Sustained in cyberspace — cancelled conference carries on

Among the many 2020 scientific gatherings that were cancelled because of the global COVID pandemic was the inaugural Commonwealth Chemistry Conference, which was to take place in Trinidad and Tobago in May. Three early career chemists had been chosen to represent Canada at this event and present papers outlining their work, but international travel restrictions...

Read More >>

Going global

Two Canadian doctoral students in chemistry are looking forward to sharing their experiences and ideas with counterparts from around the world as delegates to the International Younger Chemists Network (IYCN). Holly Fruehwald, of Ontario Tech in Oshawa, and Josseline Ramos Figueroa, of the University of Saskatchewan, were selected by administrators of the organization, which was...

Read More >>

Overcoming COVID and staying at work

There is little doubt that 2020 will be remembered as the year of the COVID-19 shutdown, when all manner of businesses and offices simply closed their doors while everyone stayed at home. But the reality behind that image has been more complicated. The ongoing need for essential services like food and energy meant that people...

Read More >>

Marking milestones in systems and control

According to Bhushan Gopaluni, Associate Dean of Education and Professional Development in the University of British Columbia’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, we now enjoy an embarrassment of riches when it comes to information technology. “If you look at the history of systems and control and data analytics, we are at a unique historic...

Read More >>

Out of the fire and into the hive

In April 2019 Dominique Weis was at the Vancouver airport, in a plane waiting on the tarmac about to take off to Paris, when she found out that the city’s famous Notre-Dame cathedral was on fire. For Weis, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Geochemistry of the Earth’s Mantle, her first thought was for...

Read More >>

Reconciling risk and reward

In 1984, when a Dow Chemical facility in the Indian city of Bhopal released toxic gas that killed more than 3,700 people and injuring at least 16,000 more, the catastrophe set in motion the Responsible Care® initiative, which permanently altered how major industrial manufacturers consider the hazards surrounding their work. It also marked the beginning...

Read More >>

Demonstrating Diversity

Scientific presses around the world have set aside their usual competitive priorities and agreed to simultaneously publish an essay that outlines how members of the international scientific community can nurture values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. The document, set to appear on Monday August 17, includes contributions from dozens of researchers and scientists around the...

Read More >>

The loneliness of the long-distance instructor

For fans of the television show Mary’s Kitchen Crush, a major appeal is watching the animated host make the most of found ingredients to create dazzling results, doing it all with a healthy dose of enthusiasm. That same appeal applies to Trent University Assistant Professor Deborah Durbin’s general chemistry students, who this summer have been...

Read More >>

From macromolecules to novel materials

Put most simply, Dwight Seferos runs a laboratory that looks at materials that conduct electricity and store electricity; but of course, the reality is much more complicated than that. As holder of the Canada Research Chair in Polymer Nanotechnology at the University of Toronto (U of T), he examines familiar semiconductors like silicon as well...

Read More >>

Solving SOUSCC

An office she could not visit, packed full of material for a conference that was not to be — this is one of the lingering memories Stefania Impellizzeri will have of the COVID-19 pandemic. This spring the virus brought an abrupt end to physical gatherings around the world, including an undergraduate conference that she and...

Read More >>

Falling star surrenders secrets

As meteorites go, the one that landed on Tagish Lake just over 20 years ago might be dubbed a falling superstar, since it offered a rare opportunity to conduct chemical analysis of material delivered directly from farthest reaches of our solar system. Researchers at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) have taken advantage of that opportunity...

Read More >>

Seeing the green light at the end of the tunnel

A third year lab course on organic synthesis techniques should have been just one more milestone for University of Toronto chemistry students John Russell and Leanna Smid. Instead, it spawned an entrepreneurial adventure that could alter the environmental footprint of teaching laboratories everywhere. “We both noticed that the issue of solvent waste was ever prevalent...

Read More >>