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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.

 

All posts in Environment

Episode 72: Space and Place

Location, location, location! In this week’s episode we talk about why and how certain spaces are chosen and used. Chemical Agent: Bromine.

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Episode 66: Cleaning Green

It is officially spring — time to open the windows, let the fresh air in, and sweep those winter blues away! Learn about acetic acid and its cleaning power. Then find out how hard water can make cleaning more difficult, and what you can do about it.

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Posted In: Environment | Society

Episode 63: Biofuel

Fossil fuel has gotten us into all sorts of trouble lately. Gas production and consumption has caused international conflict, wrecked havoc on our planet, and lightened our wallets at the gas pump. Why not turn to plants? They get their energy from the sun; and with a little smart science, they can pass on their clean green energy to our cars.

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Episode 58: Presidents & Policy 

Distillations is taking a look at the presidential side of chemistry. First we learn about stem cells and the controversy surrounding their research. Next we find out why 21-gun salutes are safe and not so smoky in Mystery Solved!

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Episode 40: Agriculture

All over the Midwest, farmers are cranking up their combines for the corn harvest. Modern agriculture depends on science and technology at every step of the way, from genetically modified crops, to the fertilizer on the fields, to the fuel in the tractor.

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Posted In: Environment | Society

Episode 29: Left Behind

Matter can neither be created nor destroyed. So when you take your garbage out to the curb every week, do you ever stop to think about where it’s going? In this week’s episode, Jori Lewis explores how New York City is trying to make it easier for residents to recycle their electronic waste.

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Posted In: Environment

Episode 27: Illumination

Illumination has been a quest of humans for centuries now—both in terms of the cerebral and the physical. In today’s episode we focus on the physical type of illumination.

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Posted In: Environment | Society

Episode 2: Cleaning Up

After the recent oil spills in the San Francisco Bay and the Kerch Strait, Distillations delves into the reality of cleaning up human-made messes.

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Posted In: Environment