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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.

 

All posts 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

Episode 45: Making Modernity   

This week we celebrate the opening of the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s new museum!

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Posted In: History | Society | Technology

Episode 44: Sweet Dreams

There’s nothing quite like a good night’s rest to recharge the body and restore the spirits. Today’s show looks at the science of sleep—and insomnia.

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Posted In: History | Society

Episode 43: Cause and Effect

According to Newton’s third law, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” In this week’s episode we explore causes and their effects in several different ways.

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Posted In: History | Society

Episode 42: Women in Chemistry

Breaking through the glass ceiling can be tough, especially when you are a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field. This week’s episode takes a look at women in chemistry.

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Posted In: History | Society

Episode 41: Self-Experimentation

This week we delve into the world of experimenting on oneself. Many scientists have both knowingly and unknowingly used themselves as guinea pigs in the lab.

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Posted In: History | Society

Episode 40: Agriculture

All over the Midwest, farmers are cranking up their combines for the corn harvest. Modern agriculture depends on science and technology at every step of the way, from genetically modified crops, to the fertilizer on the fields, to the fuel in the tractor.

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Posted In: Environment | Society

Episode 39: Photography

In the eleventh century the first camera obscura was invented, helping artists draw. It would be another eight centuries before people figured out how to capture images directly onto film.

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Posted In: History | Society

Episode 37: Best of Distillations #1

This week we’re looking back at some of our favorite Distillations episodes.

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Posted In: History | Society | Technology