It is now just a week until #RealTimeChem hopefully takes over twitter. The response so far has been pretty enthusiastic and I’m looking forward to all the chemistry that’s going to be on show for the world to see!
Seeing as there isn’t long to go and a few people have been asking for more detail, I have produced an FAQ section so that you everyone knows the how, when, who, what and why of #RealTimeChem day.
So…what is RealTimeChem Day?
Real Time Chemistry day is a twitter based event where chemists from all over the world will be tweeting about their daily lives in chemistry… in real time.
Chemistry often gets short shrift when it comes to media exposure and that’s a bit sad. So Real Time Chem Day will be a day to celebrate chemistry and give the world an insight into the kinds of work and the science that we do as chemists every day. It will also hopefully help to connect the chemistry community and spark intriguing discussions and it’s just pretty darn fun to see what other chemists are up to!
Interesting! …When is it?
It’s on the 7th November 2012 and lasts for the whole 24 hours.
Who can take part?
Anybody in the world who works in the field we call “chemistry”. As long as you are tweeting about part of your everyday life that involves doing chemistry then it counts – lab work, journal reading, writing papers, teaching, demonstrating, field work, instrumental work etc.
This is an all inclusive event no matter what branch of chemistry that you partake in (including biochemistry! Geochemistry! Astrochemistry! Crystallography!) or what level of chemistry you are currently at (High school! Undergraduate! Postgraduate! Industrial! Person in shed!).
Please though only join in if you can spare the time. I understand that you’re all busy people – work commitments and getting our chemistry done must take priority.
What do I have to do to join in? What should I tweet?
To join in you simply have to tweet about your day in your particular field of chemistry using the hashtag #RealTimeChem to show that it is part of the event.
As for what you tweet, well that is entirely at your discretion so long as it’s got some link to doing chemistry. In my case, I will be tweeting about actual chemistry I am performing in the laboratory.
All things that happen on the day can be tweeted, good or bad. I’m sure the former shall outweigh the latter, but we should be giving everyone an accurate view of what happens.
Incidentally, pictures of your day (such as great looking experiments) are most welcome. Obviously, only take pictures of things you are allowed to show, we understand some chemistry must be shrouded in secrecy.
Please feel free to engage with other #RealTimeChem tweeters and start a conversation. This is a day for chemists to unite and enjoy what they do.
How much do I have to tweet?
As much or as little as you want to, even if it is just one tweet. So long as it includes the hashtag #RealTimeChem it’ll count.
So just feel free to randomly tweet your chemistry as you go along, this day is for you to share what you do with the rest of the world.
How can I follow the event?
Search for the hashtag #RealTimeChem on twitter or follow @RealTimeChem for highlights. I’ll be keeping an eye on twitter all day and re-tweeting every #RealTimeChem tweet I can (or as many as twitter will allow!) and commenting on the fabulous things you are doing.
Who invented #RealTimeChem?
Certainly not me. However, I have been participating for a while on an off in doing some #RealTimeChem tweets. I believe that the inventor was @azmanam who was trying to determine what was in Lemishine and happened to tweet his results using, and @JessTheChemist produced a storify page to follow all the RealTimeChem that happened. Since then it has caught on a many others have joined in to tweet their chemical reactions in real time using the same hash tag.
I think we all agreed that tweeting about laboratory chemistry was such fun that it would be nice to have a #RealTimeChem day to celebrate, and here we are!
Why is #RealTimeChem day on 7th November?
This is the birthday of Marie Curie, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize and the only to win it in two separate fields, chemistry and physics.
If you want to do something extra fantastic on the day please feel free to donate to Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Who is running #RealTimeChem?
Mainly the same person who runs this blog, “Doctor Galactic and The Lab Coat Cowboy” who can be found under the name @doctor_galactic on twitter and also @RealTimeChem. I’m a post doctoral researcher in the UK, who is just coming to the end of his contract. For me this is possibly one last hurrah before looking toward chemistry pastures new.
In addition to the @RealTimeChem feed, @JessTheChemist will be continuing to update her storify page and www.chemistry-blog.com will be showing #RealTimeChem tweets in their Chemistry twitterverse box.
Anyone else who wants to post anything about #RealTimeChem on their blog or anywhere else is most welcome to so long as they refer back to @RealTimeChem somewhere.
Can I help to promote #RealTimeChem day?
Sure thing, just retweet any information you want regarding the event and mention it to your chemistry friends on twitter. Even mention it to your chemistry friends outside of twitter. The more chemists we get to tweet, the more chemistry we get to enjoy!
There are a couple of posters that have been uploaded on @RealTimeChem with some more to come this week. So feel free to use these as you will or make your own!
What’s with the “24” theme?
It felt particularly relevant to the nature of the day. We are all Jack Bauer on #RealTimeChem Day, we just do chemistry.
I want to do something really spectacular, can I?
Yes, so long as you are safe. All the normal rules of chemistry apply, including the use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). We don’t want anybody to get hurt doing something on #RealTimeChem day.
I don’t want to tweet but I want to watch, can I?
Of course! If you don’t want to tweet you can still watch the rest of us on twitter. The best bet is to follow @RealTimeChem which will be re-tweeting as many highlights as possible.
What will happen afterwards?
I plan to sift through the tweets and make a series of blog posts highlighting my favourites here on this blog. The real point of the day is to have some fun and get chemistry out there for the world to see, so that will hopefully be its own reward.
Will there be future #RealTimeChem days?
Everyday can be #RealTimeChem day if you so choose it. The hashtag is there to use whenever you are doing any chemistry. If the event itself is popular enough, then most certainly we’ll try to organise another full day in the future. I would like to make it an annual event and perhaps expand it to cover a whole week. The possibilities are endless.
Any other questions? Then drop me a line in the comments box on here or via twitter @RealTimeChem.
Enjoy the day, I’m looking forward to it!
-Doctor Galactic and The Lab Coat Cowboy-