Category: History/Trivia

November 26, 2018

ACS Honors Historic Plutonium Isotope Production Site

By Jesse Stanchak

The American Chemical Society designated Aiken, South Carolina’s Savannah River Site (SRS) as the newest National Historic Chemical Landmark, recognizing its role in the production of a plutonium isotope that proved essential to space exploration. Beginning in 1960, SRS produced almost all the plutonium-238 used in a class of nuclear batteries that provide U.S. spacecraft […]

September 26, 2018

Celebrate 2019: The International Year of the Periodic Table With a Calendar Honoring the Table’s History

By David Horwitz and Lily Raines

Next year marks the 150th anniversary of the most beloved icon in chemistry, Dmitri Mendeleev’s Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. To honor this milestone, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed 2019 as “The United Nations International Year of The Periodic Table of Chemical Elements” (IYPT 2019). The American Chemical Society (ACS), […]

Chemistry Road Trip

July 19, 2018

Take a Road Trip Through Chemistry History

By Yousif Memon

Summer is made for road trips. But maybe you’ve already had your fill of trips to national monuments or roadside tourist traps. Why not pay a visit to some of the most important sites in chemistry history? The ACS National Historic Chemical Landmarks program honors seminal achievements in chemistry by commemorating the places where chemists […]

  • National Historic Chemical Landmark
Women Scientists Honor Pioneers Like Marie Curie, shown here in her laboratory.

March 9, 2018

How Women Scientists Inspired ACS Editors

By Molly Ferns and Mia Fields Hall

In honor of National Women’s History Month, several editors at ACS journals shared stories about the women scientists who inspired them and shaped their careers. Who’s your favorite female scientist? Share your story in the comments below. *** Marcy Towns, Associate Editor, Journal of Chemical Education Dr. Geri Richmond from the University of Oregon, because she […]


December 20, 2017

Exploring the History of Cheminformatics

By Bryan McBournie

There are always new platforms, systems, and tools to keep up with in cheminformatics. On November 16, ACS hosted a webinar, featuring Dr. Wendy A. Warr taking a look at technological advances that have changed chemical research, as well as what the future might hold. Warr is a Chartered Chemist, a Fellow of the Royal […]

  • cheminformatics
periodic table

October 24, 2017

10 Amazing Periodic Table of the Elements Designs

By Jesse Stanchak

The periodic table is a marvel of design. Dmitri Mendeleev’s approach to organizing the elements was informative and elegant. It even helped predict the existence of elements then unknown to scientists. A periodic table is an important tool for scientists, but also for educators. The periodic table is an accessible way to teach students about […]

  • periodic table
National Chemistry Week 2017

October 23, 2017

Celebrate National Chemistry Week 2017 with Resources from ACS

By Jesse Stanchak

For 30 years, ACS has been championing National Chemistry Week as a celebration of chemistry’s impact on the world around us. This annual event is an opportunity for both ACS members and non-members to come together and share stories of the transformative power of chemistry. National Chemistry Week 2017 is a chance for chemists to […]

  • National Chemistry Week 2017
National Nanotechnology Day

October 9, 2017

ACS Celebrates National Nanotechnology Day

By Jesse Stanchak

Lovers of big innovations in small packages, rejoice! It’s time for the 2nd annual National Nanotechnology Day, and ACS is here to help you celebrate it right. What is National Nanotechnology Day? The day is a joint project of the United States National Nanotechnology Initiative, scientific societies such as ACS, and other organizations. The day […]

September 18, 2017

Saying Goodbye to a QSAR Pioneer

By Jesse Stanchak

The chemistry community recently said goodbye to Dr. Toshio Fujita, who helped develop the Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) method along with Corwin Hansch. This method has helped generations of chemists interpret molecular interactions and predict the properties of new molecules. Over the last 50 years, the QSAR method proved vital to chemists looking to discover […]

June 14, 2017

Take the ACS Infectious Diseases Superbugs Quiz

By Bryan McBournie

ACS Infectious Diseases recently hosted the webinar “Superbugs and Drug Resistance: Challenges in New Antibiotic Discovery.” The subject of drug-resistant bacteria has only become more important in recent years. Have you kept up with the latest research and developments in this critical area? We compiled a quiz based on the webinar to test your knowledge. […]

April 19, 2017

Celebrate Earth Day By Testing Your Environmental I.Q.

By Jesse Stanchak

Chemistry is important to the past, present, and future of the modern environmental movement. Many of today’s thorniest environmental problems have their roots in the work of earlier generations of chemists. But if chemistry has sometimes been part of creating ecological problems, it is absolutely essential to humanity’s efforts to solve them. That’s why the […]

  • Earth Day

February 23, 2017

JACS Image Challenge: Spectacularly Scientifically Fun!

By Lingling Chen

In order to allow readers to interact with research content in an educational manner, the Journal of the American Chemical Society is launching the JACS Image Challenge on our Facebook page! JACS Image Challenge is a recurring multiple-choice question about a recent JACS article or communication. You may take a look at the image from […]

December 2, 2016

ACS Honors the Discovery of Ivermectin

By Keith Lindblom

This month the American Chemical Society designated the discovery of ivermectin as a National Historic Chemical Landmark in a ceremony at Merck & Co., Inc., in Rahway, New Jersey. Why is the discovery of ivermectin such an important achievement in the history of chemistry? The story starts when a scientist discovers a lowly bacterium near […]

  • Ivermectin
  • Nobel Prize

December 2, 2016

Celebrating the History of B Vitamin Research With ACS

By Keith Lindblom

This month the American Chemical Society designated the research of Merck & Co., Inc., on the vitamin B complex as a National Historic Chemical Landmark in a ceremony in Rahway, New Jersey. The story of the discovery of the vitamin B complex begins in 1889, when a Dutch physician named Christiaan Eijkman, working in the […]

  • Vitamin B

October 14, 2016

National Chemistry Week 2016: Solving Mysteries Through Chemistry

By Jesse Stanchak

Each year, we set aside a week in October to reach out and share positive messages about the transformative power of chemistry. Welcome to Chemistry Week 2016! This year’s theme is “Solving Mysteries Through Chemistry.” How can you get involved? It’s easy! Chemistry Week is all about sharing your love of chemistry with others, with […]

  • National Chemistry Week

October 10, 2016

National Historic Chemical Landmarks: Honoring the Discovery of Radiocarbon Dating

By Keith Lindblom

On Oct. 10, the American Chemical Society will dedicate a National Historic Chemical Landmark at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, in honor of Willard Libby’s discovery of radiocarbon dating. Libby’s method for dating organic materials by measuring their content of carbon-14 provides objective age estimates for carbon-based objects that originated from living organisms. […]

  • Radiocarbon Dating

September 30, 2016

Chemistry of Tea and Coffee

By Finbar Galligan

On the whole, you can divide people into two groups: coffee drinkers, and tea drinkers. (A shadowy third group – those who don’t like hot drinks – are to be regarded with deep suspicion.) Imbibing these plant-infused hot beverages has become deeply entrenched in the culture and lifestyle of people the world over. Around 2.5 […]

  • coffee
  • tea

August 26, 2016

What’s Your ACS IQ?

By Jesse Stanchak

Attendees at the 252nd ACS National Meeting who visited the ACS Publications booth were greeted with a little quiz to test their knowledge of both chemistry history and ACS trivia. Think you’re up to our chemistry quiz challenge? There’s only one way to find out. Content loading… <br /> Please enable javascript!<br />

  • 252nd ACS National Meeting and Exposition
  • quiz

May 6, 2016

ACS Publications: By the Numbers

By Andrew Clinton

In 1879, the American Chemical Society began the publication of chemical research with the first issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Today, ACS publishes almost 50 peer-reviewed journals filled with cutting-edge articles across a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines. ACS Publications delivers more than 1 million research articles through its award-winning web […]

  • American Chemical Society
  • Infographic
Fictional Librarians

May 3, 2016

7 Fictional Librarians to Guide You on Your Quest for Knowledge

By Katherine Stevens

The depictional of fictional librarians in media is often laden with tropes and inaccuracies — not unlike the portrayal of chemists. Despite these pitfalls, however, there are quite a few fictional information specialists who make the job look cool and fun. Here are seven of our favorite fictional librarians: Barbara Gordon (DC Comics) Widely regarded as one […]

  • Librarians
Where does an article's DOI come from?

April 21, 2016

Where does an article’s DOI come from?

By Bryan McBournie

There is more to an article’s Digital Object Identifier (DOI) than you may think. Every published article has an alphanumeric string assigned to it, which not only makes citation easier but also ensures the article has a persistent link online. The International DOI Foundation maintains the platform. Recently, ACS created its own format based on that […]

  • DOI
  • Journals
  • publishing
  • research

April 6, 2016

The American Chemical Society Celebrates 140 Years of Advancing Chemistry

By Keith Lindbloom

On April 6, 1876, a group of 35 chemists founded the American Chemical Society in New York City. According to Charles F. Chandler, one of the co-founders, the new society would “prove a powerful and healthy stimulus to original research …, would awaken and develop much talent now wasting in isolation …, [bring] members of […]

  • American Chemical Society
  • history
5 black chemists who changed the world

February 1, 2016

Celebrate Black History Month with 5 Remarkable Black Chemists

By Jesse Stanchak

The history of chemistry is full of contributions from black scientists. They have made important discoveries in areas such as agriculture, medicine and more. They have helped firefighters, aided criminal investigations and even gone to space! Celebrate Black History Month with this video looking back at the lives of five important black chemists, produced in […]

  • Betty Harris
  • black chemists
  • black history month
  • George Washington Carver
  • Mae Jemison
  • National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers
  • Patricia Bath
  • Percy Julian

January 16, 2016

The Chemistry of Wine

By Michael Woodruff

You don’t need to be a connoisseur to know that the flavors and smells associated with wine exist across a vast spectrum. But what exactly is going on to create these distinctive aromas? Read our article on the chemistry of wine to find out. Wines offer us a variety of aroma and flavors, some flying […]

September 23, 2015

Why Do Old Books Smell So Good?

By Michael Woodruff

The smell of old books is as ubiquitous and memory-jogging as that of cut grass or freshly baked bread. It instantly transports us to musty college libraries, second-hand bookshops sliced by shafts of light thick with dust mites, and the well-turned, softly yellowing pages of our favorite novels – re-read and re-thumbed down the years. […]

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Librarians

September 9, 2015

Ten Fictional Chemists to Inspire You to Greatness

By Katherine Stevens

Science in media is rarely portrayed as it is in real life—that’s why we call it science fiction. No matter how sound or unsound the science is in your favorite show or movie, chances are you’ve come across a character whose work in science has influenced you in some way. Here are some of our […]

  • ACS Members
  • Authors
  • Researchers