ACS meeting highlights, a periodic table of science bloggers, and atomic spectroscopy knitwear

The spring ACS meeting prompted the usual flurry of blog posts, albeit possibly slightly reduced because of scarce internet connections in the venue. Katharine Sanderson blogged for Nature News at 'In the field' ( on topics ranging from green chemistry to the reasons why Rosalind Franklin missed her chance to decode the structure of DNA. If you see people wearing t-shirts saying 'Save the mole!' or 'Moles are units!' then they've probably read Mitch's post on the Chemistry Blog ( He reported from a talk given by Paul Karol of Carnegie Mellon University, who “argued passionately for the removal of the mole from the base set of units from the International System of Units.” The main point of his argument is that “a mole is just a numerical value, and has as much physical meaning as the term dozen.” Could this do for chemistry what the downgrading of Pluto did for astronomy?

When David Bradley of Science Base ( issued a call for people to suggest their blogs to fill in his periodic table of science blogs, he probably wasn't expecting the gold rush that followed. In a few short hours, people across the world responded by blog comment or twitter and all 118 elements were claimed. Our own blog nabbed sodium (Na for Nature Chemistry), whereas Nature Networks bagged neon (Ne). The final version is neatly colour-coded for various scientific disciplines and the diversity is such that I'd be surprised if anyone followed all of them.

And finally, have you ever wanted a scarf in the pattern of the emission spectrum of your favourite element? Well, now you can buy one, thanks to Becky Stern at The Stern Lab ( They're about six-and-a-half-feet long (around two metres) and look very stylish — the perfect gift for the chemist in your life.