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 77
November 13, 2012 | by Distillations Staff
Treasure or toxin? Today we follow Teflon's rise from happy accident to indispensable tool at work, home, and even war.
Posted In: History | Technology
October 16, 2012 | by Distillations Staff
On today’s show is a special conversation between two alchemy experts: James Voelkel, who curated CHF’s exhibit The Alchemical Quest, and Lawrence Principe, author of The Secrets of Alchemy.
Posted In: History | Medicine | Society | Technology
September 4, 2012 | by Distillations Staff
Ahoy, mateys. Join us on the ocean floor. On today's show we look at sunken ships: how they are preserved, and what they can tell us about civilizations from the past.
Posted In: History | Society | Technology
August 20, 2012 | by Distillations Staff
Good science takes time... or not? On today's show we explore the extremes. First the longest-running experiment in the world; then the near-instant chemical reaction that helps airbags protect you in a crash.
August 3, 2012 | by Distillations Staff
We bring you some of our favorite segments from past Distillations episodes this week: attempts to contact aliens in space and the secret behind the sweet sound of Stradivari violins.
July 6, 2012 | by Distillations Staff
Today we wrap up the three-part series Blood, Sweat, and Tears. First how it feels to lose your ability to cry; then why onions bring on the waterworks.
June 22, 2012 | by Distillations Staff
Today we continue the three-part series Blood, Sweat, and Tears. First the history of deodorants; then experiments on how perspiration might diagnose diseases like schizophrenia.
June 8, 2012 | by Distillations Staff
Today we begin the three-part series Blood, Sweat, and Tears. First how one man solved the mystery of blood function; then how researchers will bust blood-doping athletes at the Olympic games.
April 27, 2012 | by Distillations Staff
Sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose? We all know what that means: allergies. On today's show we look at pet dander, a common cause. Then we talk to a researcher dissecting the makeup of dust.
Posted In: Environment | History | Medicine | Society | Technology
March 30, 2012 | by Distillations Staff
On today's episode we look at the diverse history of mass spectrometry, starting with a single question: exactly what is it? Then we dip into our oral history collection to show the breadth of mass spec's reach, including the Manhattan Project.
Merck litmus paper, 1934
©2010 Chemical Heritage Foundation