Distillations

Series produced by Distillations

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Science + Culture + History

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


167 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Rise and Shine! In today's episode we look at some of the most essential elements of a satisfying breakfast, such as how pectins control the consis...

  • Added: Jun 19, 2009
  • Length: 11:51
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We find out how brownfields are converted into something useful and why Dow Chemical chose Midland, Michigan, for their plant location. Chemical Ag...

  • Added: Jul 08, 2009
  • Length: 11:57
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Take a look back at the best of Distillations this week. Panspermia as the chemical agent, finding out more about the elusive umami, and why you ma...

  • Added: Jul 31, 2009
  • Length: 10:43
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Take a look back at the best of Distillations this week. Free radicals as the chemical agent, find out how scientists detect forgery in art, and po...

  • Added: Aug 28, 2009
  • Length: 11:34
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We find out more about the iconic golden brown fabric worn by astronauts and firemen in the 1960s, the dye workers whose high incidence of cancer h...

  • Added: Aug 28, 2009
  • Length: 11:26
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The body keeps itself in check and GoreTex can help your heart. Find out how in this episode of Distillations. We also talk to Dr. Richard Silverma...

  • Added: Oct 14, 2009
  • Length: 12:04
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We learn about ways scientists have attempted to educate the masses, via a 1960s radio show, 17th-century public demonstrations, and contemporary s...

Bought by WTJU


  • Added: Oct 14, 2009
  • Length: 11:51
  • Purchases: 1
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The three phases of matter aren't as straightforward as you might think! Learn about dry ice and glass, as well as Distillations' new phase with ou...

  • Added: Oct 14, 2009
  • Length: 11:46
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Natural chemical processes kick into high gear in the autumn; turning leaves, ripening vegetables, and the fermentation of apples into cider.

Bought by WTJU


  • Added: Oct 22, 2009
  • Length: 11:42
  • Purchases: 1
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We learn about solar power, the history of light bulbs, and seasonal affective disorder.

  • Added: Feb 08, 2010
  • Length: 11:57
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Get the skinny on trans fats and learn why a popular crash diet is not likely to help you shed pounds.

  • Added: Feb 18, 2010
  • Length: 12:15
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What do Isaac Newton, yeast, and Harold Urey have in common?

  • Added: Apr 07, 2010
  • Length: 12:28
Caption: Images from the Othmer Library of Chemical History at CHF.
There are many different types of crystals we encounter, ranging from tiny to extremely large in size.

Bought by WTJU


  • Added: Jan 16, 2012
  • Length: 12:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Another year has come and gone, but the impact of scientific discoveries made and concerns raised will be felt in 2010 and beyond.

  • Added: Jan 16, 2012
  • Length: 11:58
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Whether it’s preventing illness by vaccines or avoiding germs, this episode is about getting sick and staying healthy.

  • Added: Jan 16, 2012
  • Length: 12:09
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This episode follows three men's scientific journeys: one seeking alien life, another investigating the spiritual world, and the last sailing towar...

  • Added: Jan 29, 2010
  • Length: 12:30
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The nose and its powers. In this episode, learn about how your body's scent can act like a fingerprint and how an iPhone app combines scent and song.

  • Added: Feb 15, 2010
  • Length: 12:00
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Love it or hate it, plastic is hard to avoid. In this episode we take a look at plastic made from corn and find out just how biodegradable it reall...

  • Added: Jan 16, 2012
  • Length: 12:04
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Reduce, reuse, recycle! This episode focuses on waste that has become a product of its own. Enter Jell-O and Vaseline.

  • Added: Mar 12, 2010
  • Length: 11:29
Caption: Rudolph Pariser in front of a blackboard with quantum calculations, contemplating molecular model, 1950s. , Credit: Courtesy of The Hagley Museum and Library.
In this episode, host Meir Rinde and guest co-host Gigi Naglak give us a tour of the Chemical Heritage Foundation's new exhibit Marvels and Ciphers.

Bought by WTJU


  • Added: Apr 05, 2010
  • Length: 10:30
  • Purchases: 1