Summer 2010, Vol. 28, No. 2
Jump into the hot seat this issue with climate engineering. Focus on the strange and beautiful chemistry of early photography. And finally, step into the lives of two African American brothers who, despite suffering the effects of racism, made contributions to chemistry.
A First Lady of Chemistry
Mildred Cohn fought prejudice to become a successful Jewish female chemist in an less-than-welcoming world.
A Past Distilled
Patricia Fara, Science: A Four Thousand Year History. Reviewed by Robert J. Malone.
Across the Spectrum
Chemist John William Draper took the first photographs of the moon and brought science into history.
Famed British caricaturist James Gillray targets famed scientist Joseph Priestley after the devastating Priestley Riots.
The story of Louis Pasteur and the development of the rabies vaccine.
Brothers William and Lawrence Knox discovered that earning Ph.D.s in chemistry was not enough to overcome discrimination. World War II opened doors to a wider chemical world, but racism continued to shadow their lives.
Find a Way
Sidney Edelstein was determined to find a way in everything that he worked on.
Hungry for Bugs
Joe Rucker, biochemist and carnivorous plant enthusiast, serves dinner to a handsome crew of terrarium-enclosed insect eaters while explaining what makes these plants tick (or fly). The plants were cultivated by Martha Miller, educator and carnivorous plant expert.
Instrumental to Survival
At the turn of the 20th century diphtheria was a feared childhood illness, until a new treatment method came to the rescue.
Manufacturing the Weather
With dynamite and cannons, Robert St. George Dyrenforth hoped to end drought in the late 19th century. This vision of weather and climate control seized the imagination of scientists and businessmen. In the heat of climate change, the appeal - and the controversy - of this vision endures.
Christopher Hamlin, Cholera: The Biography. Mark Jackson, Asthma: The Biography. Robert Tattersall, Diabetes: The Biography. Reviewed by David J. Caruso.
Puzzle solution for Summer 2010 Chemical Heritage acrostic (print only)
Reunited (and It Feels So Good)
Henry Stubbe’s biting critiques of the Royal Society, originally appended together but separated over time, were happily reunited by CHF 338 years after publication.
Silver and Sunlight
In the early 19th century people dreamed of using light to paint permanent images. A legislator, a showman, and an inventor together created the first practical way to catch the world and the people in it in the strange and beautiful chemistry of the photograph.
Science Storms, The Museum of Science and Industry. Reviewed by Justine Welch Mastin.
The Age of Wonder
In The Age of Wonder, Richard Holmes chronicles the riveting breakthroughs that launched the Romantic Age of Science. From Humphry Davy’s near-suicidal gas experiments to William Herschel’s discovery of Uranus, Holmes deftly captures the thrill of scientific exploration at the turn of the 19th century.
The Dream in the Machine
Rudolph Pariser uses one of the earliest computers to calculate the molecular structure of Dacron.
In exile, Navajos created new designs for their rugs and blankets using the new synthetic dyes.