About this day
For A level and IB students
Join us for an amazing day of chemistry, taking students from their studies to cutting-edge research and future applications in great style! Five sessions from leading chemists in academia and industry will inspire the scientists of the future. Science comedian Steve Cross will chair the event and former secondary school chemistry teacher Peter Hoare will deliver a special session on examination success that will ensure students are equipped with the tools to excel. There will be plenty of interactivity throughout the day, with polls, quizzes and (of course) your chance to question the scientists – join us at Chemistry in Action this autumn!
Programme & speakers
Terra Rara - The Unknown Elemental Sea Andrea Sella, Chemist and broadcaster, University College London
Rare earth elements – the 14 or so elements with romantic names such as neodymium, gadolinium and dysprosium – have been very much in the news over the past ten years. Their niche uses in electronics and in the renewable energy industry make them indispensable to today’s society. Yet most people know nothing about them or why they have become so controversial.
About Professor Andrea Sella
Andrea is a synthetic chemist and broadcaster who is interested in the structure and bonding in the rare earths. He has been involved in numerous radio and television projects.
How chiral materials will change the world! Jess Wade, Materials Scientist, Imperial College London
Nature has been nailing nanostructures for billions of years. Whether it is peacock feathers or butterfly wings, science can only aspire to manipulate matter so elegantly at the subatomic scale. Jess reveals that the most miraculous molecular structures of all exist as a pair of non-superimposable mirror images; where the left and right-handed forms can have remarkably different properties.
About Jess Wade
Jess is a materials scientist at Imperial College London where she studies chiral carbon-based semiconductors. She is a science communicator committed to improving diversity in science, both online and offline.
Chemistry in conflict Kit Chapman, Author and chemist
Why did Chile go to war over bird poo? Can you build an aircraft carrier out of ice? And why would a fighter jet fly into a mushroom cloud? Discover some of the weirdest ways chemistry has changed the course of military history.
About Dr Kit Chapman
Kit Chapman is an award-winning science journalist who currently writes for Chemistry World. His book on element discovery, Superheavy was published in 2019.
When Medicines become Drugs – How Small Chemical Changes Change the World Alex Baker, University of Warwick
Why is morphine used in the NHS but heroin isn’t? Why is an isomer of methamphetamine sold over the counter in the USA? It’s simple Chemistry. In this talk, Alex will consider the small chemical changes that separate molecules that heal, from molecules that harm and explore the impacts these chemical changes have on the world. Along the way we will think about isomerism, solubility and how medicines work.
About Dr Alex Baker
Alex is an organic chemist with a particular interest in carbohydrates, polymers and nanoparticles. His work is used to design medical diagnostics with a particular focus on the developing world and fighting health inequalities.
Making the invisible visible Rachel Bolton-King, Staffordshire University
Someone has been shot, but witnesses are too scared to come forward. Help Rachel use cutting-edge techniques to reveal hidden evidence and establish the truth.
About Dr Rachel Bolton-King
Rachel is an associate professor at Staffordshire University. Her research specialises in the investigation of shooting incidents, working with forensic scientists and legal professionals across the world.