A chemist with all the solutions : Thanks and farewell Chris Cramer

Just under a month ago, the Real Scientists round bottom flask was filled by theoretical chemist, Professor Chris Cramer. Over the course of the week of May 10-17, Chris let us in on all aspects of his #proflife, #deanlife and #theorylife, including chickens, cocktails, and (because this is the internet) cats. If you missed anything, go check out the whole week’s worth of tweets here. The highlights were many and varied, including this lab safety PSA.

There was also that time when Chris totally rocked the academic regalia, including wearing THE WORLD’S GREATEST TIE at the UMN Commencement ceremony.

Chris kindly obliged to answer our post-curation interview questions, and here he is with his perspective on how his curation went.

In general terms, how did you find your week as a curator?

Oh, it was tremendously enjoyable. Lots of interactions, lots of positive feedback — I’m very grateful to have been given the opportunity.

It can be a shock talking to so many. Did you find the sudden rush of interactions (good and bad) daunting?

Yes, very. The TL scrolls like a pinball machine compared to my usual account! On the other hand, I didn’t find the direct interactions so bad — happy to do rapid repartee — it was more the fear of missing something in the TL that I’d like to retweet or comment on because it got by while I wasn’t looking.

What were the highlights? Were there any lowlights?

Hmm, one highlight for me was to get much more exposure to the Australian scene than I’m used to. Another was to be reaching so many “non-chemist” scientists who replied with genuine interest about various posts. I did not experience any negative interactions, even when climate change came up, so I can’t point to a lowlight. Really very polite and positive experience.

Is there anything you wanted to get out of / do on the RS account that you didn’t manage to fit in?

I’d say no. One week was just about right for me to do my best to tweet out highlights of my science, my higher ed activities, a little bit of politics, and some general “scientists have normal lives, too” stuff. Of course, it was a very CONSUMING week — I felt guilty when a 5 hour block came up during which I could not attend to the account (and let’s not even talk about the guilt of actually sleeping!) — but I felt happy with the outcome.

Did you have a plan? If so, did you stick to it?

I had only the most skeletal plan, mostly associated with trying to space out related things over the course of the entire week (e.g., 2 thermodynamics video demonstrations per day, rather than flooding them all at once). I would say I made the tweeting fit my week much more than I made the week fit my tweeting.

I DID ask people in my department (students primarily) to send me things that they thought might be tweetable — that brought a few useful contributions (although less than I expected, to be honest).

What other people or accounts should people follow if they enjoyed your tweets this week?

You know, I #FF’ed out a small number at the end of my curation, but I’m reluctant to put a list together here. I’ll leave somebody off that I’ll regret! So, anyone who drops by my TL can see my back-and-forth with friends and followers — there are some wonderfully witty accounts in there and I’ll let them represent themselves.

Thank you Chris from all of us here at Real Scientists, and don’t forget to keep up with Chris on twitter @ChemProfCramer.

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