Welcome to the web site of Professor Bob Paine of the UNM Chemistry Department!
Sometimes the thrill and utility of scientific research experienced by the practicing chemist is not completely shared by the public. In fact, it is not unusual for an undergraduate chemistry student or even a new Ph.D. graduate to state, "What am I going to tell my parents when they ask me what I have been doing? They will never understand." Such comments, as well as negative press coverage heaped on science, suggest that many scientists have a difficult time conveying to others the central importance of their enterprise. Why is this? Well, one reason is the overuse of technical lingo that excludes all but specialists from understanding an issue -- a problem that pervades many fields. Further, some scientists have grown to enjoy a Scrooge McDuck image that intimidates others and allows scientists to pursue their idiosyncratic interests without justification. Finally, though able, some scientists just do not take the time to communicate outside their peer group. In this forum, I will attempt to strip away some of the mystery surrounding the chemist. I will also tell you a little about what my research group does at UNM and, I hope, show that the chemical research enterprise is worthy of public attention. Click here to read more.