Not long to go now… The Olympic games are upon us

Not long to go now. At the end of this month we’ll all be glued to our televisions as the Olympic games begin. At Chemistry World we wanted to do something special to mark the games so we have prepared some Olympics-related content. To begin the race turn to our ‘Chemistry and the Olympics’ feature, which looks into the vital role chemistry will play during the Olympic games, in particular in relation to the work of the anti-doping labs and the science behind sports drinks and swimsuits.

The homestretch is made up of two comment pieces: the first one by Michael Stow from UK Anti-Doping about how to keep the sport clean; the second by Tom Waller from Aqualab, Speedo’s global R&D facility, who discusses how science and technology can be used to make their designs and concepts a reality that helps athletes fulfil their potential. And for the finish line, check out our Jobs section where you’ll discover how chemists are helping design tests and sensors to improve sporting prowess and also studying oxygen transport in the body to assist top-end athletes.

It is the taking part…

Of course it is the taking part that matters and so we’d like to thank all those who submitted entries to the Chemistry World entrepreneur of the year award 2012. I’m delighted to announce that we now have a winner: Paul Workman, deputy chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research and director of the ICR’s Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit, ‘for his work as a scientific pioneer and serial entrepreneur whose numerous commercialised discoveries and academic research led to his founding two successful chemical companies: Piramed Pharma and Chroma Therapeutics’. Congratulations.

On learning that he had won the award, Workman said: ‘Successful drug discovery is incredibly complex and requires not just scientific expertise but also great people. It has been a real privilege for me to build a high-performing, multidisciplinary team and to collaborate with some fantastic colleagues. But the main motivation for me is that the drugs we discover through our science have a real impact on the lives of cancer patients.’

Winning team

In the May issue, I mentioned that Chemistry World would be launching a science communication competition – and so we have! We aren’t able to offer gold medals but thanks to the kind support of our sponsors for this event, Procter & Gamble, we will be awarding cash prizes (£300 and £100) for the winners and the runners up.

Our judges are definitely a winning team. We’ve put together a stellar panel, which will be announced in full in due course, but I can confirm it includes none other than Clive Cookson, science editor of the Financial Times, and Adam Hart-Davis, chemist, photographer, writer and broadcaster of ‘What the Romans did for us’ fame.

The competition is now up and running so keep those entries coming.