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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.


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This wraps up our three-part series Blood, Sweat, and Tears. First, how it feels to lose your ability to cry; then why onions bring on the waterworks.

  • Added: Jul 11, 2012
  • Length: 15:05
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In this episode we continue the three-part series Blood, Sweat, and Tears. First the history of deodorants; then experiments on how perspiration ca...

  • Added: Jul 05, 2012
  • Length: 16:44
Caption: Gradient centrifugation of infected Red Blood Cells, Credit: Ernst Hempelmann (Original work by A. Jung), via Wikimedia Commons
Park one of our three-part series Blood, Sweat, and Tears. First, how one man solved the mystery of blood circulation; then how researchers will bu...

  • Added: Jun 08, 2012
  • Length: 16:34
Caption: Love it or hate it., Credit: Flickr user andrewasmith.
In this episode we cross the Atlantic to learn what makes a perfect cuppa. Then we learn about the surprising health benefits of Marmite, a spreada...

  • Added: May 29, 2012
  • Length: 15:27
Caption: Remember when I leeched all the calcium from your bones?, Credit: Flickr user paparutzi.
Big eyes, soft skin, squeezable cheeks. No doubt, babies are adorable. But in this episode we take a break from our cooing to examine some more ser...

  • Added: May 16, 2012
  • Length: 13:43
Caption: Don't let the cuteness fool you. This cat is spreading dander all over its owner's house., Credit: Flickr user admiller.
Sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose? We all know what that means: allergies. On this show we look at pet dander, a common cause. Then we talk to a res...

  • Added: May 02, 2012
  • Length: 14:22
Caption: Pittsburgh's Schenley High School in its glory days., Credit: Wikimedia.
Asbestos, once a miracle product, is now a plague on the aging infrastructure to which it's bound. In this episode we explore a Pennsylvania town w...

  • Added: Apr 17, 2012
  • Length: 14:03
Caption: What is it and what does it do?, Credit: courtesy of the Bendix Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry Collection, CHF Collections.
In this episode we look at the diverse history of mass spectrometry, starting with a single question: exactly what is it? Then we dip into CHF's or...

  • Added: Mar 31, 2012
  • Length: 13:18
Caption: Hydrogen and chlorine sitting in a tree... Image from Real Fairy Folks: Explorations in the World of Atoms, by Lucy Rider Meyer, 1887., Credit: Courtesy of CHF's collections.
In this episode we travel back in time to the Victorian era, when innovative teachers used fairies to convey complicated ideas in chemistry. We ada...

Bought by WTJU

  • Added: Mar 16, 2012
  • Length: 09:56
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Godzilla attacks!, Credit: Flickr user Marxchivist.
On today's show we look at the real and imagined implications of genetic modification in the middle of the 20th century.

  • Added: Mar 02, 2012
  • Length: 14:40