Chemistry clicks for the latest Lionel scholar

This year’s winner of the Lionel High School Scholarship proudly flaunts her passion for chemistry and all that it implies. “I have been a science nerd since the dawn of time,” says Emma Pflanz, who recalls making it to the all-school finals of a science fair competition with her Grade 4 entry about how the...

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Chemical Sciences Pride?

Although Pride month around the world varies depending on location, in honor of the Stonewall Riots June has become a de facto touchpoint to celebrate the 2SLGBTQ+ (Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, + many more) community and to raise awareness of issues that face the community. This year, Pride month has taken place during...

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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...

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Meet CSC’s new President

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Steven Holdcroft, the new President of the Canadian Society for Chemistry and chair of the Board, recently took a few questions from CIC News. What has motivated your participation with CSC, which has now culminated in this post on the Board? I have always welcomed the chance to work with an organization that offers a...

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Meeting a viral challenge

Laboratories around the world are racing to understand COVID-19, the potentially lethal virus that has upended everything from our personal lifestyles to the underpinnings of the global economy. Such work is also taking place in David Evans’ lab at the University of Alberta, where he contrasts the public perception of it with research he conducted...

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A global appeal to young chemists

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International Younger Chemists Network (IYCN) is seeking Canadian candidates to serve as national delegates to this international body, which strives to provide mentorship and community to participants at the earlier stages of their careers. “It’s a way for young chemists around the world to unite and to have their say in how chemistry moves forward,...

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Sharing resources through Commonwealth Chemistry

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The newly created Federation of Commonwealth Chemical Sciences Society — known simply as Commonwealth Chemistry — has quickly built on its commitment to share infrastructure and information for its membership. Among the most recent examples: members of the Canadian Society for Chemistry can gain unlimited free access to the Royal Society of Chemistry’s flagship publication,...

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Marking virtual trails back into the lab

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On June 25th, 2020, Rashmi Venkateswaran, who manages the University of Ottawa’s teaching laboratories, will be delivering a CIC Talks on how laboratory chemistry will be taught in virtual settings. When universities begin their fall session, most students will be attending virtually, and for the most part, their experiences will replicate much of what they...

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A first time for everything, even virtually

Editor’s note: Originally from Brazil, Memorial University of Newfoundland doctoral student Juliana Ladeira Vidal went home to visit family earlier this year and has been unable to return to Canada because of the COVID pandemic. As she recounts here, however, a global health emergency does not stand in the way of her engagement with the...

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Engaging in elemental exploration

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As the official administrators of the Periodic Table, the good people at IUPAC are pleased to share their intimate knowledge of its most arcane history and structural details, such as why plutonium’s symbol is Pu rather than Pl, or where you might be able to find some of the synthetic radioactive element americium at home....

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Stepping out of science and into something less comfortable

Patience is an undeniable virtue in science, and not just in matters confined to the laboratory. Alison Thompson, MCIC and winner of the 2020 Clara Benson Award, recently offered an intimate account of the instrumental role patience has played throughout her career. Thompson, who is a member of Dalhousie University’s Department of Chemistry, was the...

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Innovating along a linear path

It has been a decade since the world grappled with the challenge posed by Canada’s aging nuclear reactor, the NRU, which at one point was producing almost half of the global supply of Molybdenum 99, an isotope used in millions of medical scans every year. The reactor was finally retired in 2018, but a concerted...

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Celebrating the rainbow

The indefatigable scientist Richard Feynman once defended the subjectivity of beauty by pointing out that if our eyes were receptive to a different part of the electromagnetic spectrum, the only description of a rainbow would be found in dry research papers, devoid of all the romance we associate with this phenomenon. On the other hand,...

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On-line teaching – by the book

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Join us at 12 pm Wednesday 17 June 2020 for CIC Talks, featuring University of Ottawa Chemistry Professor Alison Flynn. Go to CIC Virtual to attend this event on Zoom. When the next university semester begins this fall, there may be some classrooms on campus that actually contain people. But these will be in the...

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Meeting a critical need in a supercritical way

It has been almost a decade since Gisele Azimi was pursuing post-doctoral work at MIT, where she realized just how dependent our technology was becoming on rare earth elements, which pose significant environmental and economic challenges as they are being processed into components for everything from cell phone sensors to wind turbine generators. “We are...

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