How to make sloe gin… and a little bit of chemistry

First, the recipe.

Making sloe gin really is as easy as 1, 2, 3… – it only requires three ingredients (a fourth is optional) and the particular ratio my recipe uses is 1:2:3 (sugar:sloes:gin). The recipe is easily scaled depending on the size of the container you plan to use.

For a 1.5 litre Kilner jar, I use the following:

250 g caster sugar
500 g sloes
750 mL gin

(a splash of almond extract is optional; make sure you use an alcohol-based one rather than oil-based).

I usually sterilize the Kilner jar with a sterilizing solution made up with the tablets that you can buy in any supermarket – I’m not sure this is absolutely necessary, but better safe than sorry. I leave the jar upside-down on some kitchen roll and let it air dry.

Once you’ve gotten hold of the sloes (more on that later), I get rid of any leaves/stalks, wash them in water, dry them, and then put them in the freezer in a plastic bag. Leave them in there for a day or two and this should split the skins. If when you take them out of the freezer the sloes haven’t split, just prick each one with a sharp knife (it’s less messy if you do it while they are still frozen… and it doesn’t take as long as you think it will). Some sloe-gin folklore tells you that you need to prick the sloes with a thorn from the blackthorn bush you picked the fruit from; alternatively you should use a silver needle. This is stupid, you don’t need to do it – a knife is fine.

Simply weigh 500 g of the frozen sloes into the Kilner jar, add the sugar, then the gin, and finally the splash of almond essence if you plan on including it. Close the jar lid and then give the whole thing a good shake. Store the jar in a dark cupboard and give it a shake each day until the sugar completely dissolves – this shouldn’t take more than a few days. After that, invert the jar once a week (or just whenever you happen to remember). Then wait. The longer the better.

Just add time.

Just add time.

If you don’t have weighing scales or a measuring jug then the following is a good approximation: pick the container you want to make your sloe gin in and fill it half full with sloes. Add sugar until it fills the gaps between the fruit and reaches the same level in the container as the sloes, and then fill the container to the top with gin (add your almond extract if you want). You don’t need to use Kilner jars; just something that forms a pretty good seal – old gin bottles or even plastic drinking water bottles will do. Some people say you shouldn’t use plastic, but I couldn’t tell the difference between a batch made in a plastic bottle and one made in a glass Kilner jar.

16 months (11 over fruit, 5 after filtering) from hedgerow to glass.

16 months (11 over fruit, 5 after filtering) from hedgerow to glass.

Whichever method you use, you’ll notice the gin take on a light pink colour quite quickly and it will get darker over time until it reaches a deep ruby red colour. Of the first batch I ever made, I filtered one jar after 3 months, another after 6 months and the final one after 11 months (I couldn’t hang on for the full year). As with the whole glass/plastic debate, you will see varying opinions on just how long you should leave the sloes steeping in the gin. All I can tell you is that the stuff filtered after 3 months was good, the 6-month vintage was great and the 11-month batch was amazing (that stuff in the glasses over there is some of the 11-month batch). I’d probably draw the line at 12 months; it may well be a case of diminishing returns at that point in terms of what additional flavour can be extracted from the sloes.

In terms of filtering, no fancy lab equipment is required, we use a kitchen funnel and coffee filters – and we simply filter into the gin bottles that we emptied at the start of the whole process. At this point, you’re desperate for a taste, and you should have one, but just a small one. If you can, put the lid back on the bottle, put it into a dark cupboard and try to forget about it for as long as possible. It will certainly be drinkable right away, but the taste improves with age and it just gets better and better.

So, that’s the process. Simple really. If you search for sloe gin recipes on the web you will find many different variations (amazing for something with so few ingredients), but this one works for us. These proportions give a fairly sweet liqueur (although I wouldn’t say syrupy), and if you don’t want it to be quite so sweet just add less sugar at the start (you can always add more if you taste it during the steeping process and decide it’s not sweet enough; what you can’t do is remove any sugar, so best to err on the side of adding less rather than more at the outset). Similarly, if you want a stronger sloe flavour, increase the proportion of sloes. You can also get a hint of the almond flavour straight from the stones in the sloes without needing to add the almond extract, but adding the extract enhances the flavour. Just experiment – do batches with and without almond extract (we do), and vary the 1:2:3 ratio to see what you like best. Play with the timings too; it’s hard to really do anything wrong.

Oh, and when it comes to the gin, we usually use Gordon’s (just keep an eye on when it’s on offer throughout the year and buy it when it is at its cheapest; a litre for £18 is not bad). Having said that, the batch I did with supermarket-brand gin tasted just as good and even though we didn’t do a blind taste test, I don’t think we would have been able to tell the difference. Just don’t waste money on anything too fancy – any delicate flavours in the original gin will be well and truly overpowered by the sloes – but on the other hand, don’t use dirt-cheap stuff either.

Whereas the sugar and gin are easily acquired at your local supermarket, you’ll need to get your walking boots on to get the sloes, but they are really not that difficult to find. Sloes are the fruit of the blackthorn bush, which is commonly used for hedges in the countryside; be careful when you go picking, however, because the thorns can be vicious (that’s why blackthorn makes for good hedges). Sloes are roughly 1 cm in diameter (or just a little larger) and are blue-ish/purple-ish/black-ish in colour. If you come across something similar, but are a little larger and are growing on a bush that has no thorns, you’ve probably found some bullace – see the photo below. Sloes, bullace and damsons are all types of small wild plum and it may well be that bullace developed over time from the sloe and, in turn, the damson developed from the bullace (or so Wikipedia tells me). And just to make things more complicated, there may well be hybrids of these growing out there in the wild too.

Sloes on the left, bullace on the right (I think).

Sloes on the left, bullace on the right (I think).

So, when do you pick the sloes? As with every other step of the process, there are myths and legends associated with this aspect too. The most common one is that you should wait until the first frost. If we had waited for the first frost, we wouldn’t have picked any this time around until December/January and there wouldn’t have been many left. I suspect in years gone by the first frost just happened to coincide with when the sloes were ripe, but we start picking any time from early September onwards. The answer to the question of when to pick the sloes is simply when they are ripe.

Warning – for those not interested in the chemistry, skip to the last paragraph, but for those who are, keep on reading. Sloes are really very bitter; you wouldn’t want to eat them or make any kind of dessert from them. The reason for this astringency is the presence of a variety of polyphenol compounds, some of which are shown below.

The compounds that make sloe gin taste like sloe gin.

The compounds that make sloe gin taste like sloe gin.

I found these in a 2014 paper entitled ‘Phenolic composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of the extracts from Prunus spinosa L. fruit’ (PDF here) where an ethanol/water extract of sloes was analysed by HPLC. The phenolic compounds identified in the extracts were neochlorogenic acid (1), quercetin (2), caffeic acid (3), myricetin (4), peonidin-3-O-glucoside (5), antirrhinin (6) and chrysanthemin (7). It is also presumably the reactions of these compounds (oxidation, oligomerization, esterification and maybe others) that leads to the change in taste of the sloe gin as it ages.

If you don’t want to try making your own sloe gin, there are commercial versions available. Be warned, however. Of the three I’ve tried, Gordon’s sloe gin is probably good for stripping paint but little else; Sipsmith sloe gin isn’t bad, but by far the best (at least to my taste) is that made by SLOEmotion. Their sloe whisky is also quite special too (I’m making some of my own this year). When I get a chance, I’ll post recipes for damson gin and cherry plum gin too… the damson gin probably won’t last long this year!

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A quantitative analysis of how often Nature gives a fuck

After seeing this tweet the other evening:

I started to wonder just how sweary Nature has been over the years. For the purposes of this exercise, I’m just counting words that have been printed in the hardcopy of the journal (online-only mentions don’t count, sorry).

It turns out that the instance of ‘bollocks’ referred to in the tweet above is actually its sixth mention in Nature over the years. The first time ‘bollocks’ dropped into the journal was on April 16, 1998 in a piece by Martin Kemp about some photographs that had appeared in Nature’s pages the previous autumn. Kemp’s article was quoting what a postgraduate student was heard to have said (“What’s this bollocks doing in Nature?”) in the biology department’s tea room at Leicester University in response to Cornelia Parker’s pictures of navel fluff from (i) a sailor (while at sea), (ii) a farmer and (iii) an architect.

Kemp’s article soon prompted some critical correspondence from Ian Smith, who opened his letter with, “How lovely to see the word “bollocks” appearing, perhaps for the first time, in Nature,” before going on to suggest that Parker would not be any less eligible to evaluate the Leicester University student’s work than that student would be to evaluate hers – and so perhaps she should be invited to be an external examiner for his PhD thesis.

And so, this initimately related pair of ‘bollocks’ appeared in Nature within the space of two weeks.

The third, fourth and fifth appearances of the word ‘bollocks’ came in a single letter published in 2001, penned by *that* Leicester University student responding to the bollocking dished out by Smith in the pages of Nature almost 3 years beforehand. Although Magnus Johnson lamented the fact that his contribution to Kemp’s article would likely be the closest he would get to publishing in Nature, he described being responsible for the first time ‘bollocks’ appeared in the journal as possibly the pinnacle of his scientific career.

Anyway, never mind the bollocks, what about other swear words?

First of all, if we’re going to survey swear words used in Nature, we need some sort of classification of sweary-ness. This led me to a wonderful set of guidelines from the BBC categorizing different swear words according to whether they are likely to cause most offense, moderate offense or simply mild offense. Just imagine the posh radio 4 lady reading those guidelines out loud.

I think a more widely known (and in-depth) analysis of swear words is George Carlin’s seven dirty words – if you’ve never heard/watched the sketch, you can find it here (NSFW, not without headphones anyway). Of those 7 dirty words, only 4 have appeared in Nature, and the one that has appeared the most (more than 650 times) is in an ornithological context rather than any swear-y sense. So that leaves fuck, piss and shit (and variations thereof). I’ve found 48 shits (including 13 bullshits, 1 shit-stirrer and 1 nano-shit), 26 piss-derived expressions, and a grand total of 10 fucks. And this is how those fucks breakdown over time.

fuck2

The 1937 ‘fuck’ appears in a section entitled ‘Societies and Academies’ and seems to list the titles of presentations made to them. Under the heading ‘Rome’, there is an entry that reads:

G. BORZINI: Observations on the parasitism of Sclerotinia libertiana sclerotiorum Fuck associated with other fungi.

From a little digging on Google, it seems that the thing in italics is a plant fungus and it was named for Karl Wilhelm Gottlieb Leopold Fuckel – the Wikipedia entry helpfully points out that in non-English-speaking countries, Fuckel was sometimes abbreviated as ‘Fuck.’ – although the fullstop is missing in this case in Nature.

The 1985 ‘fuck’ is similarly innocent. One of the authors of reference 11 cited in the paper Andean-trending mobile belts in the Brazilian Shield is one ‘R. A. Fuck’.

It’s only in 1989 that ‘fuck’ is first used in anger. While reviewing Stephen Jay Gould’s Wonderful Life, Richard Fortey repeats a quote (“Oh fuck, another new phylum”) featured in the book. The remaining 7 instances of ‘fucked’, ‘fuck’ and ‘fucking’ are also found in quotes rather than being the authors’ own words, and appear in news stories, news features or the Books & Arts section. So, that’s 8 deliberate fucks in roughly 145 years; one every 18 years or so, although it’s clearly not an even distribution. If the rate of usage continues to pick up as it has done over the past few years, expect to see more clusters of fucks in the near future.

Do note, however, that this level of sweary-ness is not a patch on just a single article published in the journal Chemical Communications. It might not sound terribly risqué, but the paper Electrochemical synthesis of metal and semimetal nanotube–nanowire heterojunctions and their electronic transport properties mentions perhaps the most offensive of Carlin’s 7 dirty words more than 50 times – there’s even a bunch of them shown in the graphical abstract that accompanies the article. Perhaps a different abbreviation for copper nanotubes would have been a better choice?

Posted in Fun, Journal stuff, Publishing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

What if (I read more books this year)?

bookshelf2015

I read many books in 2014. Some of them I read so many times that I could probably recite them word-for-word. These books typically involved a gruffalo or the offspring of a gruffalo, however. And if there was no gruffalo to be seen, you could bet there would be some other sort of talking animal taking centre stage. I realise now that I only read one book for myself in 2014, albeit a very good one. Even though I probably should have read To Kill a Mockingbird many years earlier, I finally got round to it. Thanks to Mike Watkinson for persuading me at the end of 2013 that it really should be the next book I picked up. And who knows, there might even be a sequel; or maybe not.

I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions, but I figured a pretty easy one for 2015 would be to read more non-gruffalo-type books than I did last year (don’t worry, I will still read plenty of gruffalo-y ones to my daughter). And hence that picture at the top of this post – that’s the line-up for this year. After tweeting that pic, Freda suggested (instructed? demanded?) that I provide blog reviews…

I did reply to say that they would be brief ones if I did them… and because I’ve just finished the first book, here is a (brief) review of what if?:

It was bloody brilliant.

What’s that? Too brief? OK then… if you don’t know what ‘what if?’ is, then stop reading this blog post now, and go over here.

OK, now that you’re back, I’ll continue. Written by Randall Munroe, the creator of the equally-bloody-brilliant xkcd webcomic, what if? aims to provide, in Munroe’s words, ‘serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions’ – questions that are submitted to him through his website. These include questions such as whether you would need to dive to the bottom of a spent-nuclear-fuel pool to experience a fatal dose of radiation (answer: yes; you’d actually be fine at the surface) and what would happen if you built a periodic table from cube-shaped bricks, where each brick is actually made from the element it represents in the table (answer: it would get a bit apocalyptic)?

My one quibble is that there are a few simple chemical mistakes (ammonia isn’t an element, the spelling of technetium isn’t as constant as it should be, and its symbol is obviously not ‘Te’), but they are easily forgiven when you read passages like this:

There’s no material safety data sheet for astatine. If there were, it would just be the word “NO” scrawled over and over in charred blood.

There are a few other chemistry-related questions tackled by Munroe, including one of my absolute favourite ‘what if?’ questions: What would happen if you were to gather a mole (unit of measurement) of moles (the small furry critter) in one place? Well, if we did that here on Earth, the planet’s surface would apparently end up covered with a layer of moles 80 km deep. If we collected a mole of moles in space instead, this would result in a mole planet just a little bit larger than our moon. That’s a lot of moles (the furry ones, not the chemistry ones).

Other questions I really enjoyed in the book: If everyone on the planet stayed away from each other for a couple of weeks, wouldn’t the common cold be wiped out? (answer: no); What would happen if someone’s DNA suddenly vanished? (answer: it doesn’t end well… what did you expect?!); What is the farthest one human being has ever been from every other living person (answer: it’s hard to know for sure); When (if ever) did the Sun finally set on the British Empire? (answer: well, maybe you should read the book to find that one out).

Many of the questions are truly absurd, but the answers are truly fascinating and are laid out step-by-step in glorious (and easy-to-follow) detail. But it’s more than just that, the book is delightfully funny – not least the illustrations and the footnotes. In answering a question about how many Lego bricks it would take to build a bridge capable of carrying traffic from London to New York, Munroe uses six footnotes to discuss different styling of the word ‘Lego’ – and it’s brilliant. Just like the book itself.

Go read ‘what if?’ the book. And if you don’t do that, at least go and surf through the entries at the website – there are questions and answers there that are not included in the book (and vice versa), including another chemistry-themed favourite of mine: Extreme Boating.

Next up on my reading list: The Upside of Irrationality – deposited in my in-tray one day by Claire Hansell, who told me that it was a good book and that I should read it. OK then.

Posted in Book reviews, Life in general | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Not that Noble

From Justus Liebigs Annalen der Chemie in 1856…

nobel1
Either this chap was publishing under a not-terribly-creative pseudonym, or someone at the editorial office got a bit confused…

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I did a Nobel thing…

It’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future – so said Niels Bohr (or maybe Yogi Berra, or Mark Twain or… boy, it’s hard to track down who *really* said something…).

Anyway, @carmendrahl and @laurenkwolf from @cenmag were kind enough to invite me to join a Hangout with @NeilWithers from @ChemistryWorld, David Pendlebury from @ThomsonReuters and @lilaguterman from @ScienceNews. It was hugely enjoyable and here’s the end result:

In the lead-up to the Hangout I figured I should put some thought into who I was going to name as my 2014 pick for the prize – I ended up with two pages of notes… (the scribbled-out stuff at the bottom of page 2 are notes that I made in the few minutes prior to the Hangout going live).

IMG_6403  IMG_6404

As I was trying to whittle down my shortlist to one particular pick, I put asterisks next to the ones that I liked the look of more than the others (I didn’t bother putting one next to Goodenough because I knew that this would be Neil’s choice). And when put on the spot by Carmen, I plumped for Grätzel…

The Hangout prompted a number of questions and comments on Twitter (you can find them by searching for #chemnobel), but here’s my favourite response to the 2-page shortlist that I’d put together.

 
And as Nobel-week begins, Rudy Baum (@cenbaum) has penned an editorial that rounds-up everyone’s picks from the Hangout. Come Wednesday, we’ll know if any of us got lucky and picked the winner!

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100 chemists on Twitter

This is not a list of the top 100 chemists on Twitter. For a start, I’m not really comfortable defining ‘top’. Most followers? Most tweets? Shiniest avatar? Funniest bio? Most well-known in the real world? (Define ‘well-known’ and ‘real world’, go on, I dare you). Secondly, not everyone on this list is necessarily a card-carrying chemist, but they are all people who, more often than not, have something to say on Twitter about chemistry in all its many guises.

This is essentially a starter pack for those interested in hearing about some chemistry on Twitter (and was, perhaps obviously, inspired by the list that Science put out last week that didn’t have any chemists on it, amongst other problems…). I started writing down names and kept going until I got to 100. As with any list, its content is biased by the person who created it (me, so in this case you’ll find lots of journalists, editors and others that I regularly interact with on Twitter) and is woefully incomplete. I have no doubt that there are significant omissions; but 100 is a nice round number and so I stopped there (I also have a day job). Feel free to leave comments, including the names of your favourite chemtweeps that I have inevitably missed, and to criticize, analyze and deconstruct this list to your heart’s content. Also let me know if any links are wrong/broken.

There were some parameters though. I haven’t chosen any organizations, publications or research groups – I’ve tried to limit it to individuals. However, if you want to get lots of chemistry on Twitter, I do highly recommend @cenmag, @ChemistryWorld, @RealTimeChem, @periodicvideos and @NatureChemistry (FYI, I’m the editor of that last one, so might be a teeny bit biased). I also haven’t included any of the chemists who currently work on the journal, so apologies to @stephengdavey, @HansellThe, @RussJKJohnson, @NChemGav and @anneintokyo.

The list below is in alphabetical order of Twitter @names (well played @_byronmiller) and can be found as a list on Twitter here.

_byronmillerAndrew (@_byronmiller) NEW Twitter handle: (@andrewbissette)
Follow for chemistry and bad puns. Retweets do not imply endorsement.
 

alexfgoldbergAlex Goldberg (@AlexFGoldberg)
Synthetic Chemist; Green Chem. @Queensu grad, @Caltech phd, @WeizmannScience postdoc. Who’s hiring?

annamappAnna Mapp (@AnnaMapp)
Chemical biologist
 

ashworthSHStephen H. Ashworth (@AshworthSH)
Works at a university. Teaches some chemistry.
 

awtaylor83Alasdair Taylor (@AWTaylor83)
Green chemist caring about the planet. Writes on chemistry, sustainability, policy & Higher Ed on my own blog, @medium & elsewhere

azaprinsFreda (@AzaPrins)
Every reaction needs a bit of TLC.
 

azmanamazmanam (@azmanam)
Earned my PhD from the UNC-Chapel Hill in synthetic organic chemistry. I am currently teaching organic chemistry at a midwestern Liberal Arts university.

barneygrubbsBarney Grubbs (@barneygrubbs)
Polymer Chemist at Stony Brook & Brookhaven National Lab.
 

bellatronicDr Bella (@bellatronic)
Organic chemist, expat, cat friend and reformed chocoholic. Patent attorney in training. President of Women in Chemistry. Views mine very own.

beth_halfordBethany Halford (@beth_halford)
Science writer. Expert pie maker.
 

bibianacamposBibiana (@BibianaCampos)
Magazines Publisher and Editor of @ChemistryWorld at the Royal Society of Chemistry

bstockwellBrent Stockwell (@bstockwell)
Professor of biology/chemistry at Columbia University, and author of The Quest for the Cure: The Science and Stories Behind the Next Generation of Medicines

carmendrahlCarmen Drahl (@carmendrahl)
Science reporter @cenmag. Chemistry PhD. Co-host of #speakingofchem chemistry show. Follow me for the latest in chemistry. Views my own.

carolynbertozziCarolyn Bertozzi (@CarolynBertozzi)
(No Twitter bio, but here’s a link Bertozzi’s faculty page)
 

caverkatKat Badiola (@CaverKat)
Another chemistry doer in @mattoddchem’s lab @Sydney_Uni
 

chembarkChemBark (@ChemBark)
News, Analysis, and Commentary for the World of Chemistry and Chemical Research. The site is maintained by Paul Bracher.

chemconnectorChemConnector (@ChemConnector)
I’m the ChemConnector – connecting chemists and curating data across the internet. http://about.me/chemconnector

chemicalbiologyACS Chemical Biology (@ChemicalBiology)
ACS Chemical Biology Editor and UW-Madison Prof Chem Biochem
 

chemistinjapanJason Hoshikawa (@chemistinjapan)
Organometallic/Polymer Chemist – 1st year PhD student at Kyoto University. Tweets are my own. 有機金属・ポリマー化学、京都大学でのD1です。 ACS, CSJ, AXΣ (BH)

chemjobberChemjobber (@Chemjobber)
1. A blog to help chemists find jobs in a tough market. 2. Towards a quantitative understanding of the quality of the chemistry job market

chemprofcramerActivatedlyCömplex (@ChemProfCramer)
UMN Prof of Chemistry & Assoc Dean. Army vet. MOOC vet. Dad of 3. Downtown Minneapolitan. Singer/Whistler. Armed with a keyboard and eerily immune to shame.

chemtipsBrandon Findlay (@Chemtips)
I blog chemistry tips and career advice. Because chemistry is hard enough.
 

christhechangChris Chang (@christhechang)
(No Twitter bio, but here’s a link Chang’s faculty page)
 

chronicleflaskKat Day (@chronicleflask)
Chemist(ry teacher), writer and blogger (advancing), potter (dabbler), balloon modeller (this week) bookworm (total) and mum (just out of apprentice stage).

claireeeyersClaire Eyers (@ClaireEEyers)
Wondering about the world.
 

commonchemistJennifer Novotney (@CommonChemist)
Chemistry communicator interfacing science and society
 

curiouswavefnCurious Wavefunction (@curiouswavefn)
Ashutosh (Ash) Jogalekar: Chemist and drug discovery scientist interested in the history and philosophy of science. RTs not endorsements.

davidkrollDavid J Kroll (@davidkroll)
Pharmacologist, science & medicine freelance writer, speaker, educator. Drugs from nature, drug safety, interactions. Science & journalism diversity advocate.

deborahblumDeborah Blum (@deborahblum)
Book author (The Poisoner’s Handbook). Blogger (Wired Science). Journalist. Professor (The University of Wisconsin). Chemistry Geek (Total).

declanflemingDeclan Fleming (@declanfleming)
RSC School Teacher Fellow (Bath Uni), Chemistry Teacher, Science Communicator, Photographer, Paraglider

derekloweDerek Lowe (@Dereklowe)
Drug discovery chemist and blogger
 

devillesySylvain Deville (@DevilleSy)
Bioinspired #CNRS researcher. Serial-freezer. Coffee drinker.
 

dichtelWill Dichtel (@Dichtel)
Associate Professor of Chemistry at Cornell University.
 

docfreerideJanet D. Stemwedel (@docfreeride)
Philosopher, lapsed chemist. I also blog @ http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/doing-good-science/

dr_ghillGrant Hill (@Dr_GHill)
Chemistry Lecturer at the University of Sheffield. My research is in the field of theoretical/computational chemistry.

drrubidiumRaychelle Burks (@DrRubidium)
Analytical chemist. Left Coaster in the No Coast Zone. Sarcastic & silly, abides social morays. Near meaningless disclaimer: tweets = personal ≠ professional.

drstellingDr. Allison Stelling (@DrStelling)
BA Chemistry (Reed College, OR) PhD Physical/Analytical Chemistry (Stony Brook University, NY) Research in brain tumor diagnostics (Germany)

emilyreactsEmily James (@emilyreacts)
‘Fun, lovable chemistry nerd.’ Formerly @chemistryworld, @RSC_Diversity. Tweets her PhD one day at a time via #TweetmyPhD. Plays roller derby. Eats vegan food.

emmastoyeEmma Stoye (@emmastoye)
Science correspondent at @ChemistryWorld. Journal-ising chem research & science policy. Views mine etc…

fluorogrolfluorogrol (@fluorogrol)
Organic chemist and editor. Enjoys pedantry, punctuation, and complex polycycles. European Chemical Sciences Correspondent for @CEN_Onion. Blogs intermittently.

free_radical1Free Radical (@Free_radical1)
Godless Commie Fur-ner Scientist
 

funsizesuzeDr Suze Kundu (@FunSizeSuze)
Nanochemist, literally and professionally. Teaching Fellow @IC_Materials. Science presenter. Love dancing / gigs / Muse / shoes. #BBCExpertWomen Tweets mine.

fxcoudertFX Coudert (@fxcoudert)
Physical chemist, experimentalist in silico & all-around hacker @ CNRS / Chimie ParisTech

innocentwalZoë Waller (@InnocentWal)
Lecturing. Chemistry. Pharmacy. DNA. Research. Cycling. Commuting. Molecule of the day. Legs. Shoes. Dresses. Cats. Dermatographia… Preferably all at once.

jakeyestonJake Yeston (@IJakeYeston)
Deputy editor at @sciencemagazine, shepherding chemistry papers (views here all my own)

jaspevacekJohn Spevacek (@jaspevacek)
Polymer Chemistry, Physics and Rheology.
 

jburiakJillian Buriak (@JBuriak)
Professor of Chemistry, University of Alberta and the National Institute for Nanotechnology, Editor-in-Chief of Chemistry of Materials (ACS), running addict

jendtweetingJen Dougan (@JenDtweeting)
Human being, PhD, Chemist. Formerly of @unistrathclyde, @nanometchem, @RSC_Roadmap & @imperialcollege. Not a fan of mornings.

jessthechemistJess (@JessTheChemist)
Ex-chemistry post doc. Doting auntie. Board gamer. Identical twin. Squash player. All opinions my own etc.

jesswynn93Jessica Wynn (@jesswynn93)
Fourth year chemistry student at York Uni. Aspiring science communicator. Radio person. Geek. Feminist. Bisexual. Activist. Lefty.

jkemsleyJyllian Kemsley (@jkemsley)
Science reporter @cenmag. Views my own.
 

kara_l_brenKara Bren (@Kara_L_Bren)
Chemistry Professor @ U of Rochester. Loves transition metals, dogs, and travel

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKarl D Collins (@karlDcollins)
Chemist/teacher/blogger-opinions my own
 

kateybirtcherKatey Birtcher (@KateyBirtcher)
Sr Books Editor for #Chemistry at Elsevier & Academic Press. Wannabe foodie, successful wine enthusiast, intermittent runner. Opinions mine.

kayakphilipPhilip Skinner (@KayakPhilip)
Recovering chemist, now promoting scientific software (@ChemDraw, #Spotfire, E-Notebook…) @PKI_Informatics. All opinions my own. WW kayak and MTB for kicks.

kjhaxtonKatherine Haxton (@kjhaxton)
Chemist Herder, Keele Slime Lady, and Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane Wrangler. All views are my own and RTs are not endorsements.

l_howesLaura Howes (@L_Howes)
Editor of Science in School. Previously science correspondent for @ChemistryWorld. Musician and OU student in spare time.

l_wang_cenLinda Wang_C&EN (@l_wang_cen)
Multimedia journalist at C&EN who likes to help Chemists and Chem E’s find jobs & grow in their careers. Oh, I also like taking pictures; those are my views.

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Science writer for @cenmag. Cohost of #speakingofchem web series. Lover of science quirk. Ocean pee-er. Follow me for #chemistry #neurosci news. Views my own.

leecroninProf. Lee Cronin (@leecronin)
Professor of Chemistry / Nanoscience / Chemical Complexity. Applied work in energy and life science… …aiming for IMPACT beyond the normal reach.

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Writer of sciency things. Chem PhD. Mommy. Science editor of The Sweethome. Wisher. Hoper. Magic bean buyer.

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#biotech & #pharma reporter for @cenmag. bit ‘o #science, bit ‘o business. interests: drug discovery, evolving R&D models, pharma-academe collabos, #raredisease

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ICREA Research Professor (English version, see @marcelswart for my version en català)

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I teach and research organic chemistry at the University of Sydney. Open science, catalysis, chirality, tropical diseases. See also @O_S_M

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Chemistry teacher; SLT member; 11 18 secondary deputy; believer. Views here maybe my own, borrowed or belong to no one.

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Science writer. Communications specialist @Princetonchem. 2014 @Open_Notebook Fellow sponsored by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Chemistry PhD.

NeilWithersNeil Withers (@NeilWithers)
Features Editor for @ChemistryWorld, so expect chemistry during working hours (views my own tho). Formerly assoc ed on @NatureChemistry.

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I am a scientist, and I study chemistry. It might involve metals. Tweets might involve chemistry, quite possibly not, though.

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Dad, United supporter, chemist
 

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Edward Sanford Professor of Chemistry Princeton University
 

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Organic chemist; Modeller; Husband; Dad; Apple addict; Singer; Haven’t been in the lab myself since the 80’s… At @AstraZeneca, but opinions my own

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Chemistry prof @warwickuni: chirality, catalysis, bioinorganic. @SyntheticPages, cycling, guitar, golf

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Academic in York, YouTube chemist, fabulous gay husband of @t_witteringsam & dad-in-waiting. Science, education, politics & general nonsense. Views personal!

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Online Editor (aka, overseer of all things digital) for Chemical & Engineering News magazine (@cenmag), but views are my own. For example, Go Gators!

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Chemistry Professor at Penn State, Associate Editor of ACS Nano. All views expressed are my own.

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Professor of Chemical Education, National Teaching Fellow, MOOC facilitator and cyclist. My tweets are my personal views not those of my institution.

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Chemistry Prof @ American U teaches Chemistry of Cooking & Inorganic. Blogs about chemistry in society & kitchen chemistry. Research site: http://t.co/dO7PoxJu

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Synthetic chemist, electrochemist, teacher and researcher at Liverpool Uni. All tweets made are personal opinion and have nothing to do with my employer.

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Professor of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison
 

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Physical Chemist. Podcaster for @Brachiolope. I brag about my kids, deal with it. Tweets are my own (I’m supposed to say that, right?)

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Professor and Chair of Department of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota; Editor-in-Chief of Inorganic Chemistry; Dad; bicyclist; fan of Mpls

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Easily distracted by shiny objects. Eater of food. Chemist. Cat lap on demand.
 

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Posted in Fun, Housekeeping | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Animal authors

Earlier today, I noticed that Sylvain Deville had taken to Twitter to point out an unusual canine co-author on a scientific paper:

 
This, of course, reminded me of the paper published by Andre Geim (in his pre-Nobel days) and H. A. M. S. ter Tisha. Spot anything odd about that last author? Well, it’s a hamster. Called Tisha.

Steph Kerr then followed up on Twitter with this:

 
So, that’s a dog, a hamster and a cat. Anybody know of any other non-human co-authors on scientific papers?!

UPDATE: Here’s Sylvain’s post on the same topic.

Posted in Fun, Journal stuff, Publishing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments