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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October 30, 2012 | by Distillations Staff
Today we welcome back author Sam Kean to discuss the secrets and surprises contained in our DNA.
Posted In: History | Society
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
October 2, 2012 | by Distillations Staff
On today's show we track the evolution of smog from symbol of industrial progress to public-health catastrophe.
Posted In: Environment | History | Society
September 18, 2012 | by Distillations Staff
On today's show we test your gag reflex. First an exploration of rank, funky cheeses made from your own body's bacteria. Then the history of how distaste evolved into disgust.
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 20, 2012 | by Distillations Staff
We bring you some of our favorite segments from past Distillations episodes this week: animal communication in the Sonoran Desert and the toll of asbestos waste on a small Pennsylvanian town.
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.
Explore the fascinating history of chemistry and the role science plays in the modern world at our museum in Philadelphia.
Beam Source, ca. 1985
©2010 Chemical Heritage Foundation