Best Online Chemistry Lectures From Your Coach


We live in an amazing time for learning. Nowadays, you can access lectures and explanations for any scientific topic right from your couch at home! And chemistry is not left behind. Not only you can learn chemistry with a wide variety of tutorials form YouTube, but you can also enjoy many online chemistry lectures from conferences by the giants of chemistry of all times!

Especially in the most recent years, many conference lectures by the best research group leaders on chemistry are being recorded and posted publicly online, so everybody can enjoy them and learn about chemistry. All around the globe. Without the need to travel long distances.

Simply thinking about it is amazing! Who could have though that this would be possible >30 years ago. At that time, the possibility of even checking research papers online, did not exist. We did research without the aid of databases on the library.

Now you can access all research that has ever been published online. But not only that, you can also “assist to conferences virtually” from anywhere.

Best Online Chemistry Lectures From Your Coach
Best Online Chemistry Lectures From Your Coach

However, not only modern chemistry has been recorded. One of the greatest examples out there of online chemistry talks are the Woodward’s legendary lectures.

Woodward’s Organic Chemistry Lectures

R. B. Woodward won the Nobel prize in chemistry in 1965 for his achievements in the art and science of organic synthesis. In my opinion, he is the greatest organic chemist of all time. He could’ve gotten two more Nobel prizes if he didn’t die so young (1979, at 62), probably due to his contributions to the chemistry of metallocenes and to the Woodward-Hoffmann rules, among many others.

Anyway, he’s been known for giving epic hours-long lectures, explaining the details of his total synthesis. And some of these were filmed at the time! And now, thanks to the internet, are available to watch on YouTube. This is one example:

You can look for a couple more that are around the internet. Even if you are a young chemistry student, if you are interested in organic chemistry, you should take a look. Classical organic reactions that are employed in these >50 years old synthesis are the ones that are usually taught in undergraduate organic chemistry courses.

In any case, watching the master of organic chemistry is an incredible source of inspiration for any aspiring chemist.

The Best Conference Chemistry Lectures Online

As we already mentioned, more and more, we get big conference lectures tape recorded and posted online. These are some of the most enjoyable ones that we have found.

Baran’s Electrifying Chemistry

First off, you can watch and hour-long presentation on synthetic organic electrochemistry by Phil S. Baran, from Scripps Research.

In this lecture, he covers the main reasons behind how using electricity as oxidant/reductant, instead of a chemical reagent is the greenest possible approach for carrying out redox transformations.

New chemical reactivity is being unlocked month after month taking advantage of synthetic electrochemistry. Here, Baran summarizes how he and his research group are pursuing this field of chemistry. He also presents new IKA equipment for carrying out electrochemical transformations in a reproducible manner.

2018 Nobel Prize Frances Arnold

Frances Arnold, from Caltech, won the 2018 Nobel Prize in chemistry for her contributions to the field of directed evolution of enzymes. This lecture is from one year before, in a symposium called “Tailored Biology”.

Her ground-breaking research has to do with modifying enzymes, to make them catalyze chemical transformations that they would not promote naturally, or at least not as selectively.

John Goodenough’s Nobel Prize Press Conference

John Goodenough, a chemistry professor at the University of Texas (Austin), and he is the oldest Nobel laureate of all time!

Prof. Goodenough got his Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2019, as a recognition of his contributions on the development of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. What’s to say about this discovery? All of us use rechargeable batteries on a daily basis, all the time. We cannot imagine a world without them right now. And one of the main responsible people for these advances is this man. Here’s his Nobel press conference:

The Magic of Chemistry by David Leigh

In 2016, the Nobel prize in chemistry was awarded jointly to Ben Feringa, Fraser Stoddart, and Jean-Pierre Sauvage. They got it for their work on molecular machines, an exploding and revolutionary field within supramolecular chemistry.

Arguably, the fourth key player on this field is David Leigh. He also works on molecular machines. But his lectures are best-known for his personal touch. He is also a professional magician, and brings magic tricks to the chemistry lectures. Apart from presenting some amazing research, the magic makes these lectures some of the best in the world. And you can enjoy and watch one of these online chemistry lectures right now.

The Best Educational Chemistry Lectures

Besides top-tier ground-breaking research conference lectures, you can also enjoy and learn form some more educational resources.

Some More Magical Chemistry

Some of the most both educational and entertaining videos that you can find online on chemistry are the ones by Andrew Szydlo.

He goes though color and phase changes, and he leads students through the world of “playing tricks” with molecules. This might seem like a long video, but I assure you, if you decide to start to watch it, make sure that you don’t have anything to do for the following hour-and-a-half!

Walter Lewin’s Physics Lectures

So we are past chemistry for this video. But I bring it to your attention for two reasons:

  • Chemistry and physics are heavily packed together.
  • The lectures by MIT professor Walter Lewin are just fantastic, the best educational videos I have ever watched online.

To be fair, when I started studying some physics in college, I didn’t enjoy them that much. That was until I found Lewin’s lectures online. This made love physics almost as much as chemistry.

MIT Lectures from Your Couch

Who said that not anyone in the world can take chemistry lectures from MIT? Now it is completely possible with this and other courses on chemistry offered by this prestigious institution.

Here, this solid state chemistry course is a brilliant example of some of the best online chemistry lectures from a purely educational point of view.

General Chemistry Online Lecture Series (UCI)

This is another example, this time brought to you by the OpenCourseWare of UC Irvine. This is one of the best educational series of lectures on general chemistry that you can watch online.

Periodic Videos!

Finally, we could not end this post with a mention to the Periodic Videos YouTube channel. Here, Sir Martyn Poliakoff and the rest of his team at the University of Nottingham, tackle the most exciting chemistry facts, experiments and questions. Here, every experiment that you alway wanted to perform, but couldn’t, is answered in these videos.

As the title of the site claims, they have covered the entire periodic table, with at least one video on each of the elements. Go on now and check the one for your favorite element!

Closing Up

As you can see, there is plenty of online chemistry lectures that you can explore throughout the internet. These are just some examples, but go ahead and find some more that fit your interests!

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