Long time, no blog

Mar 27, 2019

It’s been a worryingly long time since I last blogged properly (I can’t really count uploading Reactions interviews, guest blog posts, or Stu’s Twitter updates as proper posts!), but here I am again.

So, what shall I blog about? Now that we have a proper journal, a lot of things I would blog about seem to end up as what we call ‘content’. Interesting blog posts I read elsewhere end up as Blogroll material, good articles we spot in other journals get snapped up as Research Highlights or even News and Views articles. Matters of great import to the chemistry community are mulled over in Editorials. [Not that I write all of these, of course, but we’re one big happy team knocking ideas around]

There are a couple of blogs out there that I’ve recently discovered and would like to share, however. One is Chemjobber, who does a great job summarising the state of the chemistry job market based on the ACS careers website and C&EN. Chemjobber has also written some excellent posts about the Sheri Sangji/UCLA case, where a “research associate died of burns suffered from a t-butyl lithium fire”. This made a lot of news when the incident first occurred, but it’s good to see the details of the aftermath being followed.

Lab safety is something that really needs to be taken seriously, and I’m quite pleased that I did my PhD in a department with a strong culture of taking care to do things safely. Seeing pictures on various group website of people in the lab without safety specs or labcoats always makes me shudder a little bit. Is your eyesight worth the slight discomfort of wearing those safety glasses? I think so.

Moving away from the serious, the other blog I’ve discovered is NCBI ROFL, run by “two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley”. They selflessly search PubMed for “real articles with funny subjects”. For instance, here’s what not to do with HF.

So there we go – sorry if the juxtaposition between the tragic and comic was too jarring, but they’re both just off the (opposite ends of the) scale of what I consider for Blogroll. Hopefully now that I’ve eased myself gently back into the blogging waters, things will flow more regularly now!


Neil Withers (Associate Editor, Nature Chemistry)

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