Science Communication

PubhD Nottingham


This is a snapshot of myself presenting my research on C-H activations last night.
Please do click here to learn about catalysis. At the end of the talk, the organisers told me that my talk in chemistry was the best they had in 5 years of PubhD.



Pint of Science 2018


On May 14, I hosted the first night of the Pint of Science festival in Nottingham.
I talked about climate change and global warming explaining how carbon dioxide emissions are endangering marine life. This is a snapshot of one of the activities I led, using dry ice and water to show ocean acidification. I thought that my PhD in Sustainable Chemistry would fit perfectly one of the theme of the of the event: Planet Earth. I put together a team of academic superheroes who contribute daily to push the boundaries of science and help the planet.  For example, did you know that biomass (basically rubbish) are an incredible source of valuable chemicals? We can warm them up and extracts oils and other precious stuff from them. And we don’t even need to use heat, microwaves do the same job at a cheaper price. Have you heard about the 12 principles of Sustainable Chemistry? Nooo. They are the guidelines for designing novel and greener processes Then guys, what’s the point of contributing to scientific progress if this knowledge doesn’t go beyond the wall of the ivory tower? This is why one of the section will be dedicated to sustainability in action and how science can drive change in legislation.


Example of science communication on Instagram: Chemical-free is a lie

Let’s talk about real science rather than scientific propaganda or misinformation. This is a picture of my friend acetic acid, and as you guys can see the safety label says that it’s flammable and corrosive. You might think “I would never eat/touch that”. Wrong! You eat almost every day because it’s one of the main components of vinegar. If you really don’t want to use any chemical, then you better stop drinking and eating because the good news is that everything on this planet and beyond is a chemical. Even water is a chemical compound with formula H2O💧. Water is the safest thing on earth but you might be surprised that there is a case reported of a chap who died for intoxication from water (wuat?).f10
When you read on labels “argan oil shampoo 100% natural” “sandal oil cream 100% natural”, does it mean that the oil comes straight from the plant and cosmetic companies put it in the box as it is? Not a change. They use the extract of the plant and transform it into the final product using a chemical process. Natural it’s wrongly used to make a difference between plant-derivatives and crude oil-derivatives. But wait a moment, are fossil fuels non-natural compounds? They have originated on this planet 60 million ago during the Carboniferous. Basically, they have been on earth long before humans would come to destroy it. They are natural compounds indeed. The correct wording to make a difference between plant-derivatives and crude oil-derivatives would be coming from sustainable feedstocks rather than non-renewable ones (crude oil). Before talking BS about chemistry please think! And please remember that the statement “100% natural is a lie”. Companies like to deceive you because this is how they get yours into their pockets. Sad but true.


Example of science communication on Instagram: Say no to drugs


When I was 13, some guys from a drug rehab centre came to school and talked about their experience with drug addiction and their afford to recover from the addiction.
It was quite a strong experience and this prevented me to use heavy drugs during my teenage years and say NO even when I was offered from free. I’ll try to do the same and teach people why chemically it’s bad to take any drug and how to be by being themselves. HEROIN: it was firstly made (in the lab) in 1874 in a hospital in London. However, it became popular in 1895 when Hoffman made and commercialised it in the Laboratories at Bayer. It was put into the market as a cough suppressant, for pain relief as a non-addictive version of morphine. (What?)
The addictive effect of heroin was understood only 30 years later and heroin was banned in 1930. Consequent to the ban, heroin was sold on the black market as recreational drug. When injected into you veins, heroin goes quickly into your brain and binds into a specific region called opioid-receptor and this puts you into the party-mod,e relieving the sense of pain and anxiety. Heroin also binds the same receptors into the spinal cord and the gut. Apparently, all good so far. The less funny bit is that heroin causes addiction and death because your body gets used to the party-mode effect and you need to use more and more to get high. Along with overdose, other causes of death are decreased breathing so you die because there’s no longer oxygen in your body. And even more disgusting you can die because you swallow your own vomit. Rehab is hard, we all addicted to something, love, company, caffeine, nicotine, junk food, sugar etc, and we all know how hard loosing with, quidding smoking is. The cool bit here is to say NO and learn how to be cool by being yourself. Do the things that make you happy and don’t rely on recreational drugs for happiness. It’s a short-term effect that destroys your life.