Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the giant molecules that form the basis of all life. Macromolecules, also known as polymers, are long chains of atoms which form the proteins that make up our bodies, as well as many of the materials of modern life. We’ve only known about macromolecules for just over a century, so what is the story behind them and how might they change our lives in the future? Melvyn Bragg is joined by Athene Donald, Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Cambridge; Charlotte Williams, Reader in Polymer Chemistry and Catalysis at Imperial College London and Tony Ryan, Pro-Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Science at the University of Sheffield.
Tagged with “chemistry” (3)
Sam Kean got turned on by the stories in chemistry class.
Not the math and test tubes, but the yarns.
Of Gandhi and Godzilla. Of Nebuchadnezzar and his Hanging Gardens.
Of history and alchemy and mythology. Of literature and psychology and the forensics of poison.
Now that’s some human chemistry! And it all goes back to the elements.
Gold, silver, mercury, manganese. Hydrogen and caesium and ununquadium.
The table of the periodic elements, he says, is a map of the fundament of the world. And to great stories.
This hour On Point: human chemistry, and the elements.
English scientist, philosopher and theologian Joseph Priestley conducted experiments that led to the discovery of oxygen. But he was also central in the politics and religious life of England and early America. We talk about Priestley with author Steven Johnson.