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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 technology

Episode 116: Crime Fighters

From primetime to print, forensic scientists are usually depicted as courtroom heroes, but their real-life work makes for more than a thrilling story. On today's episode we look at how one such scientist sealed the fate of Palmer the Poisoner in the 19th century. Then we speak with forensic scientist Mike Eyring, whose team helped solve the biggest serial murder case in U.S. history.

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Episode 113: Burning Rubber

Rubber has played a shockingly dramatic role in our political and military history. In today's episode we revisit the consequences of the natural rubber shortage during WWII, and how a similar shortage might affect us today.

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Posted In: History | Society | Technology

Episode 112: Nuclear Power

In this episode we learn about the history and future of nuclear power, in the U.S. and abroad.

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Episode 108: Essential Elements - Fire

This week we continue our 4-part series about earth, air, water, and fire. Today’s episode is about fire and how humans have tried to protect themselves from it.

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Posted In: Environment | Technology

Episode 106: Essential Elements – Water

This week we continue our 4-part series about earth, air, water, and fire. Today’s episode is about water and the many ways to ensure it is potable.

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Episode 102: Best of Distillations #6

We continue to bring you some of our favorite segments from past Distillations episodes this week: Senescence, Richard Holmes, and Boy Rocketeer.

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Episode 100: Birthday Episode

Distillations marks our 100th episode this week! To celebrate, we revisit segments from some of our past shows and bring you new developments.

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Episode 98: Climate Engineering

As atmospheric carbon dioxide increases, does the world have to get hotter? Controlling the earth’s weather and climate is this week’s topic.

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Episode 94: Scientific Visions

The future is now. Distillations, therefore, is pausing to compare what people once predicted the modern world would look like to the actual reality on the ground—and in the air.

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Episode 91: Marvels and Ciphers

In early March 2010 the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s museum opened its newest temporary exhibit, Marvels and Ciphers: A Look Inside the Flask.

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Posted In: History | Society | Technology