A framed portrait of Polly Porter

Polly Porter, crystallography pioneer

By Marelene Rayner-Canham, Geoff Rayner-Canham

Marelene and Geoff Rayner-Canham examine one of Dorothy Hodgkin’s mentors, who never studied at school or university

An image showing the Forbidden City

How Covid gave the world a lesson in tackling air pollution


The pandemic has given atmospheric chemists the opportunity to study pollution and carbon emissions like never before

An image showing a driver using a breathalizer

Drink, drugs and disease: the chemistry of breath tests


From roadside tests to diagnosing Covid-19, Clare Sansom looks at how breathalysers have developed

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Fatal explosion at US paint and polymers plant


One dead and nine others injured as building partially collapsed after explosion and fire

A photo of four plastic baby spoons each with a different food on the end

US food agency targets ‘toxic elements’ in baby food


Strategy will focus on lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium 

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Government clears merger of SinoChem and ChemChina


China’s chemicals giants will unite under a state-run holding company

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Universities pass UK research assessment stress test during tough times


Pandemic hampered submissions for REF but extension provided breathing space institutions needed

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Biden’s science budget for 2022 pleases US research community


White House requests big funding increases for research agencies

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Exotic bond takes computational chemists by surprise


New results could help to solve the dispute around the strange Na–B bond in NaBH3

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Geochemists uncover evidence of massive Antarctic meteorite explosion 430,000 years ago


Airburst event spread material across most of Antarctica

An image showing the Dy3C2 cluster

Three-centre single-electron bond caught in a cage


Fullerene cage stabilises bond never before seen in lanthanide chemistry

A diagram of charged particles crossing membranes during electrolysis

Ion trapping desalination membrane fishes out valuable materials


Selectively trapping toxic or useful ions could reduce toxicity of brine waste and offset costs

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Greener plastic made from leftover fish guts and bones


Canadian researchers make a polyurethane-like polymer from oils

Voice of the Royal Society of Chemistry

  • Nature and mental wellbeing – Building a better chemistry culture

  • Should we design biodegradable plastics?

  • Chemistry pedagogy for a modern world

  • LGBT+ inclusivity – Building a better chemistry culture

Celebrating science's forgotten heroes

  • Polly Porter, crystallography pioneer

  • Mary Sherman Morgan: The best kept secret in the space race

  • Julia Lermontova: an early pioneer

  • Margarita Salas: the marquesa of molecular biology

  • Sylvia Stoesser – the first female chemist at Dow

  • Martin Gouterman: the gay man behind the four-orbital model

  • Stefanie Horovitz – the woman behind the isotope

  • Marguerite Perey and the last element in nature

  • Ghanaian biochemistry TV star Marian Addy

  • Barbara Low, penicillin and the protein pi helix


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The growing problem of pesticide resistance


Weeds and other plant pests can no longer be controlled by chemicals as easily as they could. Bárbara Pinho talks to the scientists finding solutions

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Smart tattoos are keeping tabs on our health


Nina Notman takes a snapshot of the burgeoning field of health and fitness monitoring tattoos and patches

An image showing botanical illustrations of wheat, pea, clover and leek

Getting to the root of soil nitrogen


The farming industry’s reliance on nitrogen compounds is altering the environment, but Ian Le Guillou finds a better understanding of the interplay between plants and microbes could help to reduce the impact

An image showing a chemical plant photographed with a tilt-shift lens, which gives the impression that the viewer is looking at a miniature plant

Flow chemistry surges forward


The long-discussed technique could help make pharma manufacturing more distributed, finds Andy Extance, and create opportunities for chemists with the right skills

  • Should we design biodegradable plastics?

  • Computational acceleration of novel organic electronic materials development

  • Nature and mental wellbeing – Building a better chemistry culture

  • Statistics versus machine learning: should we all learn artificial intelligence?