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, 02/01/2010 - 00:00

Chemistry is a beautiful subject. Beyond the intellectual satisfaction of finding out how things work, there is also aesthetic reward in an optically-active crystal viewed in polarized light, a colorful reaction, or even scientific glassware.

Recent activity: 5 months 4 weeks ago
by Hal Harris
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 01:00

One of the most memorable lectures I have ever experienced was given by Nobelist Willard Libby. He spoke at University of California, Irvine in 1968 or 1969, but the essence of his talk about the atmosphere of Venus is still fresh in my mind because he told such an engaging, entertaining story.

Recent activity: 5 months 4 weeks ago
by Hal Harris
Fri, 01/01/2010 - 00:00

The world has never more needed public understanding of science than it does now, and those of us in science education have a special obligation in this regard. The answers to health care, climate change, conservation of the environment, and so forth are not going to be found in science alone, but if they are to be addressed rationally, science literacy will be necessary.

Recent activity: 5 months 3 weeks ago
by Hal Harris
Wed, 12/02/2009 - 01:00

Imagine a highly reliable cancer test. It detects 95% of a certain type of cancer, and has a "false positive" rate of only 1%. This test is used on a population in which this type of cancer occurs in 0.5%. One day your doctor tells you that you have tested positive. What is the chance that you are actually sick? Surprisingly, it is only about 32 percent!

Recent activity: 5 months 4 weeks ago
by Hal Harris
Tue, 12/01/2009 - 00:00

Isaac Newton was a complex man. Every student learns of (but few master) the laws bearing his name that govern the motion of objects from bullets to planets. Many know that the same great mind invented calculus along the way toward his Principia Mathematica.

Recent activity: 5 months 4 weeks ago
by Hal Harris
Sun, 11/01/2009 - 01:00

One part (but only one part) of the decline in science in the US is the growing minority of citizens who semiautomatically adopt positions antagonistic to those of the scientific consensus, regardless of the issue. The "scientific community" is not a monolith, and skepticism and dissent are essential to the process of science.

Recent activity: 5 months 3 weeks ago
by Hal Harris
Thu, 10/01/2009 - 01:00

America's public schools are in trouble, and there are few who would disagree. But despite billions of dollars spent in "reform" efforts, little real progress seems to be occuring. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was a step (or a misstep, perhaps) toward greater accountability by schools for student achievement.

Recent activity: 5 months 4 weeks ago
by Hal Harris
Tue, 09/01/2009 - 01:00

Meet Flavia de Luce. You are going to like her. It is 1950 and Flavia, a very precocious eleven year old, lives in a small village in England in a deteriorating grand mansion with her father and two older sisters. Her passion is chemistry, which she has learned on her own by reading a textbook owned by her deceased mother and practiced in a laboratory inherited from her uncle.

Recent activity: 5 months 4 weeks ago
by Hal Harris
Sat, 08/01/2009 - 01:00

When I saw this new book on the subject of evolution, I thought it would probably be one side or the other of the very tired evolution/creationism-"intelligent" design debate. I was delighted to find instead a very smart discussion of the status of our understanding of the origins of life, how life has changed over the millennia, and how we have learned about those things. Mr.

Recent activity: 5 months 4 weeks ago
by Hal Harris
Thu, 07/02/2009 - 02:00

Having just returned from the Gordon Research Conference on Chemical Education Research and Practice, I can attest to the central role that statistics plays in chemical education.

Recent activity: 5 months 4 weeks ago