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Distillations explores aspects of humanity’s scientific and cultural legacy and asks the question, “How did we get here?” 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 they’ll guide us through engaging topics about history, technology, and science.


All posts in Medicine

Episode 32: Religious Experience

There’s an old stereotype that portrays science and religion as inevitably mired in conflict. On today’s show we look past the clichés—evolution and Galileo and all that—for some areas where the two have something constructive to say to each other.

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Posted In: History | Medicine | Society

Episode 31: Motherhood

What makes motherhood scientific? This week, we try to answer, with a look at motherhood, pregnancy, and science.

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Posted In: History | Medicine

Episode 26: Performance

Baseball, track, swimming, biking—is there any sport that hasn’t suffered a scandal in the past few years? It turns out that the obvious culprits—performance enhancing drugs—are just the tip of the iceberg for how chemistry can alter athletic competition. In today’s show we look at some of the chemistry going on both inside and outside athletes’ bodies.

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Posted In: Medicine | Society

Episode 23: Preservation

Entropy is defined as the degree of disorder in a system, and according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics entropy is always increasing. Preservation is a way that humans are trying to beat entropy, and this week we look at why and how we preserve.

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Posted In: History | Medicine