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Distillations Podcast

Distillations explores the human stories behind science and technology, tracing a path through history in order to better understand the present. 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 we examine the intersections of culture, history, and material science.

 

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Episode 18: Beyond the Chip

Semiconductors are at the heart of countless electronic devices. Although we often think of Silicon Valley as being built on computer chips, the companies that make the chips often depend upon materials and equipment manufacturers who build the component parts. On today’s show we explore some of the unheralded companies that have made the Digital Revolution possible.

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Posted In: History | Society

Episode 19: Jamestown

Jamestown celebrated its 400th anniversary last year. Many people may know that it was the first permanent English settlement in North America, but less commonly known is that Jamestown was also the birthplace of the American chemical enterprise.

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Posted In: History | Society

Episode 16: Vitamania!

In today’s show we take a closer look at vitamins, the tiny substances that are vital to our health.

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Posted In: History | Society

Episode 17: Dual Use

Science has long been a component of warfare, and in this week’s episode we look at how it has played a part in both destruction and preservation during times of war.

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Posted In: History | Society

Episode 15: The Art of Science

While chemistry often plays a silent role in art, such as synthetic additives in acrylic paints, both artists and scientists have consciously chosen to intersect the two.

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Posted In: History | Society

Episode 14: Blockbuster Science

Is science on the silver screen any less real than science in the lab? A crew from CHF attempts to answer this question with a visit to a new Star Wars exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. 

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Posted In: Society

Episode 13: The Nanoscale

You’ve heard the hype—but what’s nanotechnology really all about? Today’s show is an investigation into the current reality and the future potential of nanotechnology.

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Posted In: History | Society

Episode 11: Wonder Drugs

From antibiotics to chemotherapy, modern pharmaceuticals have transformed the experience of illness in the 20th century. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the founder and chairman of Biocon, Ltd., joins us for a discussion of how the global business of pharmaceuticals is changing the culture of science in India.

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Posted In: History | Society

Episode 10: Color

Color literally fills our world, and it plays a dominant role in how we perceive our surroundings. Scientists have been fascinated with the question of what color is ever since Isaac Newton discovered that white light contains the entire color spectrum.

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Posted In: Society

Episode 9: The Love Show

Please note: In today’s episode we have included more mature content than a typical show.

A Valentine for our listeners, this show is dedicated to the chemistry of love. In today’s show, we explain why passion has always been associated with fire and how the stars can influence your love life.

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Posted In: History | Society

The Museum at CHF

The Museum at CHF

Explore the fascinating history of chemistry and the role science plays in the modern world at our museum in Philadelphia.

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