Distillations Blog

The Distillations Blog is the place for regular updates from the intersections of science, culture, and history.

Cat Craze
March 23, 2018

Do cats mess with your brain?

Carleen Hutchins: Rogue Luthier
March 09, 2018

Eschewing tradition, some instrument makers are redefining what a violin, viola, or cello is.

Putting the Communication Back in Science Communication: An Interview with the Field Museum’s Emily Graslie
February 16, 2018

What it means to be the chief curiosity correspondent at the Field Museum in Chicago.

The Elements of Fiction
December 15, 2017

How fiction helps science intersect with culture.

The Appeal of Hot Air
August 04, 2017

In trying to separate fact from fiction, writer Natalie Jacewicz gets caught up in a century-old, pseudoscientific web of lies and false hope.

Science Fiction or Fictional Science?
July 21, 2017

How science fiction has influenced the lives and work of many STEM professionals.

How Drinking Beer Is in Our DNA: An Interview with Jessica Zinskie
June 30, 2017

An interest in the pharmacological nature of food led Jessica Zinskie, a postdoctoral researcher at Rowan University, to study the genetics of yeast and the evolution of beer.

Things Fall Apart: An Interview with Exhibition Curator Elisabeth Berry Drago
June 09, 2017

Exploring the science behind decay through the Institute’s new exhibition and Old City walking tour.

A Tear Gas Tale
May 26, 2017

How tear gas made the transition from wartime weapon to domestic police tool.

Going Viral
May 12, 2017

How do virologists stop something that is ubiquitous and deadly?

The Message of the March for Science
April 28, 2017

Photos from the March for Science in Philadelphia, in which protesters sent a clear message to the Trump adminstration.

Lee Berry with Ambler interviewee Victor Romano.
Tips for Recording Your Family History
November 28, 2016

Has someone in your family led an interesting life? You can help them tell their story. Lee Sullivan Berry, the Institute’s curator of oral histories, explains how.