PubhD is an OutReach and public engagement event where local PhD students go to a pub and talk about their research to the general public. PhD runs in the main cities in Europe, Lisbon, Dublin, London etc. etc.
Wed the 21st of Feb, I gave my talk and told about my research on catalysis and C-H activations. I will give a brief summary here.
What’s C-H activation and why this is important? Everything around us, this laptop you use, the sandwich you eat and the beer you drink at the pub, are mostly made of carbon and hydrogen. The reason why these two chemical bonds are so abundant is that they are very strong and hard to break apart. Basically to break this bonds we need to use a mountain of energy. With reference to the following picture:
We have to move from the point 1 which is our C-H bond to the point 2 which is the modification of the C-H bond. To do it, we need to overcome a mountain of energy. To overcome the mountain, either we take the pathway a and we climb all the way uphill or, much more easily, we make a tunnel and we get through the mountain, pathway b. The second choice is much better as it takes less time and less afford to get through and get to pint 2.
Well, in the chemistry world, to address the problem of modification of the C-H bond, we need a create a tunnel too. Our tunnel is called the catalyst which is the tool that allows us to this reaction faster and in a more convenient way.
Catalysis is everywhere and every process in our body is possible because of catalysis. Catalyst on our body are called enzymes and they allow every single process we can think of on Nature. For example, we eat sugars and fats. They break apart in our body to produce energy. without enzymes, this wouldn’t be possible as it would take ages to transform food into energy.
At the end of the talk, I got amazing feedback which I want to share with everyone “The best chemistry talk at PubhD, superb explanstion, I failed my exams in cheistry at school but understood you!”
After attending last PubhD events I wrote an article for this website to highlight the importance of communicating science and academic research to a lay audience. To know my opinion about science communication please check it out.
If you want to get into science communication, please check on my previous articles on how to communicate science to the general public.
Plase, check the video to see me talking and I also encourage to watch The black Panther, one of the best movies I have seen so far.