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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 History

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 78: Public Science

Science isn’t some exalted ideal confined to labs and classrooms—it’s all around us. In this episode we share different ways that scientists have reached out to educate and enlighten the masses.

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Posted In: History | Society

Episode 76: Working Class Chemistry

In honor of Labor Day this episode of Distillations looks at how chemistry has affected the work of a variety of professionals—for better or worse.

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Posted In: History | Society

Episode 69: Lab Safety

Laboratory science can be a risky business. While some of these substances’ dangers are easily mitigated by following proper safety procedures, others have risks that increase with extended exposure—a lesson unfortunately learned by many chemists in previous centuries, which we explore on today’s show. Chemical Agent: Lead.

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Posted In: History | Society

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 62: Chemical Romance

It’s Valentine’s Day this weekend, and love is in the air. Let’s learn how atoms find each other with an examination of chemical bonds. Chemical Agent: Free Radicals.

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Posted In: History | Society

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 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 57: Library & Information Services

Let’s go to the library! This week we take a field trip to that venerable institution where great reading abounds and shushing up is de rigueur.

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Posted In: History | Society

The Museum at CHF

The Museum at CHF

Explore the fascinating history of chemistry and the role science plays in the modern world at our museum in Philadelphia.

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