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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 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

Episode 89: Plastic World

Love it or hate it, plastic is hard to avoid. This week we take a look at plastic made from corn and find out just how biodegradable it really is.

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Episode 88: A Sense of Scent

On this week’s episode of Distillations we’re talking about what the nose knows. First up we learn about the nose itself—how it works and how losing your sense of smell can affect your day-to-day life.

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Posted In: Society | Technology

Episode 85: International Year in Review

Another year has come and gone, but the impact of scientific discoveries made and concerns raised will be felt in 2010 and beyond.

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Episode 84: Crystals

There are many different types of crystals we encounter, ranging from tiny to extremely large in size.

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Episode 83: Fellows in Action

What do Isaac Newton, yeast, and Harold Urey have in common? They all come under the research microscope of Chemical Heritage Foundation fellows. 

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Posted In: History | Technology

Episode 81: Light

Let there be light! Whether it comes from the sky or a bulb, we’d be lost without it.

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Episode 77: Innovations and Inventions

Every year the Chemical Heritage Foundation holds Innovation Day—an event for people to get together to discuss and learn about science’s exciting new technologies. In this episode we take a look at innovations—the natural kind and the man-made kind.

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Posted In: Medicine | Society | Technology

Episode 73: Brave New Worlds

Birth, once nature's miracle, is increasingly manipulated by humans and regulated by society. In this week’s episode we look at a range of reproductive technologies and the implications of their use. Chemical Agent: Luteinizing Hormone.

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Posted In: Medicine | Society | Technology