Blogging: An Outlet for the New Generation of Chemists.

Maybe I am selling the whole world short, but this blog thing is just exploding in the chemistry community. I’m a pretty avid blog reader, especially the chemistry ones, but that has been a recent development. I have to credit Dylan over at Tenderbutton for that. Dylan has approached his blog in a way that fellow grad students can really appreciate: the day-to-day difficulties in the lab, fascinating little observations, and a healthy shot of irreverant criticism of the chemical literature. This though process is nothing new, grad students have these conversations amongst themselves all the time, but Dylan seems to have made it okay for everyone to write these things on the internet. This is really great because you get to see what other people are thinking about the issues that are out there and see a little slice of how other people perceive chemistry. I like to read a bunch of the chemistry blogs just to get a feel for how new ideas are being accepted.

The blog atmosphere is very different from some of the other chemistry focused sites out there. Most of them are informational (e.g. organic-chemistry.org) and some are for teaching (e.g. Chemical Forums), which is all fine and good, but those sites don’t leave a lot of room for discussion with real experts (or aspiring experts) in the field. The key is that these blogs allow chemists to see how to think about problems (and solutions) in chemistry in a very critical way. It’s easy to pick up the latest issue of a journal and talk about how great some newly discovered reaction is, but it is perhaps more important to be able to identify the short comings of that chemistry because in doing so you will identify the next set of problems. Perhaps we chemists should look at these blogs as a way to better our own ability to look at the way we do science so that we can do it better!

Vivo el blogosphere de la quĂ­mica!

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