The year in chemistry tweets

The highlights of 2016, as seen through the eyes of Twitter’s chemists and other scientists

Many of us started off 2016 with a great #chemresolution like this one.

In January, in the wake of its merger with Dow, DuPont made unprecedented workforce cuts to its storied Central R&D facility in Wilmington, Del.

In March, UC Berkeley briefly mulled splitting its College of Chemistry in two. ACS Central Science editor @carolynbertozzi was one of many chemists who took to Twitter to beg the hallowed institution to stand down.

Also in March, an explosion caused by a static discharge to an ungrounded tank containing flammable gases caused a University of Hawaii, Manoa, postdoctoral researcher to lose an arm. The incident prompted many to call for renewed focus on training in chemical safety.

The Pfizer-Allergan megamerger—perhaps the biggest deal in the history of the pharmaceutical industry—fell apart in April of this year.

In June, British citizens voted to sever ties with the European Union. Reaction to #Brexit was swift.

The year 2016 also brought us nihonium, moscovium, tennessine, and oganesson. And we learned there is a parade in Atlanta every year where people dress up as elements. Sign us up.

In 2016, we took in some terrific chemistry at #ACSSanDiego and #ACSPhilly—and some epic chemistry doodles. #notebookgoals

Related C&EN coverage:
ACS Philly 2016
This year also marked the passing of a number of chemistry giants, including Harry Kroto, Ahmed Zewail, Walter Kohn, and Roger Tsien. Many took to Twitter to remember their contributions to science and the world at large.

Meanwhile, 2016’s #chemnobel went to molecular machinists Jean-Pierre Sauvage, J. Fraser Stoddart, and Ben L. Feringa. This was one of our favorite tributes.

Then Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Public reaction proved that chemists do not have a lock on complaining about “outsiders” taking their prize.

We were inspired by many of the answers to this question, posed by Nature Chemistry editor Stuart Cantrill …

Related: Read all the responses here.
Our favorite definition of chemistry came from @Gassensmith:
“The only physical science that makes things you can sell and people would want to buy.”
… and by this thread detailing @brandonrambles’s path to graduate school. If you care about encouraging diversity in chemistry Ph.D. programs, read it now.

The year 2016 marked a high point in the extent to which we document our lives with our cell phones. Lab, it seems, was no different.

The Chicago Cubs won the World Series in baseball in November, ending a 108-year drought. A lot has changed since then, observed science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Ok, we admit it. We were briefly obsessed with Pokémon Go, too. C’mon. Who wasn’t?

Finally, we leave you with this tweet—because we simply can’t resist a good chemistry pun.

Three hashtags we loved this year


Three Twitter accounts that kept us scrolling this year




Share your own favorites with us in the comments below.



CORRECTION: On Dec. 6, this page was updated to correct a statement about UC Berkeley considering splitting its College of Chemistry in two. The university itself considered doing this, not the chemistry department, as originally stated.

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