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Each episode of Distillations takes a deep dive into a moment of science-related history in order to shed light on the present. We're produced by the Science History Institute



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167 Pieces

Science + Culture + History

Caption: The midnight sun., Credit: Louisa Jonas
3 Pieces

Distillations' three-part series "A Day in the Life" spotlights the common chemistry of morning, noon, and night.

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3 Pieces

In this 3-part series we parse the chemistry of blood, sweat, and tears.

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4 Pieces

Distillations' 4-part series about the four classical elements: earth, air, water, and fire.

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4 Pieces

In honor of the International Year of Chemistry, Distillations produced a four-part series: Our Chemical Landscape. These shows look at how science has shaped the city, the suburb, the farm, and the wild.

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3 Pieces

A three-part series spotlighting the common chemistry of childhood, adulthood, and old age.

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49 Pieces

Stories from the Field preserves and celebrates the contributions of women working in chemistry and related sciences. The project captures scientific adventures and career insights in short, conversational audio interviews.


Caption: Melanie Szulczewski
Melanie Szulczewski, assistant professor of environmental science at the University of Mary Washington, shares her decision to take the scenic rout...

  • Added: Mar 07, 2013
  • Length: 03:16
Caption: Carmen Drahl
Carmen Drahl, senior editor of Chemical and Engineering News, used her Ph.D. in chemistry as a springboard into the career she envisioned for herse...

  • Added: Mar 07, 2013
  • Length: 03:39
Caption: June Wispelwey
June Wispelwey, executive director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), shares what she's learned from a challenging career.

  • Added: Mar 07, 2013
  • Length: 04:47
Caption: Madeleine Jacobs
Madeleine Jacobs, executive director and CEO of the American Chemical Society, tells the story of how she got her first job at Chemical & Engineeri...

  • Added: Mar 07, 2013
  • Length: 04:18
Caption: A relic of the infamous space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. , Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
During decades of tension between the United States and the Soviet Union over the course of the Cold War, both sides wielded science as a weapon. F...

  • Added: Feb 19, 2013
  • Length: 15:04
Caption: An engraving from Michael Maier's Symbola Aureae Mensae (1617) depicting an alchemical androgyne. , Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Also available in CHF's collections.
Just in time for Valentine's Day we explore the sexier side of alchemy. Historian Joel Klein explains how alchemists used passionate prose to disgu...

Bought by WDBM

  • Added: Feb 05, 2013
  • Length: 13:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: 1950s ad from the Givaudan Flavorist. , Credit: the Society of Flavor Chemists Library at Monell Chemical Senses Center.
Today your taste buds take center stage. First, how super-tasters' genetic gift might afford them better health. Then the art of imitation flavors.

Bought by WTJU

  • Added: Jan 23, 2013
  • Length: 16:09
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: The skeleton of Harry Eastlack, whose disease-ravaged bones are on display at Philadelphia's Mütter Museum., Credit: Evi Numen, 2011, for the Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
In this episode we peel back our skin. First, an innovative technology that could provide early detection of osteoporosis. Then, a look at stone ma...

Bought by KVSC

  • Added: Jan 11, 2013
  • Length: 16:24
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: The midnight sun., Credit: Louisa Jonas
We wrap up the three-part series A Day in the Life, spotlighting the common chemistry of morning, noon, and night. Today, how popular insomnia trea...

  • Added: Dec 28, 2012
  • Length: 15:42
Caption: What's hidden in your lunch?, Credit: Flickr user ilovememphis.
We continue the three-part series A Day in the Life, spotlighting the common chemistry of morning, noon, and night. In this episode, a look at the ...

  • Added: Dec 20, 2012
  • Length: 15:38