The world of chemical literature is a beautiful one, albeit often intimidating to newcomers. It is a world worth exploring, as the ability to keep up to date with novel research is crucial for professional scientists to attain. Furthermore, the undergraduate level is perhaps the best time to learn and practice this ability. Students have exceptional access to research papers through the university’s subscriptions to top-notch journals, whereas much of this literature is inaccessible to the public, hidden behind expensive pay walls.
This colloquium class will provide students a chance to appreciate, rather than fear, chemical literature by diving into a selection of cutting-edge research papers in a supportive, low-stress environment. The format of the class will be as follows. We will meet once a week for 90 minutes. A research paper will be assigned seven days before each meeting, and students will have that time to explore the paper. At the meeting, we will delve into that research paper with a facilitated discussion of what we found interesting, what was challenging to understand, the greater picture implications of the research presented, and an analysis of the structure and writing style of the paper. By the end of the quarter, students should feel comfortable and well equipped with the skills necessary for analyzing chemical literature.
It is noted that this is a cooperative class with the UCSB Chemistry Club. For the past two quarters, Chemistry Club has been running an undergraduate Journal Club. Among other things, this colloquium will allow students to receive course credit for the advanced study they are undertaking through participation in the Journal Club.
This is a student-led colloquium led by Stephanie Taylor under the supervision of Scott Price.