Anna Lewcock


willetts1

Conservative MP David Willetts will take over as science minister under the UK’s new coalition government as we bid farewell to Labour’s Lord Drayson.

The appointment has been pretty roundly welcomed; Willetts, former shadow secretary for universities and skills, has stood up for science in the past and in his new role as minister of state for universities and science he should be able to keep an eye on the two deeply intertwined sectors. Having earned the nickname ‘Two Brains’, one Twitterer quipped that presumably one brain will be looking after universities and the other will focus on science… (more…)

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aaas2

74 billion is a pretty big number no matter how you look at it. And it becomes even more striking when you hear that 74 billion is the number of pounds of chemical substances (equal to around 34 billion kilos) that were produced or imported into the US every single day in 2006. And that doesn’t even include fuels, pesticides or pharmaceuticals. (more…)

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aaas1

The AAAS meeting is a fun place to be, and I thought I’d share a couple of things that have put a smile on my face since I’ve been here….

(more…)

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aaas

Well here I am in sunny San Diego, attending the 2010 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Jet-lag finally conquered, I thought I’d let you know a bit about what’s been going on here. (more…)

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Chemical glassware

Well, it’s certainly been an action-packed week or so in UK science policy! No, really….

Last Wednesday saw a head-to-head between the science chiefs of the three main political parties – Paul Drayson (Labour), Evan Harris (Liberal Democrat) and Adam Afriyie (Conservative) – as they played to a crowd of over 300 to convince them that their party was the best option for the scientifically inclined at the next election. (more…)

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jan-cover

The January issue of Chemistry World is up online!

The month we’ve got marvellous molecular machines, how researchers broke the strongest bonds in chemistry, carbonic acid gives us a few surprises and we take a look back over cutting edge chemistry in 2009.

All that plus our usual heady mix of news, features, comment and opinion, not forgetting favourites like Classic Kit, this month’s book reviews and a spot of career inspiration in the Chemistry World Jobs section.

Enjoy!

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leaf

Dismissed drugs tsar David Nutt has carried out his threat to set up an independent drugs advisory council to rival the UK government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), from which he was unceremoniously sacked in November.

Nutt was fired from his position as chair of the ACMD for openly criticising government drugs policy, and controversially saying that taking ecstasy was no more dangerous than riding a horse. (more…)

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time-is-running-out1

Leaked documents, walk-outs, gate-crashes…there’s been high drama at the Copenhagen climate summit, but has there actually been any progress towards saving the planet?

Increasingly concerned voices would suggest not, or at least not enough. World leaders will be landing in Denmark later this week for the crunch talks towards the end of the summit (that is, if they can get in. Word is that logistical screw-ups have left hundreds of delegates – including ministers – stranded in the snow outside waiting for hours before being admitted). (more…)

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global-warming

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (or just ‘Copenhagen’, as it’s affectionately come to be known) officially kicked off today.

192 nations and over 100 heads of states and government from around the world will be in attendance during the two-week summit, the events of which will be covered by 5,000 journalists. So it shouldn’t be too hard to keep abreast of what’s going on. (more…)

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palladium

In this week’s Chemistry in its element podcast, Simon Cotton tells us about palladium, the element that can absorb 900 times its volume in hydrogen gas, and was introduced to the world through an anonymous leaflet in a shop window.

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