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Edinburgh's Greatest: Joseph Black

The Edinburgh Evening News has highlighted Joseph Black as one of Edinburgh's greatest figures.

The article describes the contributions made by Joseph Black both through his own research and the inspiration he provided to others.

In the 1790s the average number of students attending Black's lectures was over 200 and during his tenure of the Chair he must have taught chemistry to about 5,000 students and thus was uniquely influential in Britain in the latter half of the nineteenth century.

3 Minute Thesis

Congratulations to Melissa Ladyman who has been selected as one of the three PhD students to represent the College in the University final of the 3-Minute Thesis competition.

The 3 Minute Thesis competition is an opportunity for PhD students at the University of Edinburgh to gain experience in public engagement by communicating their research to an intelligent lay audience???around the world.

Good luck to Melissa in the University final which is on 24 July! The winner will represent the University in the international Universitas 21 competition.

Poster Prize for Placement Student

Congratulations to Adam Michalchuk whose poster, "Complexities of Mechanochemistry: Elucidating Mechanochemical Reactions in a Simple Organic System", won the student poster prize at the 21st International Conference on the Chemistry of the Organic Solid State recently held in Oxford.

Adam is one of the two students on the Year Abroad Programme who spent the last academic year at the University of Novosibirsk in Russia working under the supervision of Prof. Elena Boldyreva.

Our Changing World

As part of this series of public lectures that examine the global challenges facing society and the role of academia in meeting these challenges, Dr Michael Shaver, Chancellor's Fellow in the School of Chemistry, presented "The Intertwined World of 'Peak' Oil, Renewables and Sustainability".

New Forbes Chair: Prof. Guy Lloyd-Jones

Guy moves to Edinburgh from Bristol and was elected to the Royal Society earlier this year.

His group's research focuses on the mechanism by which reagents and catalysts function in synthetic organic reactions.

Guy's group move into purpose-built labs next summer, and with the addition of new facilities for in situ reaction monitoring, such as stop-flow NMR, IR, UV, they aspire to build this to become the UK's centre of expertise for the study and application of organic reaction mechanism to synthesis.

Not So Sticky?

A team lead by Scott Cockroft based in the School of Chemistry have developed an experimental synthetic system for measuring the strength of Van der Waals dispersion forces in solution.

Van der Waals dispersion forces are a fundamental, but elusive class of molecular interaction. These attractive forces are responsible for holding molecules together such that gases are able to condense into liquids, and are even proposed as the origin of the "stickiness" of gecko's feet.

Health Check for Cells Could Help Monitor Progress of Disease

A test that measures the health of cells could be developed to diagnose and monitor diseases, including degenerative illnesses and cancer.

Colin Campbell's research has led to a sensor that measures tiny electronic signals in cells that help keep the cell functioning and are a key indication of health. These signals occur routinely to control everyday processes such as cell maintenance. When they are irregular, it can indicate that cells have been damaged by inflammation, toxicity, or disease.