When I say “chemistry in our world”, many of you will likely immediately think back to trimester one of your first year of University and shudder. Chemistry, as a subject, is an acquired taste that many cannot stomach.
I feel as though this lack of love for the science of the makeup of everything around us is causing groups of people to become up-in-arms whenever the word “chemical” is mentioned in conversation. This phenomenon is called ‘chemophobia’. I don’t believe we should be afraid, rather we should embrace this science and become well informed in order to be able to accurately and precisely make judgements, without bias, as ‘controversial’ chemistry invades our lives and the world advances.
When researching why chemistry is important to the everyday human being, perhaps the greatest response I found was from a person who goes by the blog name ‘yog’ who stated that “it is all over the world & girls are impressed by it”…
If I had any doubts that chemistry is essential to our lives they have now vanished.
In all seriousness however, Chemistry is the basis of which allows us to understand why life on Earth (and likely throughout the universe) exists and thrives. Just recently I viewed a ‘crash course’ video, during which the presenter, Hank Green, discussed how if water suddenly became non-polar “we would all instantly die”. It’s simple, yet frightening facts such as these that make chemistry so spectacularly interesting.
It is astonishing to think that if something as simple as the angle of the bonds in a water molecule were to change life wouldn’t exist.
Understanding chemistry allows us to determine why it is that we are alive and how every atom’s structure allows us to be able to go about our daily lives without quickly transforming from human beings into singular atoms hurling through space.
Everything in our daily lives, from our cooking and cleaning, to the clothes on our back, belongs under the very wide umbrella that is chemistry.
Detergent as an example is a very important chemical which is used for a variety of cleaning purposes (as I’m sure you are aware). Water alone cannot rid dishes of oil so in order to do this we use a mixture of molecules which will be able to join the oil to the water. The molecules are both hydrophobic and hydrophilic, causing them to bond to the water and any hydrocarbons in close vicinity, meaning that when you drop greasy chicken on your favourite pants you are able to wash and wear them again rather than having to throw them away.
I could literally explain forever how atoms and reactions and gases and ions are the very reason that you are sitting at your desk or on your couch reading this.
You can’t truly be grateful for your existence until you fully understand the atoms and molecules behind it. A lack of passion and interest for chemistry is attributed to being a main cause of the rampant chemophobia in society
Edit: Updated for grammar
Featured image reference:
About Education, http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistry101/fl/Why-Is-Chemistry-Important.htm [accessed 10th of April]
youtube, youtube.com.au/crashcourse/ [accessed 10th of April]