10 Holiday Gifts Perfect for Scientists

blog_ribbionShopping for the electrochemist or solid state scientist in your life can be difficult. But don’t panic, we’re here to help. (If you happen to be that scientist, well, that’s the reason for the “share” button.) We’ve searched the Internet to find the perfect gift – from witty novelties for those with a sense of humor, to practical tools that he or she will use every day.

Take a look at the list we’ve complied and let us know if we’ve missed anything in the comments!

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Cyborg Roaches Advance Science

roach

Photographs of Blaberus discoidalis (A), the transmitter circuit (B) and of a quarter coin (C) to compare the scales involved.

While browsing through the vast array of Open Access articles that ECS hosts in its Digital Library, one title in particular caught our eye here at headquarters.

I mean, it is pretty hard to ignore an academic article titled “Wireless Communication by an Autonomous Self-Powered Cyborg Insect.”

The article, published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society by researchers from Case Western Reserve University, details – to put it simply – how a cyborg cockroach can generate and transmit signals wirelessly.

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34 Years of Leadership – Roque J. Calvo

Roque Calvo

ECS Executive Director, Roque Calvo marks 34 years of service

This week at ECS, we’re celebrating Executive Director Roque J. Calvo’s 34th anniversary with the Society. Through hard-work and a clear vision, Calvo has helped transform the Society into what it is today.

Here’s a brief look at Calvo’s roots with ECS and his 34-year journey with the Society.

Roque J. Calvo joined the Society staff in 1980 as the Accounting Supervisor, managing the financial operations for the headquarters. After two years, he was promoted to Assistant Executive Secretary. In 1991, ECS’s Bud Branneky retired and was succeeded by Calvo as the Executive Secretary – being only the fourth to claim this title in the Society’s 98-year history. The title was changed to Executive Director in 1994 – the title that Calvo holds to this day.

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7 New Job Postings in Electrochemistry

Find openings in your area via the ECS job board.

Find openings in your area via the ECS job board.

ECS’s job board keeps you up-to-date with the latest career opportunities in electrochemical and solid-state science. Check out the latest openings that have been added to the board:

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Chemical Engineering
Case Western Reserve University – Cleveland, Ohio
The Postdoctoral Research Associate will conduct research and development on titanium electrowinning from molten salts. Technical responsibilities will include high-temperature electrochemical reactor design and fabrication, experimental investigations of electrodeposition from molten salts, and some mathematical modeling studies.

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The Power of Poo: Britain’s Bio-Bus

The Bio-Bus, nicknamed "the number two," will transport riders between Bath and Bristol.Credit: GENeco

The Bio-Bus, nicknamed “the number two,” will transport riders between Bath and Bristol.
Credit: GENeco

Here at ECS, we love to talk about renewable resources – and we also like talking about poop. And with Britain’s first ‘poo-powered’ bus hitting the roads, we have a perfect excuse to talk about both.

GENeco has developed the new 40-seat Bio-Bus, which is powered by human waste. In technical terms, the bus runs on the biomethane gas that is produced at a sewage treatment works in Avonmouth.

According to BBC, the bus can travel up to 300 km – or 186 miles – on one tank of gas. One tank would be equivalent to the annual waste of five people. Further, the vehicle will emit up to 30 percent less carbon dioxide than conventional diesel vehicles.

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Let’s Hear It for LEDs

What exactly is and LED? (Click to enlarge.)Credit: General Electric

What exactly is an LED? (Click to enlarge.)
Credit: General Electric

More and more households are using LED light bulbs due to improved efficiency, reliability, and now a more affordable cost over their incandescent cousins. With droves of scientists researching in the area of LED and producing new developments, these bulbs are beginning to become the new norm.

Let’s take a look at the journey the LED bulb has gone though thus far.

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Give Us a Few Minutes and We Will Do More for You

ECS logoHow can we help you advance your work? Please take just a few minutes to complete our short survey and tell us.

Your input today will help us better serve the digital needs of people like you and the Society’s goal of disseminating the science.

So please take this quick survey now.

All answers will be securely held and only used for aggregate statistical comparisons.

Thank you for helping.

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The Price of Academic Research

According to Eve, researchers are paid a salary to produce work and do not necessarily need to sell thousands of copies to earn a living.Credit: Shutterstock

According to Eve, researchers are paid a salary to produce work and do not necessarily need to sell thousands of copies to earn a living.
Credit: Shutterstock

There is a wealth of knowledge that exists in the huge array of academic articles that are being produced. Still, the discovery process and dissemination of knowledge is not as fast as it potentially could be.

The issue lies in the paywalls. In order to read the huge majority of these articles, one would need to have university access or else pay the often substantial fee.

Martin Paul Eve, a lecturer at the University of Lincoln’s School of English & Journalism in the United Kingdom, sat down with The Atlantic recently to discuss this issue that he has delved into in his book entitled Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies, and the Future.

Here at The Electrochemical Society, we are beginning our bold move toward open access publication in order to speed up and make more efficient the dissemination of scientific research. Still, the issue of paywalls in academic research exists and often time impedes on progress.

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Everybody Poops

WorldToiletDayHere at The Electrochemical Society, we give a crap about sanitation. With our recent partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – which awarded $210,000 in seed funding to innovative research projects addressing critical gaps in water and sanitation – we’ve spent a great deal of time these past few months talking about poop.  We plan to keep that trend alive, which brings us to World Toilet Day.

Two and a half billion people – 36 percent of the world’s population – don’t have access to a toilet, according to UNICEF. Globally, more people have mobile phones than toilets. Most people in developed countries think of access to adequate sanitation as a right rather than a privilege.

For this reason, ECS hosted the Electrochemical Energy and Water Summit, where some of the brightest minds in electrochemical and solid state science came together to brainstorm innovative ways to address the global sanitation crisis. We’re not just flushing and forgetting, we’re attempting to make adequate sanitation a basic human right.

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First Solar-Powered Bike Lane in Netherlands

SolaRoad coverts sunlight on the road surface into electricity: the road network works as an inexhaustible source of green power.Credit: SolaRoad

SolaRoad converts sunlight on the road surface into electricity: the road network works as an inexhaustible source of green power.
Credit: SolaRoad

A solar-powered cycle path – called SolaRoad – has been unveiled in the Netherlands. The path can generate enough electricity to power three households, reports BBC.

The new path has been installed in Kormmenie, which is 25 kilometers from Amsterdam. While the path is currently 70 meters long, it will be extended to 100 meters by 2016.

Dr. Sten de Wit from SolaRoad believes that this is just the beginning for solar-powered paths. Dr. de Wit foresees solar roads eventually being used to power the electric vehicles that use them, similar to Dutch developer Heijmans and designer Daan Roosegaard in their “smart highway.”

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