Picks

ChemEd X contributors and staff members are continually coming across items of interest that they feel others may wish to know about. Picks include, but need not be limited to, books, magazines, journals, articles, apps—most anything that has a link to it can qualify.

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by Hal Harris
Mon, 11/01/2010 - 01:00

I am a fan of Ben Goldacre's "Bad Science" column in The Guardian. Several hundred of his articles are available free online at http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/series/badscience. His pieces are always well-researched and well-reasoned, and he writes with flair and wit. This slightly edited collection of his essays has recently been released in paperback in the US, after having been on the market in the UK since 2008.

Recent activity: 5 months 3 weeks ago
by Hal Harris
Fri, 10/01/2010 - 01:00

I bought "Mistakes Were Made ..." for on a long plane ride, thinking that it would be a light, entertaining read. It did turn out to be very entertaining, but it also has affected the way I think about politics, law, ethics, and the teaching of science.

Recent activity: 6 months 4 days ago
by Hal Harris
Wed, 09/01/2010 - 01:00

In 2002, President George W. Bush signed the bill that made No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. It was a culmination of sorts of tides that had been growing for years, through both the Clinton and Bush administrations, toward sweeping reform in US schools.

Recent activity: 6 months 13 hours ago
by Hal Harris
Sun, 08/01/2010 - 01:00

The fact that Jim Riehl is a good friend and a former colleague does not mean that I can't recommend his book, does it? I would be writing about Mirror-Image Asymmetry even if I had never heard of this tennis player of limited talent.

Recent activity: 6 months 13 hours ago
by Hal Harris
Thu, 07/01/2010 - 01:00

Sam Kean is not a chemist, and he seems to have had little help from a chemistry-literate editor in writing this collection of stories about most of the elements of the periodic table. To a certain extent, his chatty and colloquial style helps to bring chemistry to an audience that is science-phobic (the c-word does not appear in the title or subtitle, presumably for this reason).

Comments: 2
Recent activity: 6 months 13 hours ago
by Hal Harris
Tue, 06/01/2010 - 01:00

The central story of the Poisoner's Handbook is a war between poisoners and chemists working to detoxify poisoned beverages. The surprising thing is that the poisoners work for the US government and the detoxifiers for criminals. The setting is the years between 1920, when the 18th amendment started prohibition, and 1933, when the 21st repealed it.

Recent activity: 6 months 13 hours ago
by Hal Harris
Sat, 05/01/2010 - 01:00

David Goodstein has enjoyed a long and productive career at the California Institute of Technology as a professor of physics and as Vice Provost. He brings to this small book on scientific ethics the perspective of an administrator of scientific research, a viewpoint that I have not seen expressed in any other place.

Recent activity: 6 months 13 hours ago
by Hal Harris
Thu, 04/01/2010 - 01:00

Robert Boyle is known to most chemists solely for his Law relating the pressure and volume of a gas, but this privileged son of the Earl of Cork was not as interested in discovering an equation as he was in determining what his experiments could tell him about his own relationship to God.

Recent activity: 6 months 4 days ago
by Hal Harris
Tue, 03/02/2010 - 01:00

There was a time when it was possible to estimate the size of the total US thermonuclear arsenal by measuring the ratio of Li-6 to Li-7 in commercial sources and knowing the amount of the metal in the economy. (Li-6 had been removed to make hydrogen bombs.) Now the lightest metal is prominent in other kinds of energy schemes.

Recent activity: 6 months 13 hours ago
by Hal Harris
Mon, 03/01/2010 - 00:00

Could it be possible that much of the education "reform" that everybody seems to be seeking might be accomplished through teaching teachers how to use a toolbox of effective classroom management techniques?

Recent activity: 6 months 13 hours ago