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American Chemical Society AMA: We are Keira Havens & Rafa Gomez Bombarelli here to talk about the Launch Smarter Chemistry Challenge. Ask us anything about building an ecosystem for better innovation in chemistry.
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Hi Reddit! I am Keira Havens - you’ve seen me here on Reddit before when I shared my color changing flower project a few years ago. I’m a molecular biologist by training and focused on synthetic biology while in academia. I went on to start a company around the color changing flower concept and learned a lot about the way a new application makes it into the marketplace - or doesn’t. That experience got me thinking closely about the systems we use to identify beneficial technologies and eventually brought me to LAUNCH, to build networks that connect technology more closely with society. And I am Rafael “Rafa” Gomez Bombarelli: Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University. I currently work at the Aspuru-Guzik group in the computer driven design of molecular materials. I combine machine learning and first principles simulation to rapidly discover practical materials: organic light emitting diodes for displays, electrolytes for flow batteries, and organic photovoltaics for solar cells. I have a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain. We’re here to answer your questions. In particular, we’re excited to talk about the LAUNCH Smarter Chemistry Challenge, developed in partnership with the ACS Green Chemistry Institute, and other organizations. The challenge is a global call for innovators and entrepreneurs, companies, and organizations, to enable predictive chemical design through innovative applications of data. Why data? Predictive design can’t exist without good information. This requires the right data to exist, that the data is publicly accessible, and that the data is in a consistent format that can be easily used by scientists, companies and institutions. By any of these measures, chemistry faces enormous challenges. Check out the challenge here, and ask us anything about the challenge, data in chemistry, computer driven design, and the process of technological innovation, from discovery to adoption! Back to answer a few more questions!