2015: Sustainable Nano Year in Review

It’s time for our 2015 year-end roundup for Sustainable Nano and the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology.

It’s been an exciting year for the CSN, culminating in September’s announcement that we were awarded Phase II grant funding from the National Science Foundation. This means we get to stick around and keep doing great science (and writing this blog) for at least another five years.

Here on the blog, WordPress tells us that Sustainable Nano has had about 120,000 visitors this year, almost double our traffic for 2014! We’ve published 50 new posts (including this one); about 40% were written by graduate students, about 10% by undergraduates, and the rest by our faculty, staff, and fabulous guest bloggers.

A blue morpho butterfly from Mimicking Nature’s Nanotechnology, one of our most popular posts of 2015   (image from Wikimedia Commons)

Our most popular posts for 2015 included Sustainable Lamps Powered by Algae by grad student Joe Buchman, Mimicking Nature’s Nanotechnology: From a butterfly wing to anti-counterfeit technologies by grad student Merve Dogangun (see image above), Nano in the Movies by Professor Cathy Murphy, and The Science Behind Deflate-Gate by Center Director Bob Hamers, with over 600 views each. (Our all-time most-visited post is still How do Black Lights Work, Why do Highlighters Look So Bright, and How Can You Impress Your Significant Other with Science?, with over 13,000 views this year!)

my fluorescent garden
Our 2013 post about blacklights and highlighters is still Sustainable Nano’s most popular post ever.  (image by post author Tom Kuech)

2015 also saw another four Sustainable Nano posts recognized as ScienceSeeker Editor’s Picks: Merve’s Mimicking Nature’s Nanotechnology mentioned above, along with How Perceived Fears May Influence Companies’ Labeling of Nanoparticles by undergrad Ese Ehimiaghe, Using Gene Expression to Learn About Nanoparticle Toxicity by grad student Autumn Qiu, and What’s in a scientific publication’s name? One research article title explained by grad student Eric Melby.

Our social media has been clicking along as well, with 1,571 Facebook likes and 1,064 Twitter followers. That’s 60% more followers than last year – thanks, tweeps! (And if you aren’t following us yet, you can do so by clicking one of the “subscribe” buttons on this page – there’s also a direct email option.)

So what’s ahead for 2016? We have lots more great blog topics in the works, including the connection between sunscreen and computer circuits, and carbon nanotubes as flame retardants. We’ve started including many more links to resources for educators in our posts, and will continue to expand our outreach for science teachers next year. We are also in the process of developing a brand new podcast! We’ll have audio stories on topics related to nanotechnology, sustainability, and everything in between — stay tuned for updates.

In the meantime, Happy New Year, and keep sending in your questions and comments!

In the mood for some more year-end chemistry? Check out C&E News’s 10 Most Popular Articles from 2015 and Compound Interest’s This Year in Chemistry.