

Sadly, due to severe budget restrictions this year, Gold and Silver award winners don’t get a prize unfortunately, except recognition that you are, completely awesome.

 

The Great #RealTimeChem Cook Off (5th– 6th November) 

 

It’s back! Introduced last year, The Great #RealTimeChem Cook Off celebrates the perfect combination that is chemistry and cooking.

This year’s contest is sponsored by @WileyVCH‘s society chemistry journals.* Five winners will 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 (which you can use for all your #RealTimeChem posts!)
-Other Wiley-VCH goodies!

cpse-realtimechem-whatscooking-2016-prizes

This year’s cook off 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 5th-6th 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.

Hopefully with a bit more notice this time, you’ll all have time to get some ingredients in and post a tweet. I look forward to seeing what you all come up with!


*@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).

 

 

The #RealTimeChem Week Blog Carnival – #NewElemChem (31st October-6th November)

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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.

Last year, #RealTimeChem Week had a “Back to the Future” theme, resulting in some fantastic posts on #OldTimeChem and #FutureTimeChem (highlights from last year are available here at SciTechConnect).

This year the theme is “New elements in chemistry” (#NewElemChem) and here’s the brief:

Write a blog post about the new chemistry in your life or the new life in your chemistry. The key is the “new” part. Our lives in chemistry are made up of many elements, both chemically and non-chemically speaking, and this is your chance to tell the community all about it. What new reactions have you run this year? Have you had fun with new chemicals? Did you learn something mind-bogglingly for the first time? Are you adapting to a new life situation that’s affecting your chemistry? Have you just started your life as a chemist? You can answer any of these questions and more. Write as little or as much as you like and share it during #RealTimeChem Week with #NewElemChem to be part of the blog carnival.

So, if you are a blogger, write a post and share it during the Week on Twitter using the hastag #NewElemChem. The carnival this year is being kindly hosted again by Elseviers SciTechConnect (thanks Katey Birtcher!). They will be looking out for this hashtag and will collect your blog post into a round up each day so they are all in one place for easy access.

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!

 

Compound Interest competition

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Want a graphic made based on your research? For this year’s #RealTimeChem Week, we’re once again after chemistry researchers who want to explain their research in easy-to-understand terms. To enter, all you have to do is write a piece no longer than 500 words, detailing your work and its potential applications. Note that it should be written so it’s understandable for an audience of non-scientists!

From the submitted pieces, three will be chosen to have graphics made based on them, and these graphics will then be featured alongside your written piece on the Compound Interest site during #RealTimeChem Week, which this year runs from 31 October until 6th November.

You can find details on how to enter here.

 

Other events/competitions

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-

 

 

  

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Crystals are a girl chemist’s best friend

My name is Anna Ahveninen. Although that surname can try to convince you otherwise, I’m half a year into my PhD at the University of Melbourne, in Australia. The broad scope of my project is the synthesis of metallosupramolecules and their characterization by X-ray crystallography. The finer details? Well, that’s taking a while to figure out.

 

I’ve only been at the University of Melbourne for as long as I have been working on my PhD. I moved to the Abrahams-Robson group from Monash University, where I completed my undergraduate degree with honours. Having fallen in love with transition metal chemistry — the beautiful coloured complexes and their satisfyingly sparkly crystals — and crystallography in my honours year, the transition to my current project was not a difficult one. Kickstarting it has definitely been troublesome, however. In the past six months, I have been chasing a discrete assembly without a grain of success. The last two months saw a change in my focus from discrete assemblies to coordination polymers (with the same coordination motif), and just a few short weeks ago, I finally hit the jackpot. A red, sparkling, reproducible jackpot.

Since then, I have been working away at trying to turn that result into more results, hoping that it will propagate into a project and grow, with care and love and hard work, into a thesis. The following is a sample of how I am going about that.

Monday

Mondays are pretty exciting for someone working on a crystallography project. Mondays mean that my reactions will all have had at least two extra days to crystallise! I pick up my rack of vials and carry it with a flourish over to the microscope to check for clean edges and tell-tale sparkling. Since we do not have a microscope with a camera in-built, macroscopic pictures of my sparklers will have to satisfy you (Fig. 1).

Figure 1: Vials full of sparkly crystals, ripe for the X-ray diffractometer.

Figure 1: Vials full of sparkly crystals, ripe for the X-ray diffractometer.

I set about my run-of-the-mill inorganicky business until my group’s favourite time of the day: tea time. Although we have no formal group meetings, we meet with our supervisors every day around 4 pm for tea. It gives us the opportunity to ask questions of our supervisors and bring new results to their attention, while also being a nice break and group bonding activity. The group bonding consists of doing the quiz in the Herald Sun and a game involving Fred Basset. Fred is a little tradition that goes far back enough in the Abrahams-Robson group that its origins are unclear. In this game, one of our group members describes the comic strip (Fig. 2). Our job is then to guess what Fred says in the last frame. Weirder than weird to an outsider, this tradition absolutely grows on you, and has become akin to a religious duty in our group.

Figure 2: Fred Basset in his natural habitat. Fred's home is at gocomics.

Figure 2: Fred Basset in his natural habitat. Fred’s home is at gocomics.

My afternoon comes with the pleasant surprise of overnight time on the X-ray diffractometer. One of our postdocs does all of the diffractometer time allocation to ensure that the time is divided fairly, so it always seems to spring up on me.

The X-ray diffractometer (Fig. 3) has to be my favourite instrument. I get a serious thrill when sorting through crystals on a glass slide under the microscope, picking the one I think looks the most promising, mounting it on the diffractometer, centering it and then shining some X-rays on it. The excitement builds at the initial blank frame, and a few seconds later – boom! Diffraction (Fig. 4)! As is common in science, the usual result is very little diffraction, streaky diffraction, or no diffraction at all. It’s all worth it, though, when that first frame flashes up and the spots are well-defined and single and strong and beautiful.

Figure 3: The University of Melbourne X-ray diffractometer.

Figure 3: The University of Melbourne X-ray diffractometer.

Figure 4: A frame from one of my X-ray diffraction data collections.

Figure 4: A frame from one of my X-ray diffraction data collections.

 

Tuesday

The morning begins with a coffee with my group mates, followed by the weekly inorganic chemistry seminar. This week, it is a group member’s colloquium, wherein he has chosen a field of chemistry outside his project to give a talk on. These talks are very interesting to listen to and are usually very educational, both for the speaker and the audience. The rest of the day is spent trying to make sense of my X-ray diffraction data, since I have had the misfortune to be working with high-symmetry cubic systems with a high degree of disorder.

Late in the afternoon, I stop bashing my head against the crystallography wall and take some of my amorphous and microcrystalline samples to the IR spectrometer in the teaching labs. IR spectrometry is free and easy; it helps give me an idea of whether a reaction that doesn’t want to grow nice crystals is worth pursuing.

Wednesday

Wednesday morning is when I would usually demonstrate for my first year class, but since there are no first year practicals running this week, I get a free morning. I spend my time marking reports from the previous experiment. I turn my attention to the lab afterward, but discover that frantic preparation for powder samples for the Australian Synchrotron from two weeks prior has left my stash of 3 mL plastic syringes precariously low. I get a reaction or two in, and am then forced to find something else to do while I wait for the chemistry store to fill my order.

Mid-afternoon, I meet with my supervisor for a long talk regarding my red, sparkling, reproducible jackpot and where we can take my project from here. An hour of musing, brainstorming and me frantically scribbling down notes later, we break for tea. My spirits are elevated and the future of chemistry is looking good.

Thursday

To my annoyance, I discover that the delivery of 3 mL plastic syringes is excruciatingly slow. Crippled into inability to do my reactions, I spend part of my day backing up my lab notebook. A good method that I learnt from the postdoc in my honours year, is to take pictures of your notebook pages and create an index in Excel to correspond to compound syntheses found on particular pages.

Leafing through my notebook leads to a decision to create a spreadsheet to track the variables of reactions I have been doing. I feel more secure having it available at a glance and organised, as I swear I can feel the details slipping out of my brain. I also spend some time catching up on my journal RSS feed, which I admittedly ignore in favour of doing lab work much more often than I should.

Friday

With the delivery of my plastic syringes, I can get into some serious synthesis action. My ligand, when deprotonated, tends to oxidise easily in air. To combat this, I bubble nitrogen gas through all three layers to drive out as much air as possible before layering my ligand with a layer containing a base, a metal salt and a counter-ion (Figure 5). The third vial contains a buffer layer between the two. I run two reactions parallel, as this saves me time in the long run.

Figure 5: How metallosupramolecular chemists do air-sensitive chemistry.

Figure 5: How metallosupramolecular chemists do air-sensitive chemistry.

In case you are curious, the 3 mL syringes come in during layering. I layer my reactions in the reverse order, starting with the least dense layer. Then, I inject the buffer layer below the initial solution, and finally, the densest layer. The volume of the syringes is important since I don’t like to do more than one injection per layer: for one, the suba seal becomes compromised quicker, and for another, it is easier to mess up the layering with more than one injection. Syringes with a too-high volume are also unwieldy and tend to draw in too much gas. When layered well, the reactions can look pretty spectacular (Figure 6).

Figure 6: Either layered reactions or bottled sunrise.

Figure 6: Either layered reactions or bottled sunrise.

My day, and week, draws to a close with drinks, snacks and a game of Cards Against Humanity with my group mates. What better way to end a week of brain-intensive work than a really inappropriate game with a bunch of really awesome people? It’s evenings like these that remind you that life – and science – are awesome.

Author biography

AnnaBioAnna Ahveninen was born and raised in Finland. She completed her Bachelor of Science with Honours in 2014 at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. She is currently a PhD student under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Brendan Abrahams at the University of Melbourne. She tweets under the handle @Lady_Beaker and blogs on Chemistry Intersection.


If you are a blogger interested in writing a guest post for #RealTimeChemInFocus, please get in touch with @RealTimeChem on Twitter.
Also don’t forget about #RealTimeChem Week 2015’s blog carnival, starting 19th October. Find out more here.

RealTimeChem Live Tweeting UK Public Attitudes to Chemistry launch – 1st June 2015

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Hello everybody,

I have some slightly different news to report today. I am pleased to announce that @RealTimeChem will be live tweeting from London on Monday 1st June at the launch of the results of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s research into UK Public Attitudes to Chemistry. You’ll be able to follow tweets about the event under the hashtag #chemperceptions. The launch will also be covered on YouTube in the form of a live stream starting at 3pm BST. 

You can find more information on the RSC’s website. This research represents the first national, in-depth study into what the UK public thinks and feels about the topics of chemistry, chemists and chemicals. I have had the privilege of participating in this project at various stages, in part due to my involvement with #RealTimeChem as well as working for the RSC, and I will say that the results are fascinating. I look forward to the discussions that this will spark among the community!

So, please tune in and follow #chemperceptions on the 1st June, I will be tweeting all day using the hashtag (whilst also keeping up with all of your wonderful #RealTimeChem of course!) so feel free to take part in the discussion as it unfolds.

-Doctor Galactic-

Tweets of the week prizes! #RealTimeChem Week 2014

Hello all,

As you may recall last year I gave away some ChemSpider Lab Coats as prizes for the “Tweets of the Week”, which were kindly donated by the RSC. This year I’ve splashed out a little and got some #RealTimeChem branded mugs to give away to the top three Tweeters.

This years must have item for the discerning chemist.

This years must have item for the discerning chemist.

For information on how you can win a mug of your very own, check out the FAQ, which tells you all about the “RealTimeChem Awards” and how they work.

So make sure you tweet something fantastic next week for #RealTimeChem week 2014, which starts on 23rd June.

Good luck!

-Doctor Galactic & The Lab Coat Cowboy-

Real Time Chem Week: The FAQ (updated!)

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So this week is #RealTimeChem week! This time around rather than a day, the format has been extended out to a week so that more people can participate. As before I have written an FAQ below to answer questions anyone might have about the event and #RealTimeChem in general.

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What is #RealTimeChem?

RealTimeChem is a Twitter-based community project designed to encourage chemists to actively engage with one another online, by sharing what they are working on at any given time. Chemistry often gets sidelined when it comes to science media exposure (thanks for that Physics!), so #RealTimeChem is here to celebrate chemistry and give an insight into the real science that chemists do each day.

The fantastic C&EN article on #RealTimeChem

The fantastic C&EN article on #RealTimeChem

As @carmendrahl of C&E News put it “#RealTimeChem is a virtual watercooler that enables chemists to swap stories, start discussions on journal papers or laboratory techniques and generally geek out over pictures of obscure pieces of glassware, vibrantly coloured compounds or pretty crystals. The sky really is the limit (oh okay you can go into space if you want to). #RealTimeChem is what chemists choose to make of it and I will certainly endeavour to keep it running for as long as the community wants it.

So, if you are doing any type of chemistry (teaching, industrial, research, etc) and you want to share it with the rest of the world, then get on twitter and tweet it under the hash tag “#RealTimeChem” and you’ll find many others doing the same (by Feb 24, 2013 there had been over 3,110 tweets containing #RealTimeChem and counting).

If you want to find out what others are doing then search for the #RealTimeChem hash tag and follow @RealTimeChem.

What do I get out of it? Isn’t it all a bit…well… “pointless”?

Firstly, Pointless is just a TV show…

Pointless

It’s got nothing to do with us. Move along, move along.

Secondly, the truth is this is a community driven project, and you get out whatever you put into it. There are a great many people of the opinion that Twitter and other social media (*cough* Facebook *cough*) are a waste of time, but what there is no denying is that they can be powerful networking tools. They are changing the way we get news and the way we interact. Twitter in particular is very instant, far more so than any other form of “normal” chemistry networking. It only takes a few moments and you can tweet any time of the day or night.

What is #RealTimeChem week?

A weeklong event designed to raise awareness of “the project” (which makes it sound far more sinister than it actually is) and encourage as many chemists in the community as possible to join in. It is a follow on to #RealTimeChem Day which took place on the 7th November 2012.

It takes place the week starting 22nd April 2013 and runs for 7 days (that’s Monday 22nd to Sunday 28th all inclusive  we know some of you work on weekends!).

Note: The epic trailer provided above is courtesy of regular (and fantastic) #RealTimeChem contributor @V_Saggiomo

What are “RealTimeChem Awards”?

Something new for this event are the “RealTimeChem awards”, which are designed to recognise the standout contributions of those taking part in  #RealTimeChem week.

I’ll be selecting my top 20 favourite #RealTimeChem tweets everyday of the week (update: Monday-Friday will have top 20’s and Sat/Sun will have a combined one as those days are simply not as busy – Doctor Galactic). Places 20-11 will win a Silver award. Places 9-4 will win a Gold award. The top three will win the soon to be coverted Platinum award (which you can see below).

AgAward                     AuAward                     PtAward

Shiny, right? You know you want one.

Update:

As an additional incentive the winners of platinum awards will also be added to the shortlist for “best tweets of the week“. The top three tweets of the week shall be selected from this shortlist (via an expert judging panel) and the winners will each win a prize, which has been kindly provided by RSC and Chemspider: A Chemspider branded Lab Coat! (see below):

CSPLabCoat1CSPLabCoat2

The Best Tweets of the Week will be announced a week after the event. So stay tuned and make sure you tweet something brilliant.

Some Rules: Note that prizes will only be awarded for “individual” tweets, links to blogs for example, are excluded. Additionally, prizes will not be awarded to organizations only participating individuals.

Who can take part?

Anybody on the planet Earth (sorry alien species) who works in the field we call “chemistry”. This is an all inclusive event no matter what branch of chemistry that you partake in (including biochemistry, geochemistry, astrochemistry, crystallography, organic, inorganic, analytical, industrial etc) or what level of chemistry you are currently participating in (high school, undergraduate, postgraduate, academia, industry, person in shed etc). It also doesn’t matter what part of the world you live in, which is one of the best benefits of the Web of Interconnectedness (a.k.a the Internet).

Please though only join in if you can spare the time. We understand that you’re all busy people – work commitments and getting our chemistry done must take priority over any shenanigans on Twitter and we wouldn’t want to be responsible for anyone getting into trouble.

What should I tweet?

Anything that involves chemistry counts – lab work, journal reading, writing papers, teaching, demonstrating, field work, instrumental work, baking cakes at home etc. It is entirely at your discretion so long as it’s got some link to real chemistry. If you want some good examples, then check out the recent Chemistry & Engineering News piece, which has some really nice ones.

All things that happen over the weeklong period can be tweeted, good or bad. I’m sure the former shall outweigh the latter, but if you are having problems, say with an experiment or finding a piece of literature then someone else might be able to help you out. Also if you see someone tweeting about something you find interesting, or you think you can help with then, please tweet back. Engagement is the name of the game.

I greatly encourage as many of you as possible to include pictures and videos (especially of great looking experiments) in your tweets because they really stand out.

Vine. Grow some chemistry vines.

Vine. Grow some chemistry vines.

Obviously, we aren’t all great directors so I reccommend using the mobile app Vine (@vineapp) which you can download from the app store (if you happened to have an iPhone). Vine enables its users to create and post short videos with a maximum length of six seconds that can be shared on a variety of social networking services, like Twitter. Perfect for capturing snippets of chemistry as it happens (as this example from @ethylove demonstrates).

Obviously, when it comes to what you can Tweet, there are limits. For instance, only take pictures of things you are allowed to show. We understand certain areas of chemistry are shrouded in secrecy, particularly in industry. Don’t tweet anything sensitive and always get permission first. If in doubt, don’t tweet it.

Equally, be nice to others. Just because you’re on the internet doesn’t mean you should forget your manners.

How much should I tweet?

As much or as little as you want. Some participants will tweet their whole day or week, others just brief highlights, but even if it is just one tweet then that is perfectly fine. So long as you remember to include the hash tag #RealTimeChem, so that your tweet can be easily found by other chemists in the community and is recognised as part of the event.

How can I follow the event?

Search for the hashtag #RealTimeChem on Twitter or follow @RealTimeChem for highlights. I’ll be keeping an eye on twitter all week long and re-tweeting the best #RealTimeChem tweets I find (or as many as Twitter will allow me too) and commenting on the fabulous things you are doing.

There is also a Facebook group, which will act as a jumping off point for people and contain useful information like this FAQ! Although only once I sort it out…

Update:

oddt_oddticon

After some recent discussions with @chemconnector and @rkiddr at RSC and some jiggery-pokery by @aclarkxyz you can also follow the #RealTimeChem hashtag via the ODDT (Open Drug Discovery Teams) app for iPad and iPhone, which can be found at the link here. If you wish to learn more about it, this blog post is quite illuminating. Suffice to say it’s rather nifty.

Who invented #RealTimeChem?

Certainly not me. The inventor was @azmanam who was trying to determine what was in Lemishine and happened to tweet his results using the hash tag. @JessTheChemist then produced a storify page to follow all the RealTimeChem that happened. I got involved in this by tweeting about my own experiments in the laboratory. The rest is history as the saying goes.

Who is running RealTimeChem?

Yours truly again who can be found under @doctor_galactic on Twitter and @RealTimeChem. I work as a publishing editor for the RSC. While this project does not have any strict official affiliation with the RSC, it and many other chemistry organisations have helped to support this project. Please note though that I run #RealTimeChem in my spare time. I don’t get paid. This is not a commercial venture.

Can I help to promote/support RealTimeChem?

Yes. A thousand times yes. There are limits of course, but word of mouth is a really important thing when it comes to a grass roots community project like this one. I’m only one person and can only do so much so please pass the word about #RealTimeChem onto any chemists you know. The more chemists we get to tweet, the more interesting chemistry we get to see we get to enjoy!

Below you will eventually find a couple of posters that I have uploaded that you can print out and use (get permission first before you put posters anywhere though). Some have been provided in B&W for easy printing. Banner and badges are provided for use in Twitter avatars/backgrounds, Facebook banners etc, etc.

First Batch Of Posters

RTCNewPostersConicalB&W RTCNewPostersConicalB&YRTCNewPostersRBF_B&WRTCNewPostersRBF_B&Y   RTCNewPostersBeakerB&WRTCNewPostersBeakerB&Y  Keep Calm I want you

Twitter Avatars – add these to the bottom corner of your twitter avatar during the event if you wish.

RTC_TwitterBadgeV2 RTC_TwitterBadgeV_3 copy

Banners – use these for forums, blogs or wherever elese you want to.

UK Date Version

UK Date Version

US Date Version

US Date Version

RTCWeekBannerInternational copy

International Date version

Blogs, blogs, blogs, blogs…I really like blogs, can I write a special one for #RealTimeChem week?

If you write a chemistry-related blog then yes, perhaps you might consider doing a special blog piece for the week.

RealTimeChemCarnival copy

RealTimeChemist, @Jessthechemist has kindly agreed to run a blog carnival for #RealTimeChem week on The Organic Solutio Much like other blog carnivals she will collect together all blog posts relating to #RealTimeChem. In order to take part in this email Jess, via: theorganicsolutionblog@gmail.com or post your blog up on twitter during #RealTimeChem week using the hashtag #RealTimeChemCarnival so that Jess can find your blog post and put it alongside all the others.

If you are struggling to think of something to write for the carnival, Jess has produced an example based on her own work, which you can access here.

What is the future of #RealTimeChem?

To continue to grow into something the chemistry community finds useful. Social media isn’t going away and having a virtual water cooler, seems to be an appealing idea.

#RealTimeChem will continue to be available as a hash tag to use every single day of the year, whenever you feel like tweeting something about chemistry.

I plan to hold a major “event” like this one every year (possibly twice if the demand is there) as they give people something to focus and prepare specifically for. The format might change in the future as more people get involved and there is the potential for actual meet ups and whatnot. We. Shall. See.

Can I have a fancy and somewhat abstract summary of what it’s all about? 

Yes. You’re weird…but yes you can. These are the three key ideas of #RealTimeChem:

Connect.

We are all spending increasing amount of time online, why not spend a little of it connecting with other people in your field? The online world and Chemistry itself can sometimes feel a little isolating, especially if you’re doing a PhD, so this is a chance to be join in and feel part of the wider community.

Discuss.

This is your chemistry, your ideas, your expertise….Your best chemistry jokes. Anything relating to chemistry can be united under the #RealTimeChem banner. Once you’ve shared your chemistry, why not discover someone else’s? If something interests you, spark up a discussion. You never know where it might lead.

Enjoy.

We all love chemistry, that’s a fact. #RealTimeChem is another way to show what chemistry means to you every day. So have fun with it, be playful, have a laugh.

Still got questions?

My, my you’re an inquistive soul. If I have forgotten anything, or anything is unclear. Then sound off in the comments or contact via Twitter. I’ll do my best to find you some answers.

-Doctor Galactic & The Lab Coat Cowboy-

Thoughts on recent RealTimeChem developments (with a poll!)

Hello everybody!

Yes I am still alive, I know I’ve been a little quieter over the past month or so than I said I would be, but life and that holiday that used to be all about the birth of Jesus Christ intervened. Some large changes are coming my way in the form of a new job (I’m moving from my academic life as a “lab monkey” into publishing as an editor) and that’s involving a change of scenery too (from smelly old London to Cambridge).

I’m still very interested and committed to #RealTimeChem which seems to be in constant use in the chemistry twitterverse, which is frankly fantastic. Particularly intriguing is the situation brewing with the masked chemist @SeeArrOh on his blog Just Like Cooking where #RealTimeChem has been used as a call to arms to investigate a recent Fe-S catalysis reaction in the literature. This has created some excellent discussions and more importantly attempted repetition of the results, which have not been turning out great so far. I suggest if your interested to keep an eye on See Arr Oh’s twitter feed and blog.

SeeArrOh - who probably isn't a dog in real life. Although wouldn't that be AWESOME? A dog doing chemistry? What would Chemistry Cat say?

SeeArrOh – who probably isn’t a dog in real life. Although wouldn’t that be AWESOME? A dog doing chemistry? What would Chemistry Cat say?

I think this is great. This is what #RealTimeChem is there for, to be used by the chemistry community to report on chemistry being done right here and now. Science in general needs to have greater transparency so that we don’t appear to be a bunch of sentient robots, plugged into computers performing boring laboratory reactions and the general evil bidding of “the man”.

Hell there, so I'm told you're a chemist?

Hell there, so I’m told you’re a chemist?

There are all sorts of interesting tweets being made so check it out under the #RealTimeChem hastag or follow selected highlights on @RealTimeChem (I’m trying to keep up I swear!). Alternately, if you are looking for more twitter related fun you might want to check out the hashtag #OverlyHonestMethods which is also shining a light into the dark corners of REAL laboratory life with scientists of all kinds playing on the idea that some parts of their experimental methods probably wouldn’t get past peer review!

Yeah you know that product is going in that dirty water any second now, but you certainly aren't going to put THAT in your experimental section!

Yeah you know that product is going in that dirty water any second now, but you certainly aren’t going to put THAT in your experimental section!

My final point for today is to discuss the future of #RealTimeChem. I’ve made in known via twitter that at some point this year I’d like to run another event. The last one went down rather well, but many didn’t get the chance to participant so next time around the format is going to be stretched into a week. Yes folks in 2013 there will be this:

RealTimeChemWeek copyYep that’s 7 days (I know some of you work weekends) where every chemist in the world (on twitter) is encouraged to tweet about their life in chemistry for a week. You won’t have to do the whole week unless you really want to, but it you a bigger window to join in with everybody else essentially.

So when will it be? Well, I think I will leave that up to the community! Below you shall find a poll, where you can vote for the month that you would like #RealTimeChemWeek to happen. You shall note it starts from April, largely because there will need to be some preparation time for it.

So vote away and if you have any suggestions, comments or questions please leave a comment or get in touch with me via twitter.

Oh and happy New Year!

-Doctor Galactic & The Lab Coat Cowboy-

24 favourite tweets from 24 hours of Real-Time Chemistry.

The above banner was by @squidring on twitter. Check out her art here. Multi-talented! 

Chemistry was tweeted in real-time on the 7th November. It seems from feedback I’ve received that it was enjoyed. Obviously there is some room for improvement, so please, if you were disappointed don’t hesitate to tell me what you’d like to see in the next RealTimeChem event. As promised I’ve written this post in order to showcase my observations of the day and my favourite-ist tweets and pictures from the day.

It’s been a reeeeeeeally difficult task, as there was a LOT of excellent #RealTimeChem, so if you don’t see yourself mentioned here, I apologise and still think you were wonderful. All tweets and your time were appreciated.

In keeping with the theme of the event here are 24 of my favourite tweets:

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