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Keywords:

  • Representation;
  • Chemical formulae;
  • Chemistry and language;
  • Language
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Just like glass flasks, beakers, and distillation columns, chemical structures are an integral part of our profession. We are easily identified as chemists by how we draw formulas. Nonetheless, the simplicity of these formulas—whether mere sketches or glossies fit for publication—is misleading. They pose numerous questions on the ways we represent chemical structures. The picture on the right shows one way of portraying a camphor molecule.