Field of Science

'But is it chemistry?' hits Nature

There it is. Nature has picked up on the 'Is it chemistry' thread. Awareness and contrbutions from the good folks at the Skeptical Chymist were no doubt responsible for the article. The article does not echo bloggers' views directly, but echoes the views of previous Nobelists which in turn echo bloggers' views. There's the one that thinks (like I and some others do) that they should have a separate award for biology. There are those who point to the disparate majority of bioscientists on the Nobel chemistry committee, and there are those who think that such biology oriented chemistry awards are inevitable in the future. Like it or not, I think we have to agree with this last prediction. This year's Nobel makes no major advances in fundamental understanding of structure, reactivity, or synthesis. But then, are many such advances possible in the near future? And in the absence of such advances, awards such as the one given this year are inevitable.

Just one problem with the article. Richard Schrock became Robert Schrock.

Overheard from the 2007 But Is It Chemistry (BIIC) Conference at Tierra del Fuego:
* Physicist, biologist, medical researcher and engineer: Hey, chemist...too chicken to compete for the prize?
* Chemist: What are you talking about? You are all doing chemistry.

Well, maybe it's not that simple, but close.

1 comment:

  1. Does it means that the word 'chemist' has reduced to 'synthetic, organic, inorgaic...' chemist?
    Medicine, if down to molecular scales, is unfortunately chemistry. More unfortunately, chemistry is now reaching mesoscale where supramolecular self-assembly takes place, so anything regarding cells are inevitably chemistry, because cells is just a self-assemblied funtionalized system, a well-defined liposome, a smart combination of molecular machines, or whatever a chemist like to call it. It should not be blamed that the Nobel Chemistry went to RNA, but the Nobel Physio Med went to RNA, an molecule. The Nobel Physio Med should go to more clinical fields regarding new treatments or something.


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