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By Jenny Sharwood

An engaging and challenging new study design for VCE Chemistry has arrived.

Chemistry is connected with the wider community through ways other than the products of chemical industry or the promise of chemical research. Careers in science are well recognised for being personally rewarding as well as having positive impacts on society. Unfortunately, Indigenous Australians are underrepresented in the chemistry community in Australia. This significant issue is an example of a lack of cultural diversity within Australian science.

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Ocean acidification stops shrimp chorus

By University of Adelaide

Increasing carbon dioxide jeopardises navigation

Snapping shrimps, the loudest invertebrates in the ocean, may be silenced under increasing ocean acidification, a University of Adelaide study has found. Published in March in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the researchers report that under levels of CO2 predicted to be found in oceans by the end of the century, the sound of snapping shrimps would be reduced substantially.

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Rare: the high stakes race to satisfy our need for the scarcest metals on Earth

Reviewed by R. John Casey

Book review

Rare: the high stakes race to satisfy our need for the scarcest metals on Earth provides fascinating insights into the world of rare metals: where they come from, what they are used for, who controls the supply chains, what the recycling prospects look like, and where we might look to finding future supplies of scarce metals. Author Keith Veronese is a scientific writer with a strong background in chemistry. He has written a fine book, which is readily intelligible to any interested adult, irrespective of scientific literacy.

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Also in this issue...

Quantum leap: redefining SI

 

Several units in the Système international d’unités, including the kilogram, are under review in the lead-up to the proposed ‘new SI’ in 2018.


Biological control: a case for multidisciplinary research

Biological control of pest plants involves biology, ecology and a dose of chemistry.


RACI Fellow honoured with Gibb Maitland Medal

Internationally recognised organic geochemist and chemist Professor Kliti Grice FRACI CChem has been awarded the Geological Society of Australia’s (GSA) 2016 Gibb Maitland Medal.


World Science Festival comes to Brisbane

In March I attended the World Science Festival, Brisbane, on behalf of the RACI. Held annually in New York since 2008, the World Science Festival is now one of the most celebrated science festivals in the world. Becoming the first city outside of New York to do so, Brisbane hosted an amazing inaugural event!


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Previous issue

By Colin Scholes

A lack of Indigenous people in chemical science is not unique to Australia. We can learn much from progress made in the US.

Chemistry is connected with the wider community through ways other than the products of chemical industry or the promise of chemical research. Careers in science are well recognised for being personally rewarding as well as having positive impacts on society. Unfortunately, Indigenous Australians are underrepresented in the chemistry community in Australia. This significant issue is an example of a lack of cultural diversity within Australian science.

Read more

Evidence for curium at solar system formation

By University of Chicago

Ceramic inclusion in a meteorite

University of Chicago scientists have discovered evidence in a meteorite that the rare element curium was present during the formation of the solar system. This finding ends a 35-year-old debate on the possible presence of curium in the early solar system, and plays a crucial role in reassessing models of stellar evolution and synthesis of elements in stars. Details of the discovery appear in Science Advances (doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1501400).

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The plastics project that went to waste

By Duncan Seddon

Economics

Presently there is renewed interest in banning or taxing plastic bags used in supermarkets. The aim is to reduce perceived problems with plastic bag litter. Supermarket chains import these bags by the billion and I am not aware of any production in Australia.

When I first came to Australia in the early 1980s, supermarkets used paper bags. There was a bagger (usually a spotty youth) employed on each payment aisle to assist the customer and speed up throughput. Plastic bags are considerably cheaper than paper bags and, along with the metal holding rack, allow the cashier to do the bagging,hence eliminating the bagger.

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Also in this issue...

Complete-ium! Race to the end of Period 7

Four more superheavy elements have made it to the periodic table, but what evidence did their creators need to get them there?


Chemistry: the next 10 years

The 2016–2025 Decadal Plan for Chemistry supports growth in chemical manufacturing and research, explains the working group chair.


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