Essay competition: And the winner is…

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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)

Anne Pichon

Senior Editor, Nature Chemistry, Springer Nature

Anne received a broad training in chemistry at the National Graduate School of Chemistry in Montpellier, France. She then focused on inorganic and supramolecular chemistry and obtained her MPhil and PhD degrees from the Queen's University Belfast, UK, investigating porous coordination polymers for host–guest applications. After an internship with Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Anne moved to John Wiley and Sons in 2007 as an assistant editor of the Society of Chemical Industry journals. She joined Nature Chemistry in October 2008, and was initially based in Tokyo where she also worked on other publishing projects with Nature Asia-Pacific. In April 2013, Anne relocated to the London office and now works full time on the journal.