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Distillations Podcast

#HistChem Distillations explores aspects of humanity’s scientific and cultural legacy and asks the question, “How did we get here.” Our hosts are Michal Meyer, historian of science and editor in chief of Chemical Heritage magazine, and Bob Kenworthy, CHF’s in-house chemist. Each month they’ll guide us through engaging topics about history, technology, and science.

 

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Episode 57: Library & Information Services

Let’s go to the library! This week we take a field trip to that venerable institution where great reading abounds and shushing up is de rigueur.

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Posted In: History | Society

Episode 56: New Year's Resolutions

What do you resolve to do in 2009? Get in shape? Improve your eating habits? Stop smoking? We cover them all on this week’s show.Our Mystery Solved! segment investigates why fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants, like the pomegranates pictured here, are being credited with all sorts of health-saving powers.

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Posted In: Society

Episode 55: Anniversary

We are marking the one year anniversary of Distillations this week! To celebrate we’re looking back at the year 2008 and its noteworthy occasions: first, boron, whose 200th birthday was this year, then, the Nobel Prize.

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Posted In: History | Society | Technology

Episode 54: Holiday Greetings 2008

Thanks to J. J. Thomson‘s plum pudding model of the atom, chemistry will be forever associated with 19th-century British Christmas traditions. His model was soon discarded, but it remains a staple of high school chemistry textbooks.

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Posted In: Society

Episode 53: Faking It

The truth behind the fake—this week Distillations explores the science of forgery. Some forgery is known and expected, such as fake meat products for vegetarians, while other fakes are meant to deceive…think imitated artists.

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Posted In: Society | Technology

Episode 52: Wine

Americans are still relatively new to consuming wine—but they do so with gusto during the holiday season. On today’s show we take a look at the chemistry of this intoxicating substance: its aroma, its flavor, and its sometimes unwanted side effects.

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Posted In: Society

Episode 51: Global Health

Monday, December 1, is the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day. In honor of this campaign, Distillations is considering global health.

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Posted In: Medicine | Society

Episode 48: Alchemy

Alchemy is about a lot more than turning lead into gold or making the philosopher’s stone. Until the 17th century, alchemists worked hard in their laboratories to produce medicines, develop metal- and glass-working techniques, and uncover the quintessential essence of all earthly and celestial matter.

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Posted In: Society

Episode 47: Making Up

Happy Halloween from Distillations! This week we’re looking at the world of cosmetics, which seems fitting for a day when many people wear makeup who might not normally.

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Posted In: Society

Episode 46: Charging Up

The first cars didn’t run on gas—they ran on electricity. Over a century later, the high cost of fuel has finally forced automakers to take the possibility of battery-powered cars seriously. On today’s show we look at three kinds of batteries that have been proposed as transportation solutions.

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Posted In: Society