August 2015 - ACS Axial | ACS Publications

CHEMOJI – A new Chemistry Keyboard from the American Chemical Society

We here at the American Chemical Society like texting our friends from the lab or library as much as you do!

Let your crew know you’re working late in the lab, tell everyone your paper was accepted by JACS, and send your PI a research update with your very own chemistry emoji set by downloading the ACS Chemoji app on your android or apple phone. Choose from a developing set of chemistry themed emoji featuring traditional smiley faces decked out in goggles (safety first!), glassware, the periodic table, element tiles that spell out some of your favorite Internet acronyms, and two very important molecules. Use the ACS Chemoji app to share the experience of chemistry with your friends by text or use it on Facebook and Twitter. Tell us your Chemoji story with the #ACSchemoji hashtag.

Download App:

ACS Chemoji FAQ

Need more info on Chemoji before downloading? See below for a handy ACS Chemoji FAQ.

What are ACS Chemoji?

The chemoji app is a fun project from the American Chemical Society. They are custom-made emoji stickers, portraying common and popular traditional emojis in a chemistry theme.

There are currently 21 total emoji stickers available, free for anyone to download.

What are emoji stickers?

Emojis are a small digital image or icon that are often used in text messaging and on social media. The ACS Chemoji app funtions more like stickers that are seen on Facebook and Snapchat – they are larger images, but are still compatible with the same platforms.

How do I install the app?

For Apple:

  • Click here or search for “ACS Chemoji”
  • Download the ACS Chemoji Stickers app from the Apple Store.
  • When you open the app, click on the tutorial button in the lower left corner of the screen to walk through the set up for the keyboard:
    • Select Settings, then General.
    • Select Keyboard, then Keyboards.
    • Select Add New Keyboard.
    • Select ACS Chemoji stickers. This will now be listed with any other keyboards that you have configured on your iPhone.
    • Select ACS Chemoji stickers again. This will take you to an additional page in the settings menu.
    • Switch on Allow Full Access

Now you can access the ACS Chemoji Stickers in most messaging apps.

For Android:

Everything You Wanted to Know About Reddit (But Were Afraid to Ask)

Reddit, also known as “The front page of the internet” is a social news and entertainment forum where users submit content in the form of links, images, or text posts. Users then decide on where the content ranks by “upvoting” or “downvoting” a post or comment, leading more popular posts to gain traction by scoring points and a higher position on the front page or forum of origin. Individual forums are known as “subreddits” and focus on a particular area of interest, of which there are over 9,600 active ones. Registered users (often referred to as “Redditors”) can select which forums to follow on their customized front page, but there are several core “default subreddits.” These subreddits fall into the categories of Educational, Entertainment, Discussion-based, Humor, Image Sharing, Self-Improvement, Technology, and Meta.

Reddit by the numbers:

  • Founded in June 2005 (Happy 10th birthday!)
  • In June 2015, Reddit had over 163 million unique visitors (that’s greater than the population of Russia!), from over 212 countries, viewing over 7 billion pages.
  • In 2014, there were over 71 billion Reddit page views (up from 56 billion in 2013).


r/Science is one of the most popular default subreddits, in the Educational category. It boasts over 8.7 million subscribers, and its posts are consistently on the default front page. Posts are categorized into scientific subfields that users can filter posts by. Many of r/Science’s posts are external links to scientific news, but its most popular feature is the AMA Series. r/Science is among the fastest growing subreddits today.

The AMA Series

One of Reddit’s most unique feature is the “Ask Me Anything” or AMA. These are text-based Q&A sessions where the featured participant initiates a text post to which Reddit users respond and ask questions through the comments section of the post. The original poster then replies to these questions in the comments, which are highlighted and generally upvoted for visibility. The objective of the AMA is that it is not focused on a single topic, but rather that responders can field questions about any topic. Most AMAs take place in r/IAmA (notable participants include Barack Obama, Chris Hadfield, Bill Nye, David Attenborough, and Neil deGrasse Tyson), but many subreddits host AMAs as well.

r/Science has one of the most structured AMA series within a specialized subreddit. Its aim is to “to encourage discussion and facilitate outreach while helping to bridge the gap between practicing scientists and the general public.” (Source: Reddit Science Submission Guide) The moderators of the subreddit maintain a schedule of a daily AMA (excluding weekends), which usually go live at 1pm but are posted in advance so questions have time to accumulate. Most r/science AMAs are from scientists in a variety of fields and institutions, Stephen Hawking even hosted an AMA at the end of July.

ACS has begun to host AMAs on Tuesdays, usually featuring scientific experts affiliated with the society. In the past months, Carolyn Bertozzi, Editor-in-Chief of ACS Central Science and Jillian Buriak, Editor-in-Chief of Chemistry of Materials, participated in AMAs and fielded a number of questions from researchers in the community, so be sure and check them out. Also stay tuned for a Q&A with Nathan Allen, moderator with r/Science, in an upcoming issue of ACS Axial.

Donor-Acceptor Polymers Special Issue and Podcast

In a special JACS Podcast, hear from Dr. Klaus Muellen, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, and Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Chemical Society, on the importance of donor acceptor polymers and how research in this field can help solve for challenges in materials science and existing real word problems. Read the JACS Select issue, with articles from JACS, Accounts of Chemical Research, Chemistry of Materials and Macromolecules here or listen to the podcast.






Are Invisibility Cloaks Possible?

Have you ever wished you could hide under an invisibility cloak like Harry Potter or conceal your car with a Klingon cloaking device like in Star Trek? In this episode of Reactions, we celebrate the International Year of Light by exploring the science behind light, sight and invisibility. Though we can’t make ourselves invisible yet, some promising research may light the way – or rather, bend the light away. This episode of Reactions was produced in collaboration with the journal ACS Photonics. Check it out here:

About ACS Photonics

ACS Photonics publishes high-quality Research Articles, Letters, Perspectives, and Reviews that address emerging issues in the area of photonics. The journal is led Harry A. Atwater, Editor-in-Chief from the California Institute of Technology who says, “ACS Photonics has an exciting opportunity to create a global home for interdisciplinary photonics research, bridging the gaps between different approaches to photonics and promoting rich cross-fertilization between fields.”

ACS Launches New Interdisciplinary Journal Focused on Modern Sensor Science

Although interest in and demand for sensors research and commercialization is flourishing, the field has lacked a dedicated, peer-reviewed journal to showcase high-quality research and to champion sensor-related education. Until now.

In January of 2016, ACS Publication will publish the first issue of ACS Sensors a new interdisciplinary journal devoted to conceptual advances in sensing research and sensor applications. ACS Sensors will showcase seminal advances related to all aspects of sensor research, including biosensors, chemical sensors, gas sensors, intracellular sensors, single molecule sensors, cell chips, arrays, and microfluidic devices. ACS Sensors began accepting manucript submissions in August.

Read about the launch in C&EN.

The monthly, online-only journal will fill a void in the sensor research community by bringing together the academic contributions of chemists, engineers, physicists, biologists, industrialists, and entrepreneurs in a way that no other journal does to further the research and commercialization of sensors. ACS Sensors will raise the bar on the field by publishing compelling papers of broad interest to sensor scientists and by elevating the focus on education to attract top quality scientists.

“This is an exciting time for sensors, with some incredible advances in the field, and now there is a new journal that will give this stunning science a focal point,” said ACS Sensors inaugural Editor-in-Chief J. Justin Gooding, Ph.D.

Providing leadership in a growing field

Sensors research encompasses the study of miniaturized devices that can detect specific biological, chemical, or physical processes, compounds, or ions in complex samples, and that transmit real-time information. Experts predict the global sensors market will surpass $110 billion by 2019 as the demand for sensors grows across industries.

As sensors continue to shrink in size, decrease in cost, and require less power, sustained innovation is paramount. So, too, is the need to bring clarity to sensor-related challenges and to foster the level of informed discussion between disciplines that leads to break-through research and novel applications.

“Sensors are important to everything, from whether water is safe to drink to understanding the inner workings of the cell,” said Dr. Gooding. “And yet there are many scientific advances still required for sensors to realize their full potential and impact our daily lives even more positively. ACS Sensors will be a respected resource that catalyzes and supports progress toward this bright new future.”

Dr. Gooding envisions ACS Sensors as a journal that will provide intellectual leadership not just by publishing the best quality sensor science, but also by educating the broader audience of scientists about sensor-related issues and opportunities.

To that end, ACS Sensors will cater to all aspects of sensing, from the conceptual to the applied. Conceptual topics could cover everything from addressing specific challenges in sensing to advances in materials or transducers used in sensing.

The potential topics for application areas are just as broad and could encompass:

  • Biomedical sensors
  • Environmental sensors
  • Gas sensors
  • Foods, water and workplace security
  • Sensors for biological discovery

Dr. Gooding emphasized that application research need not focus solely on commercialization. For example, a sensor that lacks widespread market appeal may have value for its capability to detect and uncover new scientific information. Although the journal will focus on chemical sensors, topics related to physical sensors will also be considered, especially as the market for wearable sensors expands.

“Sensors research is a diverse and interdisciplinary field involving chemists, physicists, materials scientists, engineers, technologists, and biologists, which is important for both analysis and scientific discovery,” said Dr. Gooding. “ACS Sensors will publish work from this entire field in all its wonderful diversity.”

At the forefront of publishing standards

ACS Sensors will be a journal of influence in the sensors field in part because it shares the same high-quality standards of all ACS publications. The journal is committed to a rigorous and rapid peer-review process that is overseen by researchers who are active in the field and understand the needs of researchers. Authors whose papers are accepted by ACS Sensors will benefit from timely publication on the Society’s award-winning web and mobile publishing technologies, which enable the broad dissemination of ACS Web Editions journals to more than 5,000 subscribing institutions worldwide.

The benefits to accepted authors extend well beyond publishing credentials. ACS offers many types of publishing and editing supports to authors, and it does not levy any fees on its authors. In addition, ACS offers several open-access options, all designed to make it easy for authors to stay in compliance with open-access requirements. Authors can also tap into resources through the ACS Help Desk, the ACS AuthorChoice Resource Center, and ACS ChemWorx, which offers reference management, streamlined citation tools and editing services.

Learn more about the journal, including how to submit papers, at

About Editor-in-Chief J. Justin Gooding, Ph.D.

Inaugural Editor-in-Chief J. Justin Gooding, Ph.D., brings a wealth of sensor-related research and publishing experience to his leadership role with ACS Sensors.

Scientia Professor and founding co-director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine at The University of New South Wales, Dr. Gooding is internationally recognized for his work in surface modification, biosensors, functional nanomaterials, cell-based diagnostic devices, and electroanalysis. In addition to his roles as Deputy Head of the School of Chemistry at The University of New South Wales, Dr. Gooding is the node leader for the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology. The recent recipient of the prestigious Australian Laureate Fellowship, Dr. Gooding has authored or co-authored nearly 300 publications and holds 11 patents.

Dr. Gooding earned a B.Sc. in chemistry from the University of Melbourne in 1988 and a Ph.D. from Oxford University in 1994.

“Professor Gooding’s editorial vision, broad scientific expertise, and network of professional collaborations within the global sensors research community will rapidly establish ACS Sensors as the premier publication in the field. ACS Publications is honored to partner with him on this exciting venture,” said Penelope Lewis, Ph.D., Director, Editorial and New Product Development for ACS Publications.

ACS E-Book Author Mary Virginia Orna Wears Many Hats

Browse professor Mary Virginia Orna’s personal website and the tagline “Critical thinking for challenging times” is bolded across the bottom. As a woman who wears many hats—scientist, professor, public speaker, book author, Catholic nun, and active member of several ACS committees—such a motto is apt for Orna. Colleagues have praised her lifelong commitment to challenging herself and her students to excel both inside and out of the classroom.

After pursuing a bachelor of science in chemistry in the 1950’s at Chestnut Hill College and then a master’s and Ph.D. in chemistry and analytical chemistry at Fordham University, Orna has inspired not only young women in the sciences, but students of all races and backgrounds to succeed. Her love of chemistry, teaching, writing and traveling has penetrated far and wide. She has authored or edited 14 books and more than 100 journal, encyclopedia and monograph articles and has received numerous honors and grants, including the prestigious George C. Pimentel Award for her remarkable contributions to chemical education.

Her new book, “Science History: A Travelers Guide” will soon be published in hardcopy. How does she do it all? “You don’t do it all at once. You use your time well. You have your priorities,” Orna says.

ACS caught up with Orna from her second home in central Europe. An edited transcript of the conversation follows.

How did you first become interested in chemistry?

My parents gave my brother a chemistry set when he was 8 and I was 10. I took one look at it and I tell people that there was a ‘hostile takeover.’ I took it to my room and started producing smells, explosions and reactions that bubbled—all kinds of exciting things—which of course are now completely against the law. It was much more fun than playing with dolls. If I didn’t have a brother, a chemistry set would never have found its way into the house. You don’t give chemistry sets to girls, at least in those days you didn’t.

How did your love of chemistry continue as you grew older?

When I legitimately got my hands on chemicals in my high school laboratory, it reinforced that early experience. I had a wonderful chemistry teacher, but I also had another love: Latin. I loved the structure; it was very logical. I wanted to major in Latin [at Chestnut Hill College in Pennsylvania], but my mother said that I’d never be able to earn a living in it. I wanted to be independent, and my second love was chemistry, so I majored in chemistry.

As a woman pursuing the sciences back in the 1950’s, did you experience any roadblocks or discrimination?

Growing up I felt I could do anything I wanted. Even though my parents were not college-educated, there was no question that my siblings and I would go to college. I went to a women’s college, so I didn’t have anybody pushing me aside or exhibiting any prejudice.

At graduate school there were many guys around, but I didn’t have a problem asserting myself. One time at a summer institute for the National Science Foundation, we had to share computers on a bench. I was paired with a very large man who gradually kept easing me off the bench, so I just eased back. He was astounded. I said to myself, “I’m not going to let him push me around.” I fought back. You had to do that.

You ended up teaching chemistry at The College of New Rochelle starting in 1966, another all-women’s college. How did you then become interested in studying color and archaeological chemistry?

Every student had to take two semesters of a laboratory science, so they were flocking into biology and astronomy because they were frightened to death of chemistry. In 1977, the art department chair asked if I’d create a chemistry course for art majors. I had to think of a strong connection between the two, so I came up with color. However I didn’t know anything about it, so I attended the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University for a semester. They had a conservation center that was chaired jointly by a physical chemist and an art historian.

There I met Tom Mathews, another art historian, who believes that artists cannot really know anything about their materials unless they know some chemistry. We became good friends and ended up traveling around the world together. We went to various depositories of ancient manuscripts (mostly of Armenian origin dating back from the 8th to the 16th century)—like Jerusalem, Venice and Paris—and took microscopic samples of them. He did the art historical work, I did the pigment chemical analysis. We were the very first to publish the most definitive palette of the medieval manuscript by experiment. Meanwhile, I returned to New Rochelle and developed a brand new, successful course for art majors based on that material. My colleague, Madeline Goodstein, and I wrote the textbook for the course. It has been used in many universities.

In 1990, you began conducting study tours for students on the history of science. How did that come about?

At one point in the early 90’s, the faculty were encouraged to develop “mini courses” to span the month of January. A colleague in mathematics suggested we develop a course called “The History of Science and Mathematics” to fulfill their liberal arts and science credits. It was a two-week trip abroad to visit places where the history of science and mathematics was done, mostly in England and Scotland.

We did this every other year for about 10 years until money ran out, but by that time, a number of chemist acquaintance friends had heard about the trips and started coming along. Gradually we ended up with more adults on these trips than students. They were mostly chemists from industry or medical professionals. I now have a following of about 90 people; there’s always a waiting list. We just had a trip to central Europe in October. Out of that recently arose a book that I was working on with Tim Marney, which hopefully will soon see the light of day in hard copy. It’s called “Science History: A Travelers Guide.”

What do you find especially fascinating about scientific travel?

It’s not just any old travel. You’re not standing dumbly in front of the Eiffel Tower while some guy talks about how many megatons of steel are in the tower. You’re visiting a place where science history is made or where it is in enshrined. For example, the Pasteur Institute in Paris is precisely where Pasteur did his actual work. We could visit the rooms that he lived in and see the results of his work in his test tubes. We visited the University of Zurich, where Alfred Werner first made the inorganic chelate compounds. We saw test tube labels in his own handwriting. That’s awesome and is something you never forget. You’d never get that by reading a book or seeing a demonstration.

What is one of your favorite locations from the book?

People don’t usually realize that Rome has a lot of fascinating science. Each department at the University of Rome has its own museum. Their physics department, for example, has a physics museum with the original equipment used by Enrico Fermi to bombard nuclei with neutrons, which brought about the Atomic Age.

What is your favorite chapter of the book?

The problem is I’ve written a couple of those chapters. My favorite is my chapter on Paris, called ‘Paris: A Scientific “Theme Park.”’ In the time between breakfast and lunch in Paris, you can cover ground where ten elements were discovered. You just have so much there. You can walk to all of the buildings and museums where all of this incredible work took place.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I have always liked public speaking the best. I love to get up in front of a large audience and give a talk because I don’t have to mark their papers or give a test. I can talk without interruption about something I really love. I can tell new jokes. It’s fun to catch people’s eyes in the audience. It brings out the actor in me.

What is your favorite joke?

One time while speaking about medieval manuscripts at the local ACS section in Rochester, New York, the slide projector was malfunctioning and at one point an image of Jesus was projected onto the ceiling. Finally it started slowly coming down and I said, “Look. There he comes, he’s descending. But it’s all wrong, it’s the wrong direction today.” Half the audience cracked up, the other half looked around wondering what was so funny. It happened to be “Ascension Thursday,” the day that Christ was supposed to have ascended. I said, “In order for this to be correct, he’d have to reverse direction.” I think that was probably one of the funniest things that happened.

What is the most challenging part of your work?

My work is only a small part of my life. I’m a religious sister, so a large part of my life is my journey toward God, of finding myself, of searching for self-identity, which is a lifelong process. I get up every morning at 4:30 am to make time for prayer. I try to carve out about an hour and a half for a long run. I don’t waste a minute of my day. I pack it all in.