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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 68: Integrated Circuits

This year is the 50th anniversary of the integrated circuit! The IC is an important part of many electronic technologies we use today, from your iPod to your GPS. Chemical Agent: Chemically Amplified Photoresists.

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Posted In: History | Technology

Episode 67: Baseball

After several long, cold months baseball season has finally begun! From Philadelphia, the home of 2008 World Series Champions, we bring you a show straight from the ballpark. Chemical Agent: Anabolic steroids.

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Posted In: Medicine | Technology

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 61: Space Science

Space, the Final Frontier! Mention the chemistry of space and you’re likely to hear bad jokes about Tang or the behavior of liquids in zero gravity. But it turns out that there’s an entire field—astrochemistry—dedicated to understanding the chemistry of the universe. Chemical Agent: Panspermia.

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Posted In: History | Technology

Episode 60: Professional Networks

Today Distillations is finding out more about professional networks—particularly in the field of chemistry.

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Posted In: History | Society | Technology

Episode 55: Anniversary

We are marking the one year anniversary of Distillations this week! To celebrate we’re looking back at the year 2008 and its noteworthy occasions: first, boron, whose 200th birthday was this year, then, the Nobel Prize.

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Posted In: History | Society | Technology

Episode 53: Faking It

The truth behind the fake—this week Distillations explores the science of forgery. Some forgery is known and expected, such as fake meat products for vegetarians, while other fakes are meant to deceive…think imitated artists.

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Posted In: Society | Technology

Episode 45: Making Modernity   

This week we celebrate the opening of the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s new museum!

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Posted In: History | Society | Technology

Episode 37: Best of Distillations #1

This week we’re looking back at some of our favorite Distillations episodes.

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Posted In: History | Society | Technology

Episode 36: Olympics

Addicted to the Olympics? Take a break from too much video with 12 minutes of audio. On today’s show, we investigate Olympic mysteries, from the flame of the torch to the composition of those so-called gold medals.

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Posted In: History | Society | Technology