The Crucible

What is a molecule?

Despite being a standard scientific concept, it’s virtually impossible to agree a satisfactory definition, says Philip Ball

In the Pipeline

Pride comes before a fall

In labs it’s important not to let familiarity breed complacency, says Derek Lowe


I am a number!

Being a number can make scientists more unique


Thank you for smoking

Smoking foods may have its roots in preservation, but its chemistry can produce a range of delicious tastes, says Ali Bouzari

Classic Kit

Minsky’s microscope

Following the death of Marvin Minsky, Andrea Sella sheds light on how confocal microscopy transformed imaging techniques

Organic Matter

Enigmazole A

Although tricky to spot, rearrangements can simplify a synthesis, says BRSM

Critical Point

The toxic tale of the Flint water crisis

The city’s dilemma highlights serious regulatory failings but demonstrates the empowerment offered by citizen science, explains Mark Peplow


February 2016

Readers' thoughts and feedback


#NamethatElement – Vibranium

7 January 2016

#NamethatElement – Vibranium

Before it was the real thing…

4 January 2016

Before it was the real thing…