About iChem


Welcome to my blog. Here’s what I have to offer, and I’ll be adding to them month-by-month.

True facts are short articles explaining how chemistry underpins much that we take for granted.

Untrue facts, aka urban myths, are popular misconceptions about chemicals which I deconstruct.

Green future is news from the future, of a sustainable world as dictated by the green movement, in which there would be no chemical industries.

Science future is news from the future, in which I report on an alternative world that has chosen to go down a science-based route to a sustainable future.

A chemist should be able to tell you what he does for a living, or what line of research they are pursing. The trouble is that there is a language barrier to understanding which makes this very difficult both for the teller and for the listener.

I see my role as one who lowers this barrier, because I know how important chemistry is in everyday life. I want people to understand and not be alarmed by scare stories, which are generally put out by people who don’t understand the science, don’t appreciate the relative important of correctly assessing risk, who like to use exaggerated numbers, and who don’t understand units of scale.

In iChem I post short items that give my point of view about issues of the day. To help understand how decisions we must make now may affect the future, you will also see news items from 50 or 100 years in the future.

These posts have been gathered from items that were published in the Cambridge University Chemistry Department’s newsletter Chem@Cam, my book Better Looking, Better Living, Better Loving, and the Royal Society of Chemistry’s monthly magazine Chemistry World.