Posts Tagged ‘researcher’

Blasts from the past. A personal Web presence: 1993-1996.

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Egon Willighagen recently gave a presentation at the RSC entitled “The Web – what is the issue” where he laments how little uptake of web technologies as a “channel for communication of scientific knowledge and data” there is in chemistry after twenty years or more. It caused me to ponder what we were doing with the web twenty years ago. Our HTTP server started in August 1993, and to my knowledge very little content there has been deleted (it’s mostly now just hidden). So here are some ancient pages which whilst certainly not examples of how it should be done nowadays, give an interesting historical perspective. In truth, there is not much stuff that is older out there!


A two-publisher model for the scientific article: narrative+shared data.

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

I do go on rather a lot about enabling or hyper-activating[1] data. So do others[2]. Why is sharing data important?



  1. O. Casher, G.K. Chandramohan, M.J. Hargreaves, C. Leach, P. Murray-Rust, H.S. Rzepa, R. Sayle, and B.J. Whitaker, "Hyperactive molecules and the World-Wide-Web information system", J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 2, pp. 7, 1995.
  2. R. Van Noorden, "Data-sharing: Everything on display", njobs, vol. 500, pp. 243-245, 2013.

Research data and the “h-index”.

Monday, June 24th, 2013

The blog post by Rich Apodaca entitled “The Horrifying Future of Scientific Communication” is very thought provoking and well worth reading. He takes us through disruptive innovation, and how it might impact upon how scientists communicate their knowledge. One solution floated for us to ponder is that “supporting Information, combined with data mining tools, could eliminate most of the need for manuscripts in the first place“. I am going to juxtapose that suggestion on something else I recently discovered. 


Secrets of a university tutor. An exercise in mechanistic logic, prequel.

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

The reaction below plays a special role in my career. As a newly appointed researcher (way back now), I was asked to take tutorial groups for organic chemistry as part of my duties. I sat down to devise a suitable challenge for the group, and came upon the following reaction[1]. I wrote it down on page 2 of my tutorial book, which I still have. I continue to use this example in tutorials to this day, some 35 years later.



  1. T.C. Clarke, and R.G. Bergman, "Olefinic cyclization at a vinyl cation center. Inversion preference for intramolecular nucleophilic substitution by a double bond", J. Am. Chem. Soc., vol. 94, pp. 3627-3629, 1972.