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JCE ChemEd Xchange provides a place for sharing information and opinions. Currently, articles, blogs and reading lists from ChemEd X contributors are listed below. We plan to include other items that the community wishes to share through their contributions to ChemEd X.

Arrietta Clauss's picture

Consumatory Scholarship

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 09:44 -- Arrietta Clauss

Bruce Henderson in The Chronicle of Higher Education calls faculty to be more proactive in defining their contributions to educational institutions.  In this time of cuts to education, university and secondary school faculty must help the general public understand the nature of their contributions.

Arrietta Clauss's picture

Demographics of MOOC Students

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 15:54 -- Arrietta Clauss

MOOCs, massive open online courses, are gaining credibility. Two organizations offering MOOCs are Coursera and Udacity. These organizations have been fielding demographic surveys to better understand the background of the enrolled students and why they chose to take the MOOC courses. An article by Steve Kolowich in Inside Higher Education summarizes some of the survey data. One pertinent finding was that the majority of the enrolled MOOC students reside outside of the United States.

Hal Harris's picture

Chemistry no mystery; or, A lecturer's bequest. Being the subject-matter of a course of lectures, delivered by an old philosopher, and taken in short-hand by one of the audience, whose name is not known

Fri, 05/25/2012 - 14:12 -- Hal Harris

I have in my library several chemistry textbooks from before 1860, but "Chemistry No Mystery" is not one of them.  Reflecting as they do an approximation of the chemistry known at the time, they provide insight about the history of both science and pedagogy. I learned about this one from my friend Ron Perkins, a skilled chemical demonstrator, and "Chemistry No Mystery" is the most demonstration-oriented of the old textbooks I have seen.

Hal Harris's picture

The Artificial Leaf: Daniel Nocera's vision for sustainable energy

Sun, 05/20/2012 - 11:19 -- Hal Harris

MIT’s Dan Nocera (soon to be Harvard’s) gave a seminar in our department about a year and a half ago, and I heard him speak again in ACS President Bassam Shakhashiri’s ”Presidential Symposium on Catalysis” at the Spring national meeting in San Diego. The chemistry he described is a beautiful example of how fundamental research can potentially impact the lives of billions of people. Dan and his research group have discovered what appears to be an inexpensive, self-healing, air-tolerant catalytic system to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. We have seen before grand announcements about photocatalytic water-splitting systems, but this one appears not to suffer the fatal flaws of the others – requirement of pure water, expensive ingredients, and short duty cycles.

Hal Harris's picture

The Climate Fixers

Thu, 05/17/2012 - 15:32 -- Hal Harris

Suppose that the earth’s atmosphere continues to warm, beyond the levels that we know are already inevitable.  Suppose that the arctic permafrost melts, releasing millions of tons of methane, which is about thirty times more effective at warming than is carbon dioxide, as well as much CO2 as is already in the atmosphere. Within a few years, the mean temperature rises by five degrees Celsius or more, sea levels rise, crops fail and millions starve.

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