Editorial Board: Journal of Chemistry in Art

To: Professor N. Signal-Games

Dear Professor Signal-Games

Thank you for your submission of your manuscript ‘Beatriz Friere Gonzalez’ for consideration in the Journal of Chemistry in Art. We are delighted to be able to accept this manuscript for publication in our next issue.

The reviewers comments were as follows:-

Signal-Games’ manuscript describes the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide using potassium iodide under gentle warming conditions in a high school context. The manuscript is well-drawn, and presents chemistry authentically in a way that is appealing to a younger audience. While the use of brightly coloured chemicals is a commonly used trope in chemical art, this reaction has been previously described in ultraviolet form (see, for example, Rober et al. J. Youtube, 2022). The introduction of a broader range of chemistries on the classroom blackboard is a novel approach which to our knowledge is largely unprecedented in the literature, and is remarkable in containing no pentavalent carbon atoms, for which the authors should be commended. We highlight the following points, which the authors may wish to take account of in future submissions.

  • There is a relatively lax approach to safety in the laboratory presented. The experiment has no secondary containment, and the students, while wearing safety glasses, are rather too close for this referees comfort.
  • A one handed glove technique may be acceptable for opening doors but is not appropriate when actually performing a chemical reaction.
  • The use of PPE by the primary subject of the manuscript leaves much to be desired. Her laboratory coat is not properly secured, and the presence of chemical burns/holes around the hem of the lab coat would imply a history of a lax approach to taking the appropriate safety measures. Once a lab coat has been contaminated/damaged by chemicals, it ought to be cleaned/replaced instead of being worn further. To be fair, this does speak to the sorry state of funding for equipment in our schools, and it may be that this is intentional by the authors.
  • We recommend wearing safety glasses over the eyes, rather than around the neck.
  • There are a number of chemicals stored in open and unlabelled containers on the teacher’s desk.
  • The periodic table appears to be correct but is out of date. Detections of all the placeholder d-block transactinides (unununium through to ununoctium) have been confirmed, and the elements were given official names and symbols between 2004-2016.
  • The structure of the non-FDA-approved drug procaterol is correct, though homolytic fission of molecular hydrogen and the subsequent formation of a coordination complex with two isolated hydrogen atoms seems somewhat implausible.
  • The ground oxidation state is not stable for lithium metal.
  • The oxalyl chloride-mediated synthesis of an acyl chloride is beyond the scope of high school chemistry. The product is missing the carbonyl bond which would make the acyl chloride even less stable than usual.

Sincerely yours, Dr @Tolaasin Dr @Dr Bees