Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Juggling Communication Into My Calendar

It’s about time that I wrote my next Blog Post. As you may recall from one of my old posts on Hallows or Horcruxes, as a researcher, my daily question is whether to spend time on grants or papers. What I neglected to mention is that as a Professor, I also have a long list of other items that I must address in order to keep up my research (and teaching) enterprise moving forward. The fact that I enjoy many of these tasks doesn’t detract from the fact that they take time. Alas my blogging has suffered.

So where's the "chemistry" in the fact that I have been a slacker in not writing on my everywherechemistry blog? Sadly, it partially lies in the fact that all of my chemistry colleagues are equally overburdened. E-mail has become a daily chore with hundreds of messages that must be deleted, responded to immediately, or which require significant deliverables that require even more time. I know that this is no different than what other professionals experience. It is a sign of the times. Electronic communication has increased our ability to share our chemistry with each other, but it has also increased our volume of work. The ease in travel also tempts us to move our bodies, not just electrons, to distant places. It allows me to interact with chemists (and other scientists) directly, and mentor students whom I would not meet otherwise. That human touch provides more substance to the methods and approaches that we are developing and teaching each other.

Thus communication in all its forms is critical to learning and advancing chemistry. This is a fact that may have been lost on you as you learned how to balance chemical reactions, how to name molecules or how to calculate the wave functions associated with chemical bonds. Nevertheless, it's a critical part of doing chemistry... And I'm happy to be back on my blog! Please stay tuned.