Nuclear Chemistry and Web 2.0

Mitch Garcia interviewBerkeley nuclear chemist Mitch André Garcia is very much a modern chemist. He is not content with the staid old laboratory notebook and blotchy ballpoint in his labcoat. No! Garcia is a web-chemist.

Aside from his excellent work on the chemistry of the element rutherfordium, he has created a network of chemistry websites that provide answers to an almost unthinkable number of questions about the science (actually, there are about 1000 Q and A), offer hundreds of fellow chemists and students the chance to share their thoughts online, and a couple of weekends ago, he knocked together a new website that works like the voting system on Digg, the social bookmarking site, but for chemistry research papers rather than random news and images, ChemRank.

I interviewed Garcia for the June issue of chemistry webzine Reactive Reports. I asked him whether a growing online presence might present a problem for chemists, who traditionally work in a very physical science. “A complaint or compliment I frequently get from my colleagues is that I already seem to live online,” he told me, “Aside from rogue chemical developers like myself, there will always be room for glassware in a chemist’s life in our ever increasing in silico lives.” Read the full interview in Reactive Reports.