In the early 19th century people dreamed of using light to paint permanent images.
For brothers William and Lawrence Knox, earning PhDs in chemistry was not enough to overcome discrimination.
When Jane Marcet wrote Conversations on Chemistry she had little idea it would introduce Michael Faraday into the world of science.
From lab accident to wonder drug to chemical has-been, saccharin’s history tracks the rise of consumer consciousness, government regulation, and the uncertainties underlying scientific evidence.
Prontosil Rubrum was the first drug to cure bacterial infections and the first of many sulfa drugs.
Eighteenth-century author Polycarpe Poncelet finds an unusual connection between music and our sense of taste.
First sold in 1791 to a scientifically literate audience, chemistry sets have since occupied many niches—and now they are making a comeback.
In the late 19th century cod-liver oil was proclaimed the cure for many ailments. One problem: the oil’s foul taste.
Color by numbers—no problem, thanks to Albert H. Munsell, who pioneered methods for color comparison.
Although many were skilled in making medicinal home remedies, only a few women ran their own apothecaries, competing with males for the right to prescribe medicines.
Malaria and the benefits and pitfalls of government-funded biomedical research.
Are salt alternatives scarier than the substance they are replacing? A brief history of a “terrifying” food.
The first balloons, both hot-air and hydrogen powered, drew spectacular crowds and set off a craze—balloonomania!
A1828 murder trial provides insight into the moral ambiguity of forensic science and scientific testimony.
Svante Arrhenius was one of the founders of modern physical chemistry. His later work cosmological work carried him beyond the scientific limits of many of his colleagues.
David Healy reviews Nicholas Rasmussen’s On Speed: The Many Lives of Amphetamine.
Aspirin has had a long history as a pain reliever—2,000 years of history. But only in the 1970s did scientists begin to uncover its chemical secrets.
A personal portrait of the Nobel prize-winning crystallographer.