Open Questions in Chemistry

Communications Chemistry launches a series of Comment articles discussing key open questions in specific fields of fundamental chemical research.

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In spite of decades of research and the enormous progress made, chemists continue to grapple with poorly understood aspects of the world around us. Indeed, many fundamental questions remain—will we ever get to the bottom of the different structures of ice, or pinpoint the origins of life on Earth, or obtain a full picture of the complexity of carbon-based molecules in space?

Communications Chemistry has launched a series of Comment articles discussing key open questions in specific fields of fundamental chemical research. This series aims to uncover open questions across the breadth of chemistry. Each Comment provides an overview of a focused field of research, identifies key open questions, and gives expert opinion on how challenges in answering these questions might be overcome.

Our hope is that this series will be of interest to the chemistry community as a whole, and that it will stimulate those working in or adjacent to the research fields that are covered to think about some of the open questions that invite further study.

Our first 8 Comments in the series cover:

Open questions in chemical glycobiology

Open questions on the biological roles of first-row transition metals

Open questions in transplutonium coordination chemistry

Open questions on atmospheric nanoparticle growth

Open questions on the chemical composition of airborne particles

Open questions on the physical properties of aerosols

Open questions on the structures of crystalline water ices

Open questions on nonequilibrium thermodynamics of chemical reaction networks

A huge thank you to the authors of the above Comments for their excellent contributions. And while these Comments delve into a number of important and exciting topics, when one considers the breadth of ongoing research in fundamental areas of chemistry, we have only just begun to scratch the surface. We look forward to publishing more in this series in the months and years to come, and invite experts to contact us if they are interested in contributing. We would be particularly pleased to hear from those from underrepresented minority groups, and will strive to ensure that the series is representative of all voices of the chemistry community as it continues to develop.

Victoria Richards

Chief Editor, Communications Chemistry

Victoria obtained her PhD from the University of Nottingham in 2013, with research experience in the fields of metal-organic frameworks, surface self-assembly, molecular magnetism and main group chemistry. Victoria began her editorial career working on ChemComm and Chemical Science at the Royal Society of Chemistry, before moving to Nature Communications in 2016, where she managed the inorganic, materials and physical chemistry team. In September 2019, Victoria became Chief Editor of Communications Chemistry.

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