Motivation for running the competition
The question of why hot water can freeze faster than cold
water wasn't only thrown open to the public because it's
a fascinating question. The Royal Society of Chemistry
and Hermes 2012 had a few other reasons too.
Why did the RSC and Hermes run The Mpemba Effect competition?
The Royal Society of Chemistry became interested in the project because it presented an opportunity to get people excited about chemistry - something we've always been passionate about: we're interested in opening a debate about communicating and teaching chemistry in an accessible, effective and inspiring way.
A big part of the RSC's mission is also supporting and encouraging excellence in up-and-coming young scientists, and the Hermes 2012 summer school, run by a team of student volunteers from Imperial College, London, fitted the bill perfectly.
The founders of Hermes, Aeneas Wiener and Jassel Majevadia, also hoped the competition would be a vehicle for exploring the ideas of open science, opening up the scientific process to the public and involving the public in the knowledge creation process. The RSC is also interested in these themes, and has taken a proative stance in the open access debate. See the link below to find out more about the RSC's support of open access and the Gold-for-Gold scheme.
After all, with science being a part of everyday life, from the chemistry of medicines, fuels and cosmetics to the physics of electricity, combustion and computers, it is no longer just about academia. The need to engage a mutually useful and respectful dialogue between scientists and the general public is greater than ever.
The RSC has announced a groundbreaking £1 million initiative to support British researchers as they begin the transition to Gold Open Access (OA).
Authors of RSC journal papers can now choose to have their research freely available the moment it is published - for a fee.