Media

Archives

Categories

Contributors

Subscribe Subscribe:

Blog Archive

CHF staff and scholars provide a behind-the-scenes guide to activities at CHF, with reflections on science education, provocative explorations of chemistry in the wider world, and much more.

This page holds archived blog posts. Visit our Tumblr page to see recent content and to join the conversation.

All posts in History

The End of Fluoride?

Think your fluoridated drinking water protects you from Halloween-related cavities? A recent article in The New York Times carried the headline, “Looking to Save Money, More Places Decide to Stop Fluoridating the Water.” It follows last year’s report from the National Center for Health Statistics, which showing an increased occurrence of dental fluorosis, a flecking or mottling of the tooth enamel that occurs when children ingest too much fluoride. Does the combination of increased fluorosis and cash-strapped governments mean the end of fluoridated water?

Read More ›

Posted In: History | Policy | Technology

Planet Money on the Future of Energy

Planet Money is a great podcast that explores timely stories and issues through a global economic lens. Sound wonky? You might be surprised. You might also be surprised how often economics and chemistry overlap. The show a few weeks ago focused on the economics of energy and featured an interview with author Daniel Yergin about his new book The Quest, which focuses on the engineers and scientists who are searching for energy alternatives.

Read More ›

Posted In: History | Policy | Technology

First Person: Julius Blank

Julius Blank, a co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor, passed away last month. In his obituary The New York Times described Blank as one of the two key engineers who built the microchip machinery that continues to power our world. One of his greatest achievements, along with Eugene Kleiner, was engineering the mass production of silicon chips from the ground up.

Read More ›

Posted In: History

 How Not to Win the Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize is a symbol of great achievement in science and literature, but the history of this sought-after award says that the best man (or woman) does not always win. The tale of one American physical chemist illustrates why.

Read More ›

Posted In: History

Alfred Nobel, the Man Behind the Medal

Today Periodic Tabloid welcomes Lauren Zalut, guest blogger and Alfred Nobel fan from the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia. A short biography of the prize founder, much in the news lately, after the jump.

Read More ›

Posted In: History

Telling Stories

If you are alive, chemistry is part of your life. As such, I’ve always been surprised that people are put off by it. Until I read “Chemistry: All About You.” This outreach website almost turned me off chemistry.

Read More ›

Posted In: Education | History

Inconvenience Food

In the days before pre-packaged cake mixes and electric mixers, baking a cake was an arduous process. Pretend you're living more than a century ago. How long do you think you can hand-blend ingredients without tiring? Ready your biceps, everyone. There's a long road ahead.

Read More ›

Posted In: History

Chemophobia

Books with the word “chemistry” in their title often sell poorly, though books that include lots of chemistry often end up doing well. Take, for example, Deborah Blum's The Poisoner’s Handbook, Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, or Sam Kean's The Disappearing Spoon: all bestsellers. So what’s in a word?

Read More ›

Posted In: Education | History

Geological Pace

The newest episode of Distillations focuses on a much loved childhood favorite: dinosaurs. It seems that popular perception of these Mesozoic monsters is in for yet another momentous change. But how are we just now figuring out that many of these dinosaurs were feathered?

Read More ›

Posted In: History

Nuclear News Analysis

Secrets are hard to keep in the news world, which is usually a good thing. But what happens when the knowledge that bursts into the headlines is difficult to understand, incomplete, or badly translated by experts? “Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima: An analysis of traditional and new media coverage of nuclear accidents and radiation,” a recent report in The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, looked at just that question.

Read More ›

Posted In: History | Policy | Technology