Essay competition: And the winner is…


Thanks to everyone who participated in our writing competition! We were delighted to receive so many entries (almost 100 in total). Some elements – copper and nitrogen in particular – proved more popular than others, but all seven elements up for grabs were well represented, we had fun reading the essays, and we learned some quirky anecdotes in the process (I shall share these in future posts).

Believe me, the judging was by no means easy. But with input from all of the Nature Chemistry editors and our two external judges – previously introduced here – we got down to a selection of seven essays and we are now delighted to announce the winners (in atomic number order of the elements):

– Helium

Christine Herman, PhD student

Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

– Nitrogen

Michael Tarselli, research chemist

PharmAgra Labs in Brevard, North Carolina, USA

– Sodium

Margit Muller, PhD Student

Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

– Copper

Tiberiu Moga, medical student

Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada.

– Bromine

Matt Rattley, undergraduate chemistry student

University of Oxford, England, UK

– Indium

Catherine Renouf, PhD student in materials chemistry

University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK

– Plutonium

Jan Hartmann, undergraduate chemistry student

RWTH Aachen University, Germany


We are now planning to publish the winning essays throughout the next few months as part of the regular ‘in your element’ feature (that’s when I’ll share anecdotes with you on the blog), starting with our December issue.

Many thanks again to everyone who sent us an essay, we hope you enjoyed writing them, we certainly enjoyed reading them!


Anne Pichon (Associate Editor, Nature Chemistry)

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