People on a balance

Everyone belongs in the chemical sciences


Speaking up to make our workplaces more inclusive

Flixborough disaster

A post-Flixborough risk assessment


In the last 50 years, attitudes to safety have improved so that first-hand experience of lab incidents is now rare

Humphry Davy

Engaging with the complex legacy of Humphry Davy


Online courses and student-run projects show there’s great interest in discussing Davy’s links to slavery and scientific racism

A brown hardback book with several holes that penetrate its full thickness

Holes in the ‘holey graphyne’ story


The challenges – and importance – of questioning published results


Allotrope or not?


Loose terminology causes disquiet among guardians of the chemical nomenclature

Our columnists

Philip Ball

Philip Ball is an award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster who explores the history and philosophy of chemistry

Double slit diffraction

A common misunderstanding about wave-particle duality

Instead of treating quantum particles as shape-shifters, we should think in terms of probability distributions

Raychelle Burks

Raychelle Burks is an associate professor in the US and an award-winning science communicator and broadcaster.

Three ornate chalices in a row

Using XRF to uncover the secrets of three Irish chalices

Investigating a medieval manufacturing mystery

Nessa Carson

Nessa Carson is a synthetic organic research chemist based in Macclesfield, UK

person in a white shirt with a beard and glasses places a blue pipette rack next to some others. To their right a grid of pipettes dangles down from a liquid dispensing robot

Inertia, decisions and robots

Our cognitive biases can make it difficult to choose what’s best for science

Chemjobber is a US-based industry insider, telling tales of tank reactors and organic obstacles

A bottle of bromine sealed in an additional jar with hazard warnings on the label

Where does bromine come from?

A journey that begins in a former oil field in Arkansas

Derek Lowe is a medicinal chemist in the US, sharing wit and wisdom from a life spent in preclinical drug discovery

End of the road

Will science ever reach an end?

While the rate of discoveries in any field may slow over time, the frontier creeps ever further

Chris Nawrat (aka BRSM)

Chris Nawrat (aka BRSM) is a process chemist at a major pharmaceutical company in the US

The chemical structure of (–)-biploaride D

(–)-Bipolarolide D

A rare example of a [6 + 2]-cycloaddition

Vanessa Seifert

Vanessa Seifert explores philosophical issues from the novel perspective of chemistry

The silhouette of a tree fills the left side of the image. On the right, a white raven flies across a grey sky. On the left is a tree

The nuances of chemical confirmation

Supporting a hypothesis is more difficult than it might seem

Andrea Sella

Andrea Sella is a professor of inorganic chemistry in the UK with a passion for unravelling the unlikely origins of scientific kit

A diagram of the separator developed by Clevenger. The panel on the  right shows the two different positions of the bypass tube, which allowed oils that were either more or less dense than water to be collected

Clevenger’s separator and the acceptance of grief

Numerous tragedies beset the life of Joseph Franklin Clevenger (1874–1945)

Research landscape

California strikes

The striking truth


Better pay can benefit the whole research enterprise

A cartoon showing a man in blue clothing leading a protest. He holds a sign saying exams, where the x of exams is in red and crosses out the rest of the word to show that he is against them

Breaking the cycle of teach, test, forget


A focus on exams makes it harder for students to cultivate a deep understanding of their subject

Holes in the ‘holey graphyne’ story


The challenges – and importance – of questioning published results

Harnessing fear and greed for innovation


Many powerful emotions motivate us in the search for new knowledge

UK researchers need to know academic freedom is safe from political interference


The UK science secretary’s recent statements are causing alarm in the research community

The UK has rejoined Horizon Europe, but the delays have been costly


The deal to rejoin the EU’s science programme makes sense for the country and it’s well overdue

Navigating the literature torrent


It’s humanly impossible to filter and read everything worthwhile – let’s embrace assistance

Industry landscape

Fountain pen nib, writing

Letters: June 2024


Readers find answers in industry, celebrate Eiji Osawa and continue the Z-DNA debate


Gregory Robinson

Gregory Robinson: ‘We were members of the last generation to attend segregated schools’

The synthetic inorganic chemist on attending a segregated school in Alabama, balancing football and chemistry, and tennis as a muse

Rainbow Lo

How Rainbow Lo is accelerating innovation

Impatient for change, she joined Paris-based sustainable ‘deep tech’ agency Hello Tomorrow

Elisabeth Bik

Legal threats, online trolls and low pay: the world of scientific sleuth Elisabeth Bik

Chemistry World catches up with one of the world’s leading scientific integrity experts

Legal threats, online trolls and low pay: the world of scientific sleuth Elisabeth Bik

Chemistry World catches up with one of the world’s leading scientific integrity experts

How advances in antiretrovirals have impacted my life with HIV

Eddie Heywood explains how having a range of drugs has helped a whole generation live with HIV – now their biggest concern is remembering to take them

A sustainable career in sustainability

How Xampla’s principal scientist Lynette Holland became an industry leader without sacrificing her work-life balance

Jani Ingram: ‘We have seen wells with uranium levels higher than the drinking water standard’

The environmental chemist on addressing pollution of Navajo waterways from legacy mining, her life off the reservation and a puke green Datsun

Julia Kornfield: ‘I’ve often followed an instinct about a person’

The polymer expert on power imbalances and following her instinct