Alice Ball

The Chemist Whose Work Was Stolen from Her

The Black scientist Alice Ball helped develop a treatment for leprosy in the early twentieth century. But someone else took the credit.

Will Graphene Deliver on Its Promise?

Strong, stable, and conductive at one atom thick, graphene has amazing potential in a variety of applications. But is hype all the material has?
A DuPont ad for Orlon, 1953

What We Mean By “Better Living”

How advertising used the phrase “better living” to portray big business as a force for moral good and continuous progress.
Scientist viewing plant leaf in a petri dish under a inverted microscope in a laboratory.

Artificial Photosynthesis

What is artificial photosynthesis, how does it work, and why would we need it?
Composite image of Dmitri Mendeleev, a periodic table, and the Milky Way galaxy

How Far Does the Periodic Table Go?

Efforts to fill the periodic table raise questions of special relativity that “strike at the very heart of chemistry as a discipline.”
Airships and Flying Machines

The Natural Resources You Didn’t Know You Needed

Fossil fuels might get all the attention, but a recent discovery in Tanzania is a reminder of the other, less-heralded natural resources that we use.

What’s in a Name (Of An Element)?

Chemists recently announced the names of four newly discovered elements. Naming elements is serious business, and not without controversy.

How Francis Crick Almost Didn’t Make His Huge DNA Discovery

British physicist-turned-biologist Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA 100 years ago. Crick had a convoluted route to this important discovery.

Inside the Alchemist’s Workshop

What tools would an alchemist use in the quest to transmute other elements into gold?