My Article in The Sankei News

I am happy to announce that an article I wrote has appeared in The Sankei News. The title of the article is "The Appeal of Chemistry You Can Do At Home". The article is written in Japanese. I received a lot of help from people at RIKEN and the editor at the newspaper to turn my poor Japanese into what appears to be a coherent article. The article also features an illustration created by my talented wife.

I won't offer a translation here, but I would like to summarize the main points. In this article, I discuss how I, like many researchers at RIKEN, have been working from home as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Of course, upon hearing that many people will wonder "how can you research chemistry at home?" To answer this, I give an overview of what simulation is and how we can do it from the comfort of home.

At the end of the article, I tried to discuss something more personal to me. One of the things I enjoy about doing science is those "aha!" moments. In that sense, I think computational chemistry is really ideal. It's a constant bombardment of little successes. Each simulation you run gives you more information about what you're studying. And each line of code you write is gives you deeper insight into the theory that you are modelling.

For me, the most enjoyable science is the science with the quickest time from question to answer. The trick to quick turnaround time is to build good tools that can be re-used to study new problems. This is not so easy when you are an experimentalist, you can't build a robot to replace you, and you rarely have the opportunity to design new equipment. But in simulation science, we very easily can extend the toolsets we have. This is a privilege we developers should keep in mind and use as motivation to build the most powerful and easy to use tools we can.