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About ChemScrapes

ChemScrapes has been around in one form or another since 1999, but was "officially" established at the end of 2007 following a conversation with the late Professor Brian Halton (Victoria University of Wellington, NZ). The name was suggested by Brian to give a "home" to a collection of cartoons that had been drawn over several years, but had failed to gain any traction beyond a few appearances in catalogues and societal magazines.  The name "ChemScrapes" suggests that the cartoons are about chemistry, and also that they are "scraped from the bottom of the barrel", both in terms of the simplistic/scrappy drawing style and the humour. It was Brian's suggestion to capitalise the 'S' to draw more attention to the word "Scrapes".  


Between 2008 and 2015, ChemScrapes cartoons appeared sporadically on Reddit, and gained some minor recognition in the chemistry blogsphere, but it was not until 2016 that social media brought ChemScrapes more recognition.  The speed of drawing enabled real time interaction in social media, leading to ridiculous drawing challenges and other exchanges with the online chemistry community.  In 2017 ChemScrapes and Chemical and Engineering News (c&en) teamed up to produce Sketch Chemistry, a regular monthly panel appearing in the online and print versions of the magazine. The panel ran until the end of 2022 following significant staff changes at c&en.  

About the creator:

Brendan Burkett is a PhD graduate in chemistry from the Research School of Chemistry, The Australian National University.  He completed post-doctoral stints at the University of Southampton and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University before moving to Victoria University of Wellington in NZ in 2004.  After a brief academic career, Brendan moved to Singapore in 2008, where he lives with his wife, two kids and a mini-poodle.     

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