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Last week, the Science Council released a list of their ‘100 leading practising scientists’. Their aim in publishing the list was to ‘highlight a collective blind spot in the approach of government, media and public to science, which either tends to reference dead people or to regard only academics and researchers as scientists.’

The Science Council is an umbrella that brings together 41 learned societies or professional bodies, including the Institute of Physics, the Society of Biology and of course, the Royal Society of Chemistry. To arrive at their list, member organisations were invited to nominate individuals who ‘who are currently engaged with UK science that other scientists might look to for leadership in their sector or career’. They then convened a representative judging panel to knock it down to a round 100.

The Chemistry World team looked through the list and realised that it contained a number of familiar names (perhaps no surprise, as the Royal Society of Chemistry is one of the organisations called upon to nominate), so we thought we would highlight some of the Science Council’s top 100, explaining how and why they appeared in the pages of Chemistry World(more…)

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My mugshot, for those who want to put a face to the name

In response to SeeArrOh’s ChemCoach carnival call, here is an insight into my small part as a cog in the inner workings of Chemistry World towers.

Your current job
I am one of two staff Science Correspondents for Chemistry World magazine. I am responsible for writing news and feature articles covering the whole range of chemistry research, industry, policy etc. I also edit two of our regular columns – Classic kit from the excellent Andrea Sella, and Totally synthetic, written by Paul Docherty (who some of you may know was once my lab- and flat-mate. It’s great when you can keep in touch with friends through your daily work.)

What you do in a standard “work day”
Like Carmen and a lot of others have mentioned, the nature of my role is very fluid. I can be writing and researching articles on anything from Rydberg atoms to Nobel prizes from one day to the next. That means I get to meet and speak to all sorts of interesting people, from the top researchers and industrialists around the world, to politicians and policymakers.

My usual day is spent hunting for news stories in journals and other sources (I read way more journals now than I ever did as a student), before our daily news meeting where we decide what we’re going to cover from what’s been found that day. Then I’ll be writing, researching or editing my latest pieces.

(more…)

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