Author Archive

Congratulations CQMF prize winners!

Materials Horizons, posters, prize

Prof JF Masson presents the Materials Horizons poster prize to Nicolas Zindy

The Centre Québécois sur les Matériaux Fonctionnels/Quebec Center for Advanced Materials recently held its annual meeting in Montreal, and we were pleased to sponsor poster prizes from Analyst and Materials Horizons at the event. Congratulations to winners Nicolas Zindy from Laval University and Régis Imbeault from the University of Sherbrooke!

Régis won the Analyst prize for his poster describing the development of high performance functionalized polynorbornenes (PBBEs) from simple, inexpensive and environmentally friendly synthesis procedures. Because of their very high physicochemical properties and their low anticipated cost, these new materials can compete with many commercial products, while offering a greener alternative and bringing new solutions for advanced applications.

Nicolas won the Materials Horizons prize for his poster that presented a new strategy to create a pi-conjugated polymer using pyromelltic diimide (PMDI) as an aromatic C-H bond bearer for direct heteroarylation polymerization (DHAP) with 1,4-dibromobenzene. This material has been difficult to synthesize with conventional methods such as Suzuki or Stille couplings and has potential to be used as a cost-effective active material in next generation Li-ion batteries.

Editors from two of our journals also took the initiative to present their advice on publishing, following our Meet the Editor format. Thank you Profs Jean-François Masson from Analyst and Federico Rosei from Journal of Materials Chemistry C for helping us educate the community about good publishing practice!

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Science Connect: helping Brazilian scientists communicate their research

The British Council is an organization in the UK that promotes cultural relations and educational opportunities in countries around the world. Three years ago, the RSC began collaborating with them on their Researcher Connect program. Researcher Connect brings workshops on communication skills to universities around the world, including Brazil. For our part of the program, we conduct 1-day, science communication focused workshops, which we call Science Connect. If you think your university in Brazil might be interested, the British Council will be putting out a new call for Researcher Connect applications starting April 2 2018 here. We will be selecting a few institutions chosen for the main Researcher Connect 2018 program to also host an extra day for Science Connect.

This year, we held our Science Connect workshops at three universities: Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (UFES), Universidade de Brasília (UnB) and Universidade de São Paulo (USP). We had students, postdocs and professors from not only chemistry departments, but also related fields such as materials science, molecular biology and environmental science.

First, Elizabeth Magalhaes from our São Paulo office gave a presentation about the publishing process, with tips from our Editors about all stages of the process, from submission to revision. She also covered best practices for reviewing articles and ethics. The participants told us they found it really useful with lots of tips and good advice on how the publishing process works from the Editors’ perspective.

presentation, publishing

Elizabeth Magalhaes presenting on how to publish at USP

Then, our first hands-on module started with students reading the text of an RSC Advances article from which we’d removed the title and abstract. After giving them some instruction on the essential components of abstracts and titles, we asked them to work in groups to first write an abstract for the article and then a title. Some of the students found this challenging because it was outside of their field, but many of their results included elements that could have improved the real abstract!

Students at UnB collaborate to write an abstract for the RSC Advances article.

The second module focused on communicating your research orally. We went over how important body language and manner of speaking can be. We looked at a real example and asked them to critique the speaker based on what they’d learned. The second half of this module focused on elevator pitches, which are generally unfamiliar to Brazilian researchers. With a worksheet as guidance, we walked them through the elements of a good pitch and asked them to take a stab at writing their own. Several of the students said they found this really useful because they hadn’t really sat down and thought about what they do and why it’s valuable to others.

And finally, and most fun, we looked at the elements of great poster design. We showed some real life examples and asked the students to point out the good and bad elements. We emphasized that communicating your science in a logical way is the most important aspect of posters – they don’t always have to follow the same format as a paper. We encouraged them to get creative (but not too creative!) in thinking about the best way to visually communicate their science. Then some brave students allowed us to look at their real posters for friendly critique.

Elizabeth Magalhaes shows students at UFES an example of a fabric poster.

We had a lot of great feedback from the attendees and really enjoyed helping them better communicate their research. “The partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry has flourished greatly over the past few years and, the feedback we got from universities’ representatives is nothing but really positive,” says Camila Almeida, Newton Fund Project Manager with the British Council. “We have now delivered eight Science Connect workshops in various Brazilian states, and we have observed an increasing interest from the institutions each year. We are very pleased with the results and looking forward to the forthcoming workshops in 2018!”

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Joining (the) CHORUS

How do Open Access mandates affect you? If you have NIH funding, you’re probably aware of the requirement that you deposit the author version of your manuscript in PubMed Central (PMC) within 12 months of publication. But did you know that the other U.S. funding agencies have followed suit?

In 2013, the Office of Science & Technology Policy issued a memo entitled “Expanding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research”, which mandated that any U.S. funding agency with >$100 million R&D budget create a plan to make the resulting publications and data freely available to the public. Since then, the agencies have crafted bespoke public access policies with different requirements. Some (e.g., EPA, FDA) have chosen to piggyback off of NIH’s PMC, others (e.g., US DOE, USDA) have chosen to create their own repositories, but there are some who have decided to partner with the publishing industry to fulfil the mandates.

CHORUS, public accessSubsequent to the memo, a partnership of scholarly publishers created CHORUS to make the required content publicly available at no additional cost to the agencies. For CHORUS agency partners, including NSF, US DOE, US DOD, Smithsonian Institution, USGS and ODNI, CHORUS leverages existing infrastructure to enable sustainable, cost-effective, and transparent public access to content reporting on funded research. By integrating services and open APIs, CHORUS optimizes funder identification, content and data discovery, long-term accessibility, compliance monitoring, and dashboard reporting.

RSC has been supporting CHORUS since its inception, and last year, we decided to become a full member to help our authors comply with their mandates. We have been depositing our authors’ NIH-funded manuscripts into PMC for years, so this was a natural extension of our commitment to make our author and reader experience smooth. We are now fully integrated with the CHORUS system, so expect to start seeing author versions of funded manuscripts appear on our website next year once their 12-month embargoes expire.

 

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Congratulations to our Board members!

AAAS Meeting

 

 

 

 

 

RSC Americas offices are proud of the quality of our Editorial and Advisory Boards in our territories and we want to congratulate our current and past Editorial Board members who will be recognized as AAAS Fellows at the AAAS meeting this week:

 

Two of our Board members were also recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering:

CSC

 

Several of our board members were among the Canadian Society for Chemistry award winners announced this month:

 

And finally, we also wanted to highlight some of our other board members’ recent achievements.

Please let us know if we missed anyone!

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Congratulations to Dow WesTEC RSC award winners

Last year, our Analytical Methods Editorial Board member Jim Luong invited us to contribute a congratulatory letter for the program book of WesTEC, an internal Dow Canada conference. Last year was the 25th Jubilee celebration of the conference, and the RSC President Robert Parker co-signed a letter with the President of the Canadian Society for Chemistry that appeared in the front of the program, alongside letters from Dow VIPs.

We were thrilled to be invited by Jim again to contribute a congratulatory letter in 2017, and we also sponsored Best Poster and Best Lecture prizes. The conference took place on October 19th and we wanted to say congratulations to the two winners, Ms Morgan Tien (Best Lecture) and Ms Karina Singh (Best Poster)!

Best Lecture prize winner Morgan Tien with Billy Bardin, Dow Global Tech Center Director

Karina Singh, Wayde Konze, Dow WesTEC

Best Poster prize winner Karina Singh with Wayde Konze, Dow Director of Analytical Sciences

We should also say congratulations to the Canadian Society for Chemistry on the 100th anniversary of their conference this year, and of course to Canada itself on its 150th anniversary! In honor of these two milestones, we compiled a special collection to celebrate Canadian science. Enjoy!

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UC Chemical Symposium: “by students, for students”

The University of California Chemical Symposium (UCCS) is a three-day conference that brings together graduate students and postdocs from all ten UC campuses for a weekend of poster presentations and talks, career and professional development, and social activities. It is organized by students, for students. Our North American office has been proud to support this event from its foundation through our community development and leadership training initiatives for students and postdocs.

Seth Cohen, UCCSProfessor Seth Cohen from the University of California, San Diego, is the founder and faculty mentor for UCCS, as well as a member of the Editorial Board of our journal ChemSocRev. We talked to Seth to learn more about how the UCCS came about and where it’s going.

Q: This is going to be the third annual UC Chemical Symposium – what prompted or inspired the start of the UCCS program?

A: The program was inspired by two events.  The first was the beginning of a series of annual meetings for the Chairs of the Chemistry Departments across the UC system (which itself was inspired by a conversation with Prof. Bill Tolman, who told me about similar Chairs’ meetings at Big-10 schools).  I found these Chairs’ meetings useful and it sparked the idea of a student/postdoc symposium.  The second event, was a conversation with Katie Dryden-Holt of the RSC.  She was looking to enhance membership in the US, and the UC symposium seemed like a good opportunity for her to recruit RSC members across the UC campuses.

Q: What is your role in the program and how has it changed over time?

A: I initiated the idea and recruited the first organizing committee (with substantial help from the RSC).  These days, I am more just the institutional knowledge (from year-to-year) and faculty mentor to bounce ideas off of.  The organizing committee really does the heavy lifting.  In the future, I hope the symposium becomes largely self-sufficient, to the point I am not really needed anymore.  I really want this to be something that the students own and sustain.

Q: Did you have anything like this when you were a grad student or postdoc?

A: No.  The closest was the GRS:  Bioinorganic Chemistry.  This was one of the first GRS meetings and it was my favorite meeting.  I made many close friends and I loved that it was student run and organized.  That was a large part of the inspiration for the structure of the UCCS.

Q: The low registration fee of $259 covers all of the program activities, meals, accommodations and more. How is the organizing team able to make the cost so affordable?

Fundraising.  The one thing about this conference I was fairly confident in was that we would be able to initiate a robust fundraising effort.  Organizations love to support students.  The mission of UC is to support students.  I reasoned that most UC Chemistry Departments, Dean’s offices, and other organizations could each give some support, which collectively, would result in a lot of funds to make the symposium quite inexpensive.  Additional support from the RSC, ACS, publishers, and most recently the NSF has further helped make this symposium readily accessible to all students and postdocs.

Q: What is the most challenging part of having ten campuses involved?

A: Making sure all campuses are represented on the organizing committee and that all committee members remain engaged.  With only 1-2 representatives per campus, if just 1 or 2 people don’t to their job it can result in an entire campus being excluded – not deliberately, but because of a lack of information being communicated to that campus.  Conference calls can be hard to schedule with that many people as well

Q: As an Editorial Board member for ChemSocRev, you also initiated the Primer collection of tutorial reviews to help new grad students get up to speed with all the most exciting research and help figure out their own research interests for graduate school. Why is education and training the next generation so important to you?

A: The future success of the chemical sciences and the solutions it will bring to society in the fields of energy, the environment, health, and technology are in the hands of the next generation.  It is important to me that the young scientists I work with feel motivated, supported, and excited to pursue cutting-edge research in the chemical sciences or whatever field their career takes them.

Q: Would other regions benefit from having a program like this, or is it unique to UC?

A: Absolutely!  I’d love to see the idea come full circle, back to the Big-10 (where Bill Tolman is) and see them do something similar.  I think this could be done regionally all over the country and the world.

Q: What do you see, or hope to see, the future holding for UCCS?

A: I think the autonomy is key.  I love being involved, but to make it in the long term, it needs to become fully independent of me as a single faculty mentor.  Personally, I think the size and the format are really good.  I’d like to see it spread to other universities.  For the UCCS specifically, I’d like to see it alternate between a SoCal and NorCal location (we’ve looked at Lake Tahoe), to make it more equitable travel-wise for the NorCal UC campuses.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about the UCCS?

That it brings the students together.  I think that is so important – to meet your peers from across the state and share experiences.



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Welcome to RSC Americas!

Welcome to the Royal Society of Chemistry Americas blog! We wanted to create a space to let you know about what we do in North and South America and first we wanted to introduce you to our team:

The Washington DC office

 Rebecca Trager, Marika Wieliczko, Jennifer Griffiths, Jenny Lee

The Washington DC office (L to R): Rebecca Trager, Marika Wieliczko, Jennifer Griffiths, Jenny Lee

Jennifer Griffiths (Editorial Development Manager, Americas) received her Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry from Duke University before moving into publishing. She started with the RSC five years ago as our first publishing representative in the US. She currently manages the team that develops our publishing activities in North and South America. Before joining the RSC, she was a Managing Editor at the ACS for Analytical Chemistry and several other journals. Jen has a wide variety of interests outside of work, including knitting and needlework, running, Pilates and has recently started volunteer work teaching English as a second language.

Jenny Lee (Assistant Editorial Development Manager, North America) joined the RSC in 2014 after completing her Ph.D. at Iowa State University in synthetic organic chemistry with sustainable applications. Jenny enjoys meeting researchers and discovering opportunities to share knowledge and support research advances throughout North America.  She looks forward to interesting conversations with the researcher and scholarly communication community, most recently through a Society for Scholarly Publishing Fellowship.  If she’s not at a conference or visiting institutions, Jenny can be found learning new things at events across the city, doing yoga, or cooking experimentally in her kitchen “lab”.

Marika Wieliczko (Assistant Editorial Development Manager, North America) joined the RSC in 2017 after finishing her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at Emory University. She always felt that the best part of science and research is sharing it with the rest of the world so jumped at the chance to move into publishing to help others share their work. With a non-profit like the RSC she is able to combine this love of science with a passion for community service! In this position, she most enjoys learning about all the new research that she never had a chance to pursue, getting to know the scientists who inspired her, and helping young people gain the experience and skills they need to become the next generation of global leaders. In her free time, Marika enjoys athletic activities, especially running, tennis, and horseback riding, learning, watching, and playing games, planning fun activities for friends and family, listening to podcasts and reading about movies and books instead of watching and reading them.

Rebecca Trager became the US Correspondent for the RSC’s Chemistry World magazine in September 2014 after writing for the magazine on a freelance basis since 2007. She tracks and covers all news coming out of North America that impacts the field of chemistry, including policy developments. With a background in policy, and a passion for journalism, she has found her niche covering the world of science policy since 1997. Rebecca’s interest was sparked after spending summers during college as a press intern for the US National Institutes of Health. Before joining Chemistry World, she was the US Editor for Research Europe, reporting on the White House, as well as government departments and US agencies. She is also the former managing editor of The Blue Sheet, an Elsevier biomedical research and health policy publication. She studied philosophy and political theory at Haverford College in Pennsylvania.

The São Paulo office

Elizabeth Magalhaes

Elizabeth Magalhaes is the RSC Manager for Brazil and Latin America. She started with the RSC almost six years ago as our representative in the region. Beth received her Ph.D. in analytical-inorganic chemistry from University of Campinas-UNICAMP. She now manages the RSC office in São Paulo working with the community to develop skills and promote knowledge in Brazil and South America. Before joining the RSC, she worked as Editorial Manager at the Brazilian Chemical Society for Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society (JBCS). Beth’s interests outside of work range from Formula 1 to Football in sports. She enjoys cooking and collecting stones from places she visited.

 

 

 

 

 

Look for further updates soon!

 

 

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