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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 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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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

Episode 8: Chemistry in the Classroom

Today’s show takes a look at how scientists and educators are reinventing American science education. We chat with Tom Tritton, former president of Haverford College and CHF’s new president and CEO, about how to introduce liberal arts students to science—and just as importantly, vice versa.

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Episode 5: The Body Chemical

Western medicine has always looked at the body as a system in balance. Today’s show looks at how ideas about the body’s equilibrium have changed over the past few centuries, from humoral theory to the discovery of vitamins and the role of trace elements in human health.

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Episode 4: Measurement

Chemistry has always been a science of measurement. In this episode, we look at several cases of how measurements affect scientific research and practice as well as daily life.

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Episode 3: Happy Holidays from CHF!

This week, in honor of the holiday season, we’re offering a toast to chemistry. We’ll explain what makes champagne bubble, and why size matters when you’re talking about carbonation.

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Posted In: Society