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ChemChamps finalists to compete in Philadelphia

by Linda Wang
July 18, 2016 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 94, Issue 29

Four finalists have been selected to compete in the American Chemical Society’s Chemistry Champions competition, which will take place on Aug. 20 and 22 at the ACS national meeting in Philadelphia. The competition, now in its third year, aims to give younger chemists an opportunity to develop and enhance their communication skills.

The finalists are John Gleeson, a graduate student at University College Dublin, in Ireland; Mallory Hinks, a graduate student at the University of California, Irvine; Nathan Turner, an undergraduate at Louisiana Tech University, in Baton Rouge; and Olga Zamudio, who recently earned a Ph.D. from the Center for Research & Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico City and now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

They were selected from eight semifinalists who all received science communications training this summer in Washington, D.C. Those eight were narrowed down from contestants who submitted a two- to three-minute video of themselves describing chemistry concepts or their own research in a way that’s accessible to the general public. Participants ranged from undergraduate students to professional scientists, from both the U.S. and abroad.

In Philadelphia, the finalists will compete at the Musser Demonstration Theater at the Franklin Institute at 3 PM on Aug. 20. Gleeson will present his research on nutraceuticals. Hinks will present her research on atmospheric aerosols, Turner will talk about combustion, and Zamudio will discuss using green fluorescent dye to understand biology.

The champion will receive a trip to Washington, D.C., to network with professional science communications staff at ACS and possibly attend a briefing on Capitol Hill; host an ACS “Reactions” video; join the National Academy of Sciences’ Science & Entertainment Exchange; and receive a three-dimensionally printed Chemistry Champions trophy.

The grand prize winner will be announced live on Aug. 22. For the location and details, visit, and follow #ChemChamps on Twitter.

A group of students.
Credit: Chris McCarthy
ChemChamps semifinalists attended communications training in Washington, D.C. Four will go on to the finals in Philadelphia.


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