Molecules That Matter: Catalog of an Exhibit

Molecules That Matter cover

Raymond J. Giguere
2008, Chemical Heritage Foundation
191 pp
Hardcover, ISBN 978-0-9765723-7-4, Product #9780976572374

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Molecules That Matter explores ten organic molecules—Aspirin (1900), Isooctane (1910), Penicillin G (1920), Polyethylene (1930), Nylon 6,6 (1940), DNA (1950), Progestin (1960), DDT (1970), Prozac (1980), and Buckyball and Carbon Nanotubes (1990)—that have shaped the course of humanity throughout the 20th century. While other molecules could have been chosen for this exhibit, the impact of these ten is nothing short of astonishing. The idea was to identify a molecule for each decade of the 20th century and explore its scientific, historical, and sociological dimensions. This catalog reveals the academic and industrial research that led to the discovery and dissemination of these substances, and illuminates their social consequences. Color photos.

Hear It Firsthand

CHF’s Center for Oral History captures and preserves the stories of notable figures in chemistry and related fields. Many of the oral histories in the collection belong to winners of CHF’s awards, including

  • Arnold Beckman, winner of the Othmer Gold Medal (2000)
  • Robert Allington, winner of the Pittcon Heritage Award (2005)
  • Carl Djerassi, winner of the Othmer Gold Medal (2000), the AIC Gold Medal (2004), and the Ullyot Public Affairs Lecturer (1995)
  • Gordon Cain, winner of the Petrochemical Heritage Award (1997)

Listen to their extraordinary stories today!