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YACJ – Nature Chemistry

April 2009 sees the launch of yet another chemistry journal, this one coming from Nature Publishing Group. It will, apparently, “provide a unique forum for the publication of high-quality research in all areas of chemistry.” Well, they would say that, they’re hardly going to tell us it’s a run-of-the-mill publication offering tedious and dead-end research, are they?

The launch site usefully reminds us that, “Chemistry is concerned with the study of matter on all levels, including its composition, structure, properties and how it can be transformed in chemical reactions.” Again, they’re not wrong there. But, speaking of definitions of chemistry, I thought Walt’s definition in Breaking Bad was pretty good.

If you don’t know about Breaking Bad (It’s not on UK TV yet, for instance), the plot involves a stressed-out, 50y old, high school chemistry teacher, who’s moonlighting at a carwash to make ends meet when he discovers his wife is pregnant and he’s dying of lung cancer. In desperation he hooks up with a crystal meth pusher and starts cooking up some highly pure and enormous crystals in the back of an RV. Needless to say the local dealers don’t like him muscling in on their patch, and he attempts to murder them (in the back of the RV) by pouring powdered red phosphorus on to a pan of boiling methanol. A quick lesson in the incredible corrosive properties of hydrofluoric acid – it burns through metal, rock, ceramic, but not polythene – all adds to the fun and games.

Anyway, Breaking Bad, with its periodic table credits, is a lot more entertaining than yet another chemistry journal. Although I am sure the Nature effort will turn out not to be YAFCJ at all but instead a major success, nudging JACS, Chem Comm, and Angewandte a little further along the virtual shelving.

Meanwhile, thanks for Chemistry Lab Notebook for the tip-off.

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