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.
21 - 30 of 157
June 11, 2013 | by Distillations Staff
Today we begin a three-part series, The Stages of Life, spotlighting the chemistry found in childhood, adulthood, and old age. First, a look at the brains of children, followed by the colorful world of the crayon.
Posted In: Society
April 30, 2013 | by Distillations Staff
On today's show we look at questionable appearance enhancers. First the Beauty Historian shares some shocking beauty rituals of yore. Then a look at how Brazilian Blowouts are making salon workers sick.
Posted In: History | Society
April 2, 2013 | by Distillations Staff
On today's show we learn how advances in urban agriculture are providing new access to fresh food. First how hundreds of tons of fishbones are cleaning up Oakland soil. Then tips on how to create your own backyard garden.
Posted In: Environment | History | Society | Technology
March 19, 2013 | by Distillations Staff
On today's show we see old bones made new again. First the ongoing restoration of Philadelphia's 19th Street Baptist Church. Then a discussion about what makes some old buildings greener than new ones.
March 5, 2013 | by Distillations Staff
On today's show chemistry takes center stage. First, why science and comedy make gut-busting bedfellows. Then the history of science as popular entertainment.
February 19, 2013 | by Distillations Staff
During decades of tension between the United States and the Soviet Union over the course of the Cold War, both sides wielded science as a weapon. Find out how on today's show.
Posted In: History | Society | Technology
February 5, 2013 | by Distillations Staff
Just in time for Valentine's Day we explore the sexier side of alchemy. Historian Joel Klein explains how alchemists used passionate prose to disguise the details of their secret experiments.
January 22, 2013 | by Distillations Staff
Today your taste buds take center stage. First, how super-tasters' genetic gift might afford them better health. Then the art of imitation flavors.
Posted In: History | Medicine | Society | Technology
December 25, 2012 | by Distillations Staff
We wrap up the three-part series A Day in the Life, spotlighting the common chemistry of morning, noon, and night. Today, how popular insomnia treatments work and the science behind our body's unique sleep cycles.
December 11, 2012 | by Distillations Staff
We continue the three-part series A Day in the Life, spotlighting the common chemistry of morning, noon, and night. Today, a look at the mysterious ingredients in many kitchen staples and the reason why even so-called healthy sweeteners can be toxic.
Explore the fascinating history of chemistry and the role science plays in the modern world at our museum in Philadelphia.
Kipp's apparatus, ca. 1900
©2010 Chemical Heritage Foundation