Chemistry Kit Chemophobia
World of Science, No. CA-10 Chemistry Lab, 1950s. Skilcraft Corporation. Photo taken by Gregory Tobias.
Recently CHF got a shout-out in Chemical and Engineering News in an article about how chemistry sets have changed over the decades.
As the author points out: "In this glorious age of chemophobia, chalk up another victory for mass hysteria: Now you can buy the Chemistry 60 chemistry set for children featuring '60 fun activities with no chemicals.'"
It is a light-hearted look at a sadly serious topic. The word chemical—the first word in the name of our organization—is scary for a large segment of the population.
But we are chemical beings living in a chemical universe. Every bit of reality, from bacteria to the planet Betelgeuse and beyond, is made from some chemical combination of elements in the periodic table. Our bodies are an endless cascade of precise chemical reactions that control everything from eyesight to our energy level.
For someone like me who loves chemistry, a chemistry set with no chemicals is not only deceptive and wrong, but is as sad as a swimming pool without water. And obviously many others agree.