Congratulations to the EuChemS Poster Prizewinners

EuChemSOn the 26th August approximately 1,500 delegates from 60 different countries came to Liverpool for the 7th EuChemS Chemistry Congress. The theme was Molecular frontiers and global challenges, a topic addressed over 5 days by over 100 speakers and in over 500 poster presentations.

To celebrate the diverse range and oustanding quality of the posters a number of Royal Society of Chemistry journals awarded poster prizes. All prizewinners received an official certificate and a £50 voucher for use in the RSC bookstore.

And if you missed the action, don’t worry! You can watch some of the Poster highlights on Youtube now – featuring Immo Klose, winner of a Chemical Science poster prize and Anjali Das, winner of the Polymer Chemistry prize.

Congratulations to all of the winners in the list below!

James Rushworth (Imperial College London Biomaterials Science
G.T. Kasun Kalhara Gunasooriya (Ghent University) Catalysis Science and Technology
Daniel Payne (National Institute for Materials Science) Chemical Communications
Lorenzo D’Amore (Universitat de Girona) Chemical Communications
Mohammad Bodiuzzaman (IIT Madras) Chemical Communications
Roser Morales-Martínez (Universitat Rovira i Virgili) Chemical Communications
Alex Grigoropoulos (University of Liverpool) Chemical Science
Ema Horak (Ruđer Bošković Institute Chemical Science
Eike Dornsiepen (Philipps-Universität Marburg) Chemical Science
Leana Travaglini (University of Strasbourg) Chemical Science
Immo Klose (University of Vienna) Chemical Science   
Mauricio Morais (King’s College London) Chemical Science   
Dowine de Bruijn (University of Groningen) Chemical Society Reviews
Nils Schmickler (Universität Bonn) Chemical Society Reviews
Peter McNeice (Queen’s University Belfast) Chemical Society Reviews
Natalie Dehnhardt (Philipps-Universität Marburg) Dalton Transactions
David Williamson (University of Bath) Energy & Environmental Science
Alessandro Manfrin (ETH Zürich) Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts
Robert Woodward (Imperial College London) Green Chemistry
Michael Gärtner (Universität Frankfurt) Journal of Materials Chemistry and Material Horizons
Anna-Bea Bornhof (Université de Génève) MSDE
Marcus Richter (Dresden University of Technology) Nanoscale
Philip Lane (Sheffield Hallam University) Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
Gabriella Kervefors (Stockholm University) Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
Jonathan Davidson (University of Cambridge) PCCP
Anjali Devi Das (Università degli Studi di Parma) Polymer Chemistry
Christian Goldhahn (ETH Zürich) Reaction Chemistry & Engineering
Cathryn Shepherd (Heriot-Watt University) RSC Advances
Marco Chino (Università degli studi di Napoli “Federico II”) RSC Advances
Sabina Alexandra Nicolae (Queen Mary University of London) Sustainable Energy & Fuels

 

 

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Announcing a themed collection – Celebrating Excellence in Research: 100 Women of Chemistry

Diverse teams produce better research. There are demonstrable benefits to having a wide range of viewpoints and experiences, whether in academia or industry, and there’s a moral responsibility for us to make our community a place where anyone can reach their full potential.

 

In our report, the Diversity landscape of the chemical sciences, published earlier this year, we compiled some of the available evidence for the current state of diversity in the Chemical Sciences. This data gathering has given us a picture that allows us to identify areas of the most need, set intelligent targets for our future activities, and benchmark our future progress from a defined starting point. The report touched on issues of inclusivity in terms of ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic background, and we are

 

However, retention of women emerged as the biggest single loss of talent from our community. At each stage of progression, women are leaving the sector, a massive loss of talent and economic potential. In academia, at undergraduate level, 44% of students are female. This drops to 39% of postgraduate students, and plummets to a mere 9% among chemistry professors.

 

This is a systemic failure – with a wide range of factors including conscious and unconscious bias in hiring and progression committees, and a working environment that is hostile to all but disproportionately affects women. There’s also a difference in remuneration. The difference in median pay between men and women is £13,000, an increase since 2015. The pay gap increases over the course of women’s careers, with older respondents reporting a greater gap than those at the beginning of their careers.

Scientific publishing, as an inherent part of academic life, also plays a huge role in this problem. As the publisher of a journals portfolio including 45 peer-reviewed journals the Royal Society of Chemistry is ideally situated not only to contribute data to the discussion but also to take action to tackle the issues that are identified. By harnessing the authorship and citation data associated with almost 70,000 published, peer-reviewed articles we showed that papers by female corresponding authors received significantly fewer citations than those authored by men. We also saw a negative correlation between the impact factor of a journal and the number of submissions by women, suggesting that female corresponding authors are discouraged from putting their work forward for consideration by top journals.

 

As part of our actions to address this imbalance we are carefully monitoring all new editorial board appointments as well as our ongoing commissioning efforts to identify and remove potential sources of bias. The goal of these efforts is not to employ positive discrimination, but instead to better enable ourselves and our community to recognise the many talented women already working in the Chemical Sciences and hence encourage further progress towards equity. It is with this in mind that we are proud to launch our new themed collection:

 

Celebrating Excellence in Research: 100 Women of Chemistry is a collection of high quality papers from across the RSC Publishing portfolio. As the name of the collection suggests, the excellence comes first – all papers included have previously been judged to be of outstanding quality by the reviewers, editors, or readers.

 

In light of the problems with women’s progression and retention, we decided to focus on female group leaders and corresponding authors – both to celebrate their own achievements in the field and to act as an inspiration for early career researchers and students within the community. An initial nomination stage by our journal editorial teams or editorial board members identified leaders in their respective fields. This resulted in a considerable number of excellent authors from whom 100 papers were then chosen as examples of exceptional research. We intend to represent the diversity of the publishing landscape, including researchers from 23 countries and at all stages of an independent career.

 

We have selected 100 papers but could have selected many more. The number 100 also has special significance here in the UK, where we are currently celebrating Vote 100 – the centenary of the first women in the UK to obtain the vote. The number proved restrictive, and as part of our ongoing commitment to equality and diversity, we will be following this up with subjects-specific collections in the months to come, but for now, we invite you to read this collection and Celebrate Excellence in Research with us.

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Congratulations to prizewinners at the 1st National Meeting of the Swedish Chemical Society

The 1st National Meeting of the Swedish Chemical Society took place in Lund on the 17th to 20th June. Roughly 500 participants attended to discuss a broad range of topics within chemistry and to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Chemical Association in Lund.

Dalton Transactions, Molecular Systems Design & Engineering and Soft Matter were all delighted to award poster prizes at this event.

The winners were

Levgen Pylypchuk (Swe. Univ. of Agricultural Sciences) won a Dalton Transactions poster prize for their talk on ‘Enhanced performance and stability of enzymes immobilized on magnetic SiO2-DTPA nanocomposites’

Shaoqi Zhan (KTH Royal Institute of Technology) won a Dalton Transactions poster prize for their talk on ‘Artificial photosynthesis catalysts dancing on carbon nanotubes’

Masoumeh Dowlatshahi Pour (Chalmers University of Technology) won a MSDE poster prize for their talk on ‘Altered lipid composition of secretory cells following exposure to zinc can be correlated to changes in exocytosis’

Shira Joudan (University of Toronto) won a MSDE poster prize for their talk on ‘Biological cleavage of the C-P bond in perfluoroalkyl phosphinic acids in male Sprague Dawley rats and the formation of persistent and reactive metabolites’

Kristina Thomsson Hulthe (University of Gothenburg) won a Soft Matter poster prize for their talk on ‘Recombinant O-linked glycosylation mimic of an osteoarthritic biolubricating proteines’

Martin Ratsch (University of Gothenburg) won a Soft Matter poster prize for their talk on ‘Covalent organic framework films on surfaces’

Award winners receiving their certificates at the 1st National Meeting of the Swedish Chemical Society

Award winners receiving their certificates at the 1st National Meeting of the Swedish Chemical Society

Congratulations to all award winners!

 

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Celebrating our Outstanding Reviewers in 2017

We want to make sure that our journals deliver rigorous and fair peer review and we wouldn’t be able to achieve that commitment without the amazing contribution of our reviewers.

In 2017, nearly 50,000 individual reviewers provided a review for one or more of our journals.  Every one of them is contributing to the efforts of our community to advance excellence in the chemical sciences. Our community is truly a global one, with reviewers coming from over 100 different countries.

We want to celebrate some of the individuals who’ve made significant contributions to our journals by reviewing for us over the last 12 months, by publishing a list of Outstanding Reviewers for each of our journals. The lists will be published on each journal blog in March 2018 and each journal will also publish a special Editorial in the coming weeks. Each Outstanding Reviewer will also receive a certificate to give recognition for their significant contribution.

While it’s not possible to list everyone, we would like to say a big thank you to all of the reviewers that have supported our journals. We would also like to thank all our journal Editorial and Advisory Boards and the chemical community for their continued support as authors, reviewers and readers.

Congratulations to all the Outstanding Reviewers in 2017!

If you would like to become a reviewer for any of our journals, just contact the journal by email with details of your research interests and an up-to-date CV or résumé.  You can find more details in our author and reviewer resource centre.

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#RSCPoster 2018: And the Winners are…

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2018 #RSCPoster Twitter Conference.

For the past three years, the Royal Society of Chemistry has hosted a Twitter poster conference, inviting participants to submit posters on Twitter based on their research in the chemical sciences. These poster conferences, the first of their kind, allowed people all over the world and at all stages of their careers to present their work and network with other chemists without having to travel.

This year, people from all across the globe participated in the Twitter poster conference, achieving 1,912 contributors, 6,715 Tweets, an audience of 2,019,127 and 10,267,097 total impressions! This means that the conference was an even greater success than Last year, where there were 1,650 contributors and 6,473 tweets.

And the winners are…

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2018 event, as selected by our fantastic committee chairs. A full list of all the subject chairs is available at rsc.li/rsc-poster-2018 and at the end of this post.

 

Analytical – #RSCAnalytical 1st Prize:

Maria Sánchez-Purrà

2nd Prize:

Darya Mozhayeva

Chemical Biology – #RSCChemBio 1st Prize:

Jeffrey Mak

2nd Prize:

Agnese Solari

Chemistry Education – #RSCEdu Primary/Secondary:

David Paterson

Higher:

Katherine Haxton

Engineering – #RSCEng 1st Prize:

Nicole Neyt

2nd Prize:

Marcin  Drop

Environmental – #RSCEnv 1st Prize:

Maxim Galkin

2nd Prize:

Aryeh Feinberg

Inorganic – #RSCInorg 1st Prize:

Timothy Barendt

2nd Prize:

Miguel Chacon

Materials – #RSCMat 1st Prize:

Luke Wilkinson

2nd Prize:

Marion Roullet

Nanoscience – #RSCNano 1st Prize:

Alexandra Gellé

2nd Prize:

Jennifer Gracie

Organic – #RSCOrg 1st Prize:

Jesús San José

2nd Prize:

Hannes  P. L. Gemoets

Physical – #RSCPhys 1st Prize:

Mario González Jiménez

2nd Prize:

Elaine Kelly

 

All the winners of the first prizes and the two winners in the Chemistry Education category, received £100 and the winners of the second prizes were given a £50 Royal Society of Chemistry book voucher.

We also had a special audience participation prize for the poster that received the most re-tweets during the event. Congratulations to Jo-Han Ng, whose poster Creative and Playful Learning of Chemistry Through the Use of a Green Technology Escape Room received a massive 452 retweets! Jo-Han Ng won a copy of The Case of the Poisonous Socks by William H. Brock.

Well done to all of our winners! The competition was very fierce with more participants than ever before!

Thanks to everyone who took part and made the fourth #RSCPoster Conference such a huge success and a special thanks to our Scientific Committee and all our subject chairs for all their help and support.

Conference Organisers and Committee

Conference Organisers

Royal Society of Chemistry

Matt Baker, University of Strathclyde, UK @ChemistryBaker

Edward Randviir, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK @EdwardRandviir.

Subject Chairs

#RSCAnalytical Roy Goodacre, University of Manchester @RoyGoodacre
Martín Resano, University of Zaragoza @MartinResano
#RSCChemBio Michael Johnson, University of Arizona @blacksciblog
Marloes Peeters, Manchester Metropolitan University @peeters_marloes
#RSCEdu Claire McDonnell, Dublin Institute of Technology @clairemcdonndit
Kristy Turner, University of Manchester @doc_kristy
#RSCEnv Peter Vikesland, Virginia Tech @petervikesland
Nadine Borduas, ETH Zürich @nadineborduas
David Megson, Manchester Metropolitan University
#RSCInorg Rebecca Melen, Cardiff University @rebecca_melen
 Charlie O’Hara, University of Strathclyde @oharalab
 #RSCMat  Athina Anastasaki, UC Santa Barbara @AthinaAnastasa1
 Chris Foster, Manchester Metropolitan University  @cwfoster90
 #RSCNano  Gemma-Louise Davies, University of Warwick  @GemmaLouDavies
 Karen Faulds, University of Strathclyde  @FauldsKaren
 #RSCOrg  Ryan Mewis, Manchester Metropolitan University  @RyanMewis
 David Nelson, University of Strathclyde  @TheNelsonGroup
 #RSCPhys  Brian Wagner, University of Prince Edward Island  @DrummerBoy2112
 Lars Goerigk, University of Melbourne  @lgoer_compchem
 #RSCEng  Mark Olson, Tianjin University  @MARK_A_OLSON
 Tim Noël, Eindhoven University of Technology @NoelGroupTUE

Scientific Committee

Fraser Stoddart, Northwestern University @sirfrasersays
Zoë Ayres, University of Warwick @ZJAyres
Perdita Barran, University of Manchester @PerditaB
James Batteas, Texas A&M University @jamesbatteas
Gonçalo Bernardes, University of Cambridge @gbernardes_chem
Margaret Brimble, University of Auckland @BrimbleM
Holly Butler, University of Strathclyde @HollehButler
Simon Lewis, Curtin University @SimonWLewis
Jean-François Masson, University of Montreal @Masson_chem
Warren Piers, University of Calgary @wpiers1
Michael Seery, University of Edinburgh     @seerymk
Nick Stone, University of Exeter     @profnickstone
Marcel Swart, University of Girona     @Marcel_Swart
Renée Webster, Monash University     @reneewebs
Doug MacFarlane, Monash University     @DRMacFarlane
Damien Arrigan, Curtin University     @arri_aus
Neil Keddie, University of St Andrews     @theyakman
Yonatan Calahorra, University of Cambridge     @YonCalahorra

 

 

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RSC Twitter Poster Conference 2018

#RSCPoster – written by Hannah Aitchison, Development Editor

The RSC Twitter Poster Conference is back #RSCPoster!

9:00 (GMT) Tuesday March 6th to 9:00 (GMT) Wednesday March 7th


The Royal Society of Chemistry Twitter Poster Conference is an online event held entirely over Twitter to bring members of the scientific research community together to share their research, network and engage in scientific debate.

Following on from the success of the previous events, we are excited to announce that the 4th RSC Twitter Poster Conference will be held from Tuesday March 6th (9am GMT) to Wednesday March 7th (9 am GMT).

How do I take part?
During the event simply tweet an image (e.g. JPEG) which will be a digital poster summarising your research along with #RSCPoster, the most appropriate subject area hashtag and the title of your work.

The hashtags required are:

Analytical – #RSCPoster #RSCAnalytical

Chemical Biology – #RSCPoster #RSCChemBio

Chemistry Education – #RSCPoster #RSCEdu

Engineering – #RSCPoster #RSCEng

Environmental – #RSCPoster #RSCEnv

Inorganic – #RSCPoster #RSCInorg

Materials – #RSCPoster #RSCMat

Nanoscience – #RSCPoster #RSCNano

Organic – #RSCPoster #RSCOrg

Physical – #RSCPoster #RSCPhys

Image courtesy of Matthew Partridge

For instance, if you are presenting an analytical poster, Tweet “Poster Title” #RSCPoster #RSCAnalytical. Throughout the day you can then answer any questions posed to you by other people on Twitter and ask questions about other posters. Make sure you follow #RSCPoster as the conference progresses.

When is it?
Tweet your posters with #RSCPoster and the most relevant subject hashtag between 9am GMT March 6th and 9am GMT March 7th. To be considered for a prize, make sure you register at any time before the beginning of the event. Be sure to ask and answer lots of questions to ensure your work is well understood!

How do I register?
Pre-registration is not necessary unless you would like to be eligible for a prize. To be considered for one of the poster prizes you will need to verify who you are and where you do your research. We strongly recommend you do this before the event by emailing us and letting us know:
•    Your name, address and contact details
•    The title or topic of your poster
•    Your twitter handle

Is my research area suitable?
The conference is open to anyone working in any area of science whose research topic falls within one of the subject hashtag categories. If you’re unsure if your poster is suitable for the conference, just get in touch and we can advise.

How are the winners selected?
The main aim of the event is to meet new scientists, share ideas and learn about the latest developments in different scientific areas. The scientific committee will select posters which stimulate wide interest and feature innovative, high quality, exciting research. Posters prizes will be awarded for content & accessibility, design and researcher interaction with the conference. There will also be an audience award for the most tweeted poster. For the #RSCEdu Chemistry Education category, two prizes will be awarded: one for the best submission in the area of primary/secondary/further education and one for the best submission in the area of higher education. For all other categories, a first prize and a runner up prize will be up for grabs!

What can I win?
In the Chemistry Education category, there will be a £100 prize available for the best submission in the area of primary/secondary/further education and a £100 prize for the best submission in the area of higher education. In each of the other 9 categories, we will be awarding a first prize of £100 and the second prize will be an RSC book voucher worth £50. We will also have a special prize for the poster that receives the most retweets. Make sure you register before the event to be in with the chance of winning!

Who is organising the event and how do I find them?
At different points throughout the day members of each scientific committee for each subject area will be logging in to Twitter and searching #RSCPoster to ask questions about some of the posters. Make sure you check back in at different times to see if you have any new questions and also make sure you ask questions about other posters. You can also follow the RSC journal twitter accounts relevant to your research category for updates.

Conference Organisers and Committee

Conference Organisers
Royal Society of Chemistry
Matt Baker, University of Strathclyde, UK @ChemistryBaker
Edward Randviir, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK @EdwardRandviir


Subject Chairs

#RSC Analytical Roy Goodacre, University of Manchester
Martín Resano, University of Zaragoza
@RoyGoodacre
@MartinResano
#RSCChemBio Michael Johnson, University of Arizona
Marloes Peeters, Manchester Metropolitan University
@blacksciblog
@peeters_marloes
#RSCEdu Claire McDonnell, Dublin Institute of Technology
Kristy Turner, University of Manchester
@clairemcdonndit
@doc_kristy
#RSCEnv Peter Vikesland, Virginia Tech
Nadine Borduas, ETH Zürich
David Megson, Manchester Metropolitan University
@petervikesland
@nadineborduas
#RSCInorg Rebecca Melen, Cardiff University
Charlie O’Hara, University of Strathclyde
@rebecca_melen
@oharalab
#RSCMat Athina Anastasaki, UC Santa Barbara
Chris Foster, Manchester Metropolitan University
@AthinaAnastasa1
@cwfoster90
#RSCNano Gemma-Louise Davies, University College London
Karen Faulds, University of Strathclyde
@GemmaLouDavies
@FauldsKaren
#RSCOrg Ryan Mewis, Manchester Metropolitan University
David Nelson, University of Strathclyde
@RyanMewis
@TheNelsonGroup
#RSCPhys Brian Wagner, University of Prince Edward Island
Lars Goerigk, University of Melbourne
@DrummerBoy2112
@lgoer_compchem
#RSCEng Mark Olson, Tianjin University
Tim Noël, Eindhoven University of Technology
@MARK_A_OLSON
@NoelGroupTUE

 

Scientific Committee

Fraser Stoddart, Northwestern University
Zoë Ayres, University of Warwick
Perdita Barran, University of Manchester
James Batteas, Texas A&M University
Gonçalo Bernardes, University of Cambridge
Margaret Brimble, University of Auckland
Holly Butler, University of Strathclyde
Simon Lewis, Curtin University
Jean-François Masson, University of Montreal
Warren Piers, University of Calgary
Michael Seery, University of Edinburgh
Nick Stone, University of Exeter
Marcel Swart, University of Girona
Renée Webster, Monash University
Doug MacFarlane, Monash University
Damien Arrigan, Curtin University
Neil Keddie, University of St Andrews
Yonatan Calahorra, University of Cambridge
Malika Jeffries-El, Boston University
@sirfrasersays
@ZJAyres
@PerditaB
@jamesbatteas
@gbernardes_chem
@BrimbleM
@HollehButler
@SimonWLewis
@Masson_chem
@wpiers1
@seerymk
@profnickstone
@Marcel_Swart
@reneewebs
@DRMacFarlane
@arri_aus
@theyakman
@YonCalahorra
@Chem_Diva

 

Register for #RSCPoster

We look forward to seeing your research in March!



Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to check the copyright and permissions needed for figures or any other parts of my poster which have already been published?
Yes. Copyright owners have the exclusive right to copy their work and to issue copies of their work to the public, and it is an infringement for anyone else to do so without the copyright owner’s permission. If you are reproducing material contained in a Royal Society of Chemistry publication (journal articles, book or book chapters) you may do so providing that you fully acknowledge the original Royal Society of Chemistry publication and include a link back to it. If you wish to include material that has been published by another publisher, you will need to check how the publisher/copyright owner of the third party material wishes to receive permission requests. Information on this can be found on our Permission Requests page at http://www.rsc.org/Publishing/copyright/permission-requests.asp under “Use of third party material in our publications”.

If I include unpublished work in my poster, will I still be able to publish this in a peer-reviewed journal afterwards?
Subject to the usual conditions outlined in the License to Publish, being a part of the Twitter conference will not prevent you using some of the information included in your poster as part of an article in a Royal Society of Chemistry journal. Please note this policy varies by publisher and if you intend to submit your research for publication elsewhere after the event, you should check the individual policy for that journal and publisher.

What size should my poster be?
You can choose any dimensions for your poster, the important thing is that the text and figures are clear for people to read and understand. Using Microsoft PowerPoint, we found a text size of between 12-16 were clear to read when saving an A4 slide as a JPEG and uploading to Twitter. Using an A0 template, the text needed to be between 50 and 60 to be legible. You can use any software you like to create your poster, as long as the image you upload is clear for others to read. We recommend testing your poster on Twitter before the conference to make sure you are happy with your image.

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‘Chemosensors and Molecular Logic’ themed collection

Celebrating Tony Czarnik’s and AP de Silva’s research

The Royal Society of Chemistry is celebrating the 60th birthday of Anthony Czarnik and the 65th birthday of AP de Silva with an online collection on ‘Chemosensors and Molecular Logic’, published across several of our journals. This themed web collection highlights the current state of the art and future directions in these two closely linked fields.

With the launch of this issue, we decided it’s time to get to know Professors Czarnik and de Silva better! Read our interviews below where we ask them about their research, hobbies and what drives them.


Tony Czarnik began his research career in 1983 at Ohio State University, where he worked for ten years. He then worked as Director of Chemistry at Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research, Sr. Director at IRORI Quantum Microchemistry, CSO at Illumina, and CSO at Senseonics. In 2003, he founded Protia, LLC – spin-offs include Deuteria Pharmaceuticals (sold in 2012), Deuteria Beverages, Deuteria Agrochemicals, and Deuteria Biomaterials. In 2012, Dr. Czarnik co-founded DeuteRx, LLC with Dr. Sheila DeWitt. Today, his sole executive position is that of Manager, Deuteria Beverages, LLC.

Dr. Czarnik’s research interests have included fluorescent chemosensors, combinatorial chemistry, RNA-targeted small molecule drugs, DNA sequencing using self-assembled microarrays, and improving chemical products using deuterium enrichment. The unifying focus of his work has been creating new ways in which chemists can be useful.

*



What do you enjoy about research and what do you dislike? My organic chemistry lab courses drew me into Chemistry. I loved the smells- even the nasty ones. I loved having squeaky clean glassware, and having just the right wrist action to put a solvent bottle’s cap on with one adept motion. I was transfixed by the notion that distillation and crystallization could be used to turn horrible black messes into colorless, pure liquids and solids. I still don’t understand why crystallization works on such wildly different classes of compounds.

What is the greatest challenge you face in your research? Waiting. For everything.

Many important discoveries are initially unexpected. Has it ever happened to you? Yes, in fact in the fluorescent chemosensors area. A student made a ZnCl2 complex of an anthracene diamine and prepared a solution of it for NMR. For no good reason, I shined a UV lamp on the NMR tube. It glowed bright blue. We then set upon a path to understand why.

What is the achievement you are most proud of in your academic career? Total synthesis of my daughter. (I put it in my lab notebook- “My best work to date.”)

What is your hobby? Is there any relationship between hobby and research life? I play piano. In 2010, I earned my Master of Music degree in Composition. At some point during my studies, it hit me that the piano keyboard was actually a periodic table… just with the rows laid end to end. It actually looks like the Periodic Table of the Elements when laid out as on an organ. That was a cool flash of insight.

How to balance the work and your life, and how is your family life? I never learned to do it well. My family has forgiven me time and time again, and so today I am still part of a family.

Who do you think is very important when you chose chemistry as your career? My seventh grade science teacher, Mrs. Anne Graham. She told me that I would become a chemist, and then went on to encourage my interest. She and her husband, a student in Paper Chemistry, gave my family a tour of what was the ‘Institute of Paper Chemistry’ in Appleton, Wisconsin where I grew up. Mrs. Graham set me on a course, and I never waivered from it. That was lucky for me. I still think of Mrs. Graham often.

Do you have any tips for doing successful scientific research? Donald Cram, 1987 Chemistry Nobelist, was also a surfer. He once told me that success in Chemistry was similar to success in surfing. ‘Look out in the distance and learn how to predict which wave will break at the right time for you to ride it.’ Having that skill greatly increases one’s chance to work on a topic deemed to be ‘important’.

If you were not a chemist, which career would you choose? With perfect hindsight, I would like to have been a documentary filmmaker in the ‘Ken Burns’ style.


Prof. de Silva was born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka where he completed his undergraduate studies at the university. He moved to Belfast to enjoy PhD and post-doctoral studies at Queen’s University. He then returned to the University of Colombo for family reasons, before continuing his teaching and research career at Queen’s University. AP de Silva has been a visiting professor at various universities, including the Universite Catholique de Louvain, Chulalongkorn University and East China University of Science & Technology. He received the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Sensor Award in 2008 and the Inaugural International Award for Molecular Sensors and Molecular Logic Gates in 2012. He has also written a book ‘Molecular Logic-based Computation’ published by the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2013.

Prof. de Silva’s research interests include supramolecular photochemistry, which led him and co-workers to connect supramolecular/coordination interactions, fluorescence and photoinduced electron transfer (PET) in the mid-1980s. With his co-workers, he generalized fluorescent PET sensor/switch behaviour into a predictive design tool for measuring target concentrations. AP de Silva consulted with Roche Diagnostics when the OPTI blood gas and electrolyte analyzer was designed and built, which is now sold by Optimedical (optimedical.com) and Idexx Laboratories (idexx.com). Extension of the ‘fluorophore-spacer-receptor’ system led him and co-workers to invent the experimental field of molecular logic-based computation. Now we understand that sensors are the simplest examples of molecular logic devices. Over 550 laboratories worldwide have contributed to this field so far, by showing that the concepts and processes of computer science can be transplanted into molecules and chemical interactions/reactions.




What excites you most about the field of Molecular Logic? Excitement never lasts too long and is associated with the emotion-driven parts of our lives. While science is very enjoyable, it usually arises from our rational faculties, develops slowly and leaves lasting impressions. I find the field of molecular information-handling enjoyable because it is a natural progression from the human version, except on a far-smaller size-scale.

What is the greatest challenge you face in your research? The unknown. But then, isn’t that what draws some of us to research?

Many important discoveries are initially unexpected. Has it ever happened to you? The meaning of ‘initial’ and ‘expectation’ changes with time and person. I didn’t understand expectation at birth. I didn’t expect molecular logic until I had ruminated on what a physicist friend, Satish Namasivayam, had taught me about elements of digital electronics. The limits of computation experts at IBM didn’t expect molecular logic to be worthwhile even after its announcement and even though our brains are molecule-based. Thankfully, over 550 laboratories have contributed to the field since then upto now. Serendipity has never been too far from anything worthwhile that I’ve done.

How to balance the work and your life? I am grateful that the work required in research does not have to be mind-numbingly hard and continuous. Since research benefits greatly from reflective periods (including periods where the brain spools away on problem-solving unknown to us), considerable time is freed up for us to get on with our general lives.

What is your hobby? Is there any relationship between hobby and research life? I have been fortunate to play in an Irish traditional music band for nearly 20 years now. When musicians who read each other play in a circle, with the music bouncing around inside, there are moments of brilliant intensity which are truly exciting.

What are your suggestions to young generations to encourage them to consider a career in science? There are many aspects of life where truths have to be taken on trust, where truths depend on those in powerful positions or where truths have little meaning. All these situations are less than satisfactory. I like science because truths tend to get established by the cumulative critical efforts of many contributors. Even the subsequent modification of those truths occurs in a similarly considered way. There may be those in younger generations who wish for similarly dependable truths. Then they are scientists-in-the-making.

How do you define ‘a successful scientist’ and how to achieve it? For me, a successful person is someone who contributes to the success of others. Several old philosophies have discussed this view at length. Then, a scientist can be successful by contributing to how other scientists think, how other non-scientists think and how other people live (in that order).

Do you have any tips for doing successful scientific research? Learning bits about as many things as possible helped me to attempt bridging of disciplines.

Read the collection and stay up-to-date with new additions here.



The 6th International Conference on Molecular Sensors and Molecular Logic Gates (MSMLG 2018) will be held at Dalian University of Technology from 3-6 June 2018. At the meeting two of the Guest Editors of this themed issue, Engin Akkaya (Bilkent University) and Tony D. James (University of Bath), will receive MSMLG Czarnik Awards. In addition Youjun Yang (ECUST), Zhaochao Xu (Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics), Alexander Schiller (Friedrich Schiller University Jena) and David Margulies (Weizmann Institute) will receive MSMLG Czarnik Emerging Investigator Awards. For more details and registration details please see the conference web site (http://msmlg2018.dlut.edu.cn/).


*Reprinted with permission from Fluorescent Chemosensors for Ion and Molecule Recognition, Czarnik, A.W., Ed.; ACS Symposium Series 538; American Chemical Society: Washington, D.C., 1993; cover image. Copyright 1993 American Chemical Society.

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Win an APC voucher for RSC Advances in our Open Access Week competition

Written by Rebecca Church, Royal Society of Chemistry

To celebrate Open Access Week (23-27 October), we want to know why you think open access publishing is important to chemistry. To enter upload your thoughts to Twitter before 12 noon (UK time) on Friday 27 October for the chance to win an article processing charge (APC) voucher for RSC Advances.

How to enter

Simply tweet why you think that open access is important to chemistry and include the #RSCcomp hashtag.

You can tell us why in any way you choose, you could record a short video, draw or paint, write a song or poem or just write a short paragraph.

To be in with the chance of winning please upload your entry between Monday 23 October 2017 and 12 noon (UK time) on Friday 27 October 2017.

If you’re submitting a written entry, please write it on a PowerPoint slide or similar and then convert it to a JPEG before uploading it to Twitter. Please make sure the writing is legible in the image.

Selecting a winner

We’ll randomly select one winner, from all the entrants, on Friday 27 October 2017. We will contact them directly before announcing the result on our Twitter feed.

Getting you started

You can find out more about open access publishing on our website.

Here’s some questions to get you thinking about how open access is helping to advance the chemical sciences.

  1. How do you benefit from having free and permanent unrestricted access to scholarly research?
  2. If the licence allows users to download, copy, reuse, and distribute data provided in the original article what does this mean for future research?
  3. Open access articles are made free to access online immediately and permanently in their final published form; what benefits does this offer?

If you have any questions about the competition please email publishing@rsc.org

Follow the competition

During Open Access Week you can follow the competition using the hashtag #RSCcomp.

More about RSC Advances

We deliberately push the boundaries with RSC Advances, always looking for new and unique ways to make the scientific developments we publish accessible to the widest possible audience.

Community-led, with an international team of associate editors, a dedicated reviewer panel and features such as article-based publishing, RSC Advances has been gold open access since 2017. This move has given researchers free access to a broader scope of high quality work and offered new, affordable open access publishing options to authors around the world.

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Royal Society of Chemistry partners with Publons to give peer reviewers more recognition

We have partnered with Publons – a third-party reviewer recognition service – for a twelve-month trial on ten of our journals, so you can effortlessly keep a verified record of every review you complete. We really value your reviewing and editorial contributions and want to ensure you get more recognition for them.

How it works
When you submit a review to a participating journal you will be asked if you want to opt in to Publons, you can then instantly start building your verified peer review and editorial record to showcase the full extent of your contributions and influence in your field. Publons tracks your reviews without compromising reviewer anonymity, by default, only the year of the review and the journal title will be shown on reviewer profiles for our journals.

Benefits
Publons gives you access to a range of tools and data to benchmark your reviewing and editorial activity, and provides you with up-to-date verified evidence of your peer review contributions, which you can include on your CV and in funding applications. You also have the option to link your Publons record to your ORCID account to show your publication and peer review activity together. Publons is free for researchers.

Participating journals

  • Analyst
  • Chemical Communications
  • Chemical Science
  • Dalton Transactions
  • Journal of Materials Chemistry A
  • Journal of Materials Chemistry B
  • Journal of Materials Chemistry C
  • Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
  • PCCP
  • RSC Advances

Read more about the partnership on our news pages

For more information about Publons, visit publons.com/benefits/researchers

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Publishing in parallel: when two societies work together

Publishing in parallel. What does it mean and how is it relevant to the theme of  Peer Review Week 2017? Well, the Royal Society (RS) journal Royal Society Open Science has been collaborating with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) to jointly peer review and publish chemistry content since 2015. This ‘publishing in parallel’ model, with two societies working to publish one journal, is unique in scientific publishing.

Here, we collaborate again, to explain how the arrangement came about, how it works, and why we think it contributes to the transparency of science.

How does the collaboration work?

In short, the peer review and final editorial decisions of all chemistry papers submitted to Royal Society Open Science are managed by a team of chemistry editors and in-house staff at the Royal Society of Chemistry. Published papers appear with both journal and Royal Society of Chemistry branding in our collection of chemistry papers.

How is the collaboration unique?

This is the first collaboration between two societies publishing in one journal. Royal Society Open Science receives direct submissions, as well as transferred manuscripts from several Royal Society of Chemistry journals (RSC Advances, Chemical Science, Chemical Communications). It’s an exciting venture helping both societies build strategic links, while ensuring they retain a larger fraction of the high-quality content submitted to their journals. Royal Society Open Science gains from the expertise and insight of the editors, while the Royal Society of Chemistry is able to raise its already considerable profile in more multidisciplinary fields of research.

How did the collaboration come about?

One of the goals of the Royal Society of Chemistry was to facilitate networks to support community needs. In discussion with the Royal Society, both parties agreed collaboration would be a great way to achieve these aims. By handling the chemistry section, the Royal Society of Chemistry was able to offer its authors the option to publish open access in compliance with their funding requirements; the option of objective peer review with no restrictions on scope, article length or impact; the possibility of open peer review and open data publication, as well as more widespread visibility in an interdisciplinary scientific journal – all  unique features the Royal Society of Chemistry was unable to offer its authors at the time.

How does the collaboration contribute to transparency in peer review?

Uniquely, the collaboration provides both societies an opportunity to see how another publisher works, and to openly discuss respective experiences regarding peer review and journals, which is not a given in the publishing landscape. This is of great benefit to both societies and can only improve services for authors and readers.

In particular, the collaboration provides authors with the chance to observe and compare the benefits (and challenges) of closed versus open peer review. While it is not mandated, Royal Society Open Science encourages open peer review for all authors and referees, including those submitting chemistry papers. Over the last year, almost three quarter of authors and well over half of reviewers have taken advantage of this option.

When both parties agree to open peer review, we publish the decision letters and reviewer correspondence alongside the final article. We hope eventually to be able to assign reports a DOI to allow them to be effectively cited, and to help researchers build their portfolio of outputs. The advantages of open peer review include improving the transparency of the published paper’s journey from submission to acceptance; it provides a mechanism for referees to self-identify and to gain recognition for their hard work (as does the journal’s integration with Publons); and helps
reviewers to compare and write better reports.

Finally, Royal Society Open Science has introduced Registered Reports, which will make research more transparent and help to fine-tune study design, as well as minimising some forms of publication bias. The Royal Society of Chemistry has been instrumental in raising awareness of these article types more widely among the chemistry community.

How has the collaboration been received by the chemistry community?

Both societies have been pleasantly surprised by the support and feedback the collaboration has received. Authors involved have been almost universally positive. The societies have benefited in a number of ways. Royal Society Open Science struggled to attract high-quality and diverse chemistry submissions before the collaboration. Now, a fifth of all manuscripts are submitted to the chemistry section. The transfer of scientifically sound research papers from the Royal Society of Chemistry to Royal Society Open Science is important in in giving all authors a platform to publish their work, especially if it helps people avoid repeating negative results, which previously have mostly ended up hidden away in lab books.

Our Chemistry Subject Editor, Professor Anthony Stace FRS, has also echoed the successes of the collaboration:

“As the subject editor with responsibility for chemistry submissions to Royal Society Open Science, I have found the experience of working with both the RS and the RSC to be very rewarding. As already noted, some Royal Society journals have in the past found it difficult to attract high-quality chemistry papers, but through this collaboration and the ability of the RSC to attract work of the highest standard, we have seen a significant reversal of that situation. Hopefully, some of this success will spill over into other Royal Society journals.”

What challenges does the collaboration face and how have you overcome them?

The chemistry community’s initial lack of familiarity with Royal Society Open Science was a challenge. However this has been addressed by ramping up joint marketing efforts; with the Royal Society of Chemistry providing details about the collaboration to chemistry researchers, and expanding the number of journals offering transfers, ensuring much greater visibility for Royal Society Open Science. As can be seen in the corresponding graph, a quarter of submissions received by the journal are now from the chemical sciences.

A future challenge will be the introduction of article processing charges by the journal. Authors will be supported during the transition to charging and APC by discounts and waivers for resource-limited authors, ad hoc waivers for invited pieces and the Royal Society of Chemistry’s own experience of the transition of RSC Advances; they will be helpful in supporting the process and ensuring it runs as smoothly as possible.

What’s next for the collaboration?

More of the same! As well as increasing the number of published papers, the editors are exploring opportunities to commission high-quality reviews and special collections, to raise the profile of researchers in emerging fields. We will also be launching an Advisory Board comprising internationally renowned experts, who will assist the editors in providing ad hoc advice. The first 18 months of the collaboration have laid great foundations for further success – watch this space!

View our collection of Chemistry articles or contact us for questions regarding Royal Society Open Science.


Andrew Dunn – Senior Publishing Editor, Royal Society

Alice Power – Editorial Coordinator, Royal Society

Michaela Muehlberg – Deputy Editor, Royal Society of Chemistry

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