Friday, February 2, 2018

Elitist Academics

You are an elitist academic if:
  • You only review for "top" journals
  • You only hire those that have papers in "top" journals or those from "top" schools
  • Only read or tweet about "top" journal papers
  • Submit your papers first to "X" then "Y", when rejected from a "better" journal
  • You first pay attention to the journal name before understanding the research/slide/paper
  • You introduce your speakers with the number of their "top" journal papers
  • You only highlight your "top" journal papers on your webpages
  • You keep checking your h-index daily basis
Now that you know the truth, it's time to start acting as yourself.

Here're couple suggestions for those of you elitists:
  • Stop giving advice about academic integrity and equality.
  • Come clean with your bias. Tell your students you are an elitist.
  • Don't lie when you say where you publish is unimportant. Tell, instead, eat or be eaten.
  • Never ever talk about how academia/science is apolitical, democratic or other empty buzz words.
Disclaimer: I'm a recovering elitist and it is not an easy journey. Better start now.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Richard Feynmann's Tiny Machines lecture in 1984

I've come across with this lecture by the guy who famously said there is plenty of room at the bottom. If you haven't, here you go:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Reviewer cruelty

I don't know how much thick skin you have but this gets under my skin:
Reviewer #2: The manuscript describes some good results on the ... and ... properties of a few novel .... Rather like the ... field, this is a research topic that is now approaching saturation point in the literature.
Now the question is, who calls the end for a research field?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

2013 Nobel Chemistry Prize - The Year of Inorganic

Tomorrow (Oct 9) the Nobel Chemistry Prize will be announced. And it is 35 minutes away for the Physics Nobel Prize. Visit Nobel Prize page for all that fun.

Meanwhile, I'll do yet another take on the winners of the Chemistry Nobel Prize. I'm sure it is already decided and perhaps a very able hacker can extract the information but nonetheless, we can still take a guess.

I'm still stuck on the Bio-inorganic theme as I did last year. There are very good lists by Chembark and Curius Wavefunction but I'd like to take the roulette game. Hit or miss.

My anticipation is a trio out of Harry Gray, Stephen Lippard, Sunney Chan, Richard Holm for their work on metalloenzymes and the electron transport phenomena as well the spectroscopic analysis of them.

If you look into the cycle, it is probably Inorganic this year. I cannot think of any inorganic breakthrough other than porous materials but it is too early for them either.

Let's see what happens.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Chasing the holy grail in water splitting

Kazuhiko Maeda (from Tokyo Institute of Technology) explains well in his recent review that a Z-scheme photocatalyst system can make dreams come true: producing hydrogen and oxygen gases from water by sunlight. Combining a H2 evolution photocatalyst with an O2 evolving one is known for sometime as the key for ultimate artificial photosynthesis. Although hopeful developments exist (as also elaborated in this 15-page-long-and-strong article), I don't feel much optimistic about this photocatalytic water splitting in general. A cold-fusion-like fate is certainly not out of sight. We have to be careful

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Proton conductive copper oxalate xerogels

Saha et al. (from Rahul Banerjee group at Indian National Chemical Laboratory) reported a rapid way of making copper xerogels (with a max surface area of 67 m2/g) starting from oxalic acid and copper perchlorate. I always taught oxalic acid would make good MOFs (hence my interest in this work) but I guess xerogels would be the best you can get. I'm sure the authors tried to get ordered structures first. Great work, nonetheless. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Galvanic replacement goes universal!

It's been a while since we enjoyed a nano breakthrough. But recently, May 24th to be exact, Prof. Taeghwan Hyeon (Oh et al., Science, 340, 964) and his group at Seoul National University took the galvanic exchange method of making nanocages (e.g. see Prof. Younan Xia's seminal work on gold nanocages) and applied to metal oxides. They successfully made boxes of iron oxides by mixing Fe3+ with Mn3O4 nanocubes. This is a major expansion of the galvanic exchange methodology and certainly we'll see a trillion other examples, since metal oxides are much more abundant and stable than metallic counterparts (in case you forget, just think about our oxygen rich atmosphere). Congrats to Hyeon and Nicola Pinna (a WCU prof. at SNU) for another spectacular discovery!   

Sunday, September 23, 2012

2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry - it's hopefully the year for metalloproteins

It's that time of the year again. Who will get the highest honor of the scientific research?

Chembark already has some math going for the predictions. His most bet is for "Nuclear Hormone Signaling, by Chambon/Evans/Jensen".  Thompson reuters says Louis Brus for QDots work based on citation counts.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

DOE H2 storage target for 2015 is broken!

In an excellent theoretical study, Bill Goddard and his team (Mendoza-Cortes et al.) at Caltech showed that a PdCl2 decorated COF-301 surpasses DOE target of 40 g/L hydrogen storage with a capacity of 60 g/L. And the isotherm reaches DOE target even below 10 bar pressure and all is at 298 K. This is very exciting! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

2012 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience goes to Mildred Dresselhaus of MIT

Prof. Mildred Dresselhaus (MIT) won the prestigious Kavli Prize in Nanoscience for 2012. She was awarded as the single recipient "for her pioneering contributions to the study of phonons, electron-phonon interactions, and thermal transport in nanostructures."

It turns out that she "has laid the foundation for our understanding of the influence of reduced dimensionality on the fundamental thermal and electrical properties of materials."

This award also signifies the first woman recipient of Kavli Prize in Nanoscience.

Congrats to Mildred!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Watch out magnetotactic bacteria are splitting

Ever wondered how nanomagnets are shared when a magnetotactic bacteria is splitting into two? The mystery was resolved for good by Katzmann et al. (Dirk Schüler group at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) with a slick in situ electron microscopy monitoring experiment (see the figure). Authors argue that the bacteria bends to tune down the magnetostatic interactions but not destroy the alignment entirely as the newly formed daughters will need that after the split. The type of the bacteria is Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Top Institutions in Chemistry

Science Watch reported the ranking of top institutions in chemistry for the International Year of Chemistry, 2011. The study came out as the "Featured Analysis, Sept/Oct 2011"

Although university rankings or top colleges lists are prepared by looking into many factors, from student satisfaction to nobel prize winners, this list purely represents the best research institutions of chemistry or in other words, best chemistry departments (based on the data from 2001-2011). If your institution is within this list, you must be proud:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Top 20 Countries in All Fields has the list of "Top 20 countries in all fields" for the past decade, the years of 2000-2010.

The list is a product of the Essential Science Indicators by Thomson Reuters. The data counted for all authors in full, meaning that "For articles with multiple authors representing different nations, each listed nation receives full, not fractional, citation credit for the given paper". The study dates in December 2010.


RankCountryPapersCitationsCites per paper
1USA 2,967,95746,796,09015.77
2JAPAN 770,2527,877,69910.23
3GERMANY 762,5999,960,10013.06
4PEOPLES R CHINA 719,9714,227,7795.87
5ENGLAND 679,3949,979,73714.69
6FRANCE 542,2936,660,63012.28
7CANADA 430,8565,619,29313.04
8ITALY 409,2324,770,75311.66
9SPAIN 315,4203,256,07510.32
10AUSTRALIA 284,2503,359,74811.82
11RUSSIA 267,3191,243,7114.65
12INDIA 266,2301,497,0655.62
13SOUTH KOREA 254,5991,767,7996.94
14NETHERLANDS 239,8923,687,82915.37
15BRAZIL 190,8011,197,9536.28
16SWEDEN 174,0522,548,04614.64
17SWITZERLAND 172,9042,873,88116.62
18TAIWAN 162,1971,115,5246.88
19POLAND 144,559954,2206.6
20TURKEY 138,345687,3894.97

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Top 20 Countries in Chemistry

ScienceWatch listed the "Top 20 Nations in Chemistry" in their Country Feature dated March 2011:

USA tops the list, followed by Japan and Germany.

RankCountryPapersCitationsCites per paper
4PEOPLES R CHINA181,4961,245,6026.86
11SOUTH KOREA36,557360,4249.86
They listed the "Top 20 Nations in Chemistry" by total citations. "Essential Science Indicators" database from Thomson Reuters was used to create the list.

One important finding is that "the average citation rate for field of chemistry was 11.19"