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A comic collaboration between C&EN and ChemScrapes cartoonist Brendan Burkett

To see more of Burkett’s chemistry cartoons, go to

Rebound substitution (Posted February 13, 2020)


A Facebook reader noted that the mechanism depicted in the original cartoon would probably favor elimination of HBr in the presence of ethoxide. We agree. We updated the cartoon on Feb. 24, 2020, to replace the basic ethoxide with ethanol.

Radiodentistry (Posted January 14, 2020)

Entropic irony (Posted December 12, 2019)

Chemical Goodfellas (Posted November 19, 2019)

Enantiomers go golfing (Posted October 2, 2019)

Lord of the carbons (Posted September 9, 2019)

Electrochemical job interview (Posted August 8, 2019)

Adventures in explosive babysitting (Posted July 12, 2019)

Mole-opoly (Posted June 11, 2019)

The perils of machine learning (Posted May 8, 2019)

Shakespearean photochemistry (Posted April 8, 2019)

Welcome to the influenza club (Posted March 8, 2019)

Cell biologists (Posted February 8, 2019)

Knights of the Periodic Table (Posted January 10, 2019)

Chemical lockup (Posted December 11, 2018)

Biofilms 2: North by Northwestern Blot (Posted November 5, 2018)

Halloween for glassware (Posted October 8, 2018)

A precursor goes shopping (Posted September 10, 2018)

Shakespearean Chemistry: Richard III (Posted August 6, 2018)

Synthetic step tracker (Posted July 8, 2018)

The frustration of a mechanistic director (Posted June 11, 2018)

Gossip from the pharma cuticle industry (Posted May 4, 2018)

The birds and the benzenes (Posted April 11, 2018)

Performance chemicals (Posted March 5, 2018)

Biofilms (posted February 6, 2018)

Interfacebook check-in (posted January 12, 2018)

RuPhos the red-nosed catalyst ligand (posted December 11, 2017)

The plight of the NMR spinner (posted November 6, 2017)

Vampyrex (posted October 5, 2017)

Hydrogen bonding (posted September 8, 2017)

Orbital parking lot (posted August 8, 2017)

The Ion Channel (posted July 7, 2017)

Infrared massage studio (posted June 6, 2017)

Molecular status updates (posted May 4, 2017)

Glassware job woes (posted April 11, 2017)

Molecular nightmares (posted March 8, 2017)

Psychoanalytical chemistry (posted February 8, 2017)

NMRs have goals, too (posted January 25, 2017)