Author Archives: alan

Bright Times for Computational Chemistry

I can still remember when computational chemistry was considered a special, esoteric (some would have said “useless”) sub-specialty within physical chemistry. Three recent articles in scientific journals show that the times have changed. Future research will have a computational component almost … finish reading Bright Times for Computational Chemistry

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Jury Says DuPont Must Pay for Harm Caused by Spilled Chemical

An Ohio jury has awarded $10.5 million in punitive damages to a man who claimed that his testicular cancer was caused by exposure to water that a Dupont factory had contaminated with perfluorooctanoic acid (also known as PFOA or C-8 … finish reading Jury Says DuPont Must Pay for Harm Caused by Spilled Chemical

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Young People Sue For Stable Climate

Can you sue the government to force it to take action on climate change? This question was put to federal magistrate judge Thomas Coffin in Eugene, Oregon in early 2015 in a lawsuit, Kelsey Cascadia Rose Juliana et al. v. United … finish reading Young People Sue For Stable Climate

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Jobs for Computational Chemists at BASF

Wikipedia says that the German chemical giant, BASF, is “the largest producer in the world, operating 390 production sites on 5 continents, and employing approximately 122,000 in 2015. This past summer a C&E News article (“More Rabbits from Fewer Hats,” … finish reading Jobs for Computational Chemists at BASF

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What’s it like to be a scientist?

I’ve been reading Science magazine for years, but this only marks me as a nerd, not as a scientist. If you want to learn a little about the day-to-day experiences of working scientists, I recommend reading the Working Life feature on the back page … finish reading What’s it like to be a scientist?

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Reed’s Climate Path under Trump

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency raises all sorts of questions about future US policy on greenhouse gases and climate change. An opinion piece by Robert Stavins (“Goodbye to the Climate,” NY Times, 9 Nov 2016) lists the … finish reading Reed’s Climate Path under Trump

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Follow the CO2 (and the $$$)

In a classic scene from All The President’s Men, the movie about investigative reporters unmasking wrongdoing in the Nixon White House, one reporter, Bob Woodward, meets up with his insider source, Deep Throat, in a DC parking garage. Woodward confesses that … finish reading Follow the CO2 (and the $$$)

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Is lecture discriminatory?

Lecture is, perhaps, the most time-honored method of college instruction out there. It would seem to create the perfectly level playing field: every student hears the same lecture and every student has the same opportunity to pay attention and learn. … finish reading Is lecture discriminatory?

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Eco-Jeans

Except for the hot months when I can wear shorts, I live in jeans. This graphic on the environmental impact of one pair of 501 jeans blew my mind. See “Cleaning the Clothing Industry” by M. M. Bomgardner, C&ENews (27 June … finish reading Eco-Jeans

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Scientist as storyteller

Chemists are storytellers out of necessity. A friend of mine just sent me an article that he wrote (and has gotten approved for publication). It begins, “One of the main problems for student comprehension of chemistry is that atoms and molecules are invisible entities.”

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