Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

Chemicals and other triggerwords

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:

Reference list:
About Education, [accessed 10th of April]

youtube, [accessed 10th of April]




One comment on “Chemicals and other triggerwords

  1. lcarlisl
    April 11, 2016

    The blogs title (and picture!) caught my eye straight away, very humorous and a great way to engage the reader.

    It was clearly written and effortlessly went into the “nitty gritty” of chemistry that would be easy for even a person who has little chemistry knowledge to understand. Another key part was the humor you added in to the blog, which took away a lot of the denseness of chemistry that can often scare a lot of people from reading it.

    I would like to see some opposing opinions to this topic, as it would make for an interesting discussion to see how other people might feel about the subject instead of it being just purely your opinion.

    What was needed in your piece was some pictures or diagrams to break up all the writing, as some visual cues would have been very refreshing from all the reading.

    Overall it was a fantastic blog, very light but still informative and to the point. Just a couple of minor details like pictures and spacing could be added to entice the reader even more.

    I can say from reading this I am looking forward to your next piece.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on April 10, 2016 by in Geelong - Wednesday 11am and tagged , , , .

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