Scottish Crucible – Lab 2 at St. Andrews

This lab was about fostering Creativity, Idea Generation and Cross-Disciplinarity. We got to see some ground-breaking and innovative research mixing the boundaries between physics, biology, ecology and even literature. The dinner at the Old Course was a fantastic opportunity to meet new people as was the Science Speed Dating!

Back from the Dalton 2014 Joint Interest Groups meeting

Thoroughly enjoyed heading to The University of Warwick for this conference. It was an excellent opportunity to meet up with inorganic chemists from across the UK and the plenary speakers are world-leading international scientists (Ingo Krossing and Kit Cummins). I had an excellent slot on the first day kicking off the Coordination and Organometallic Chemistry Group meeting and the lecture theater was huge! Had a chance to catch up with old supervisors and friends and hopefully made some new contacts as well.

Reflecting on the Organometallics roundtable discussion

Although only introduced recently, the concept of publishing an article based on a discussion between key-academics is really interesting as it allows much more of a discussion to science than traditionally printed articles. A few key points really stood out (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/om500253z) such as “it would be useful to develop arrays of catalysts that can operate in a cooperative manner, via appropriate regulatory mechanisms that allow turning the catalysts on and off” and “that researchers should seek to catalyze new and different reactions.” Always good to see your own papers mentioned too!
(7) (a) Arnold, P. L.; Turner, Z. R.; Bellabarba, R. M.; Tooze, R. P. Chem. Sci. 2011, 2 ,77 − 79. (b) Mansell, S. M.; Kaltsoyannis, N.; Arnold, P. L. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011 , 133 , 9036 − 9051. (c) Mansell, S. M.; Farnaby, J. H.; Germeroth, A. I.; Arnold, P. L. Organometallics 2013, 32 , 4214 − 4222.

Scottish Crucible 2nd Day at The Scottish Parliament

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Image © Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body – 2012.

It’s recess at the Scottish parliament which allowed us to visit for the second day of the Scottish Crucible. Learning about how the parliament works was something I’d always meant to figure out but hadn’t got around to until today. We learned all about how it works, how policy is generated and how we can use our knowledge to help researchers and politicians decide on the best course of action. Some cross-party groups of relevance to my interests include:

    Colleges and Universities
    Oil and Gas
    Science and Technology

Take home message: be accurate, short and to the point in order to make your research user friendly!

Scottish Crucible – First day

I had a really great time yesterday attending the first day of the Scottish Crucible. I met lots of great young researchers and got some fantastic advice from science journalists; Vivienne Parry, Sue Armstrong, Stuart Blackman and Olga Wojtas. The dinner at The Royal Society of Edinburgh was great fun and gave me a fantastic opportunity to chat to the movers and shakers. Today: The Scottish Parliament!

Science communication with Dr Bunhead

Excellent course yesterday on Science communication presented by Tom Pringle (aka ). Looking forward to using a few ideas to help make my presentations more interesting to children, students and academics alike (although I won’t be using the same techniques on them all!).

Scottish Dalton conference in sunny St. Andrews

Spoke at the Scottish Dalton conference and it is always great to go to St. Andrews when it is sunny! Got a good response from my talk and it was an excellent opportunity to meet up with old friends from the University of Edinburgh. I also got to know a few more people who are doing great things in inorganic chemistry throughout Scotland, and this even included a few of the northern universities as well such as Leeds, Durham and Newcastle!

Upcoming events

It’s Friday but I’m looking forward to next week. I’m talking at the Scottish Dalton meeting which brings together inorganic chemists from all over Scotland and this year we’re meeting in St. Andrews which is always a nice place to be on a sunny day! The day after I’m attending a course presented by none other than Dr Bunhead so expect more flashiness and Mintos-based explosions when I return.

RSC Scotland regional meeting

Attended the RSC Scotland regional meeting yesterday at the glamorous Royal Society of Edinburgh on George Street, a great location! It was good to meet some old friends who haven’t seen since I was last in Edinburgh (working at the University of Edinburgh) and also to hear all about the good work being done by the RSC. Some important questions were raised such as:
How will the Curriculum for Excellence be implemented by different schools? Will there be a choice of taking three science subjects or will certain schools be limited to two or even only one? A survey is currently being carried out by the RSC to determine this so stay tuned!
How will the vote on Scottish Independence affect science both in industry and academia? Here several reports were mentioned so I will need to trach these down. Again, stay tuned!