Is Chemistry Becoming “in”?

Okay — so I spend a decent part of each work day looking at, evaluating, thinking about, drawing and discussing molecules.  It's not only my job to decide what makes one "better" than another at what we'd like them to do, but I actually really enjoy it.  Science to me is all about managing uncertainty and everyday my colleagues and I make hypotheses (i.e. guesses) about why something works, or all to often doesn't work, the way you expect it to.  It's challenging, frustrating and fun all at the same time.

So from my BS in Chemistry, to my PhD in Chemistry, I've always absorbed comments like, "Oh, I hated chemistry in school!" and you try not to notice the rolled eyes when you tell someone that you're a chemist.  (I haven't actually made anything for a long time, but you still get the looks.)

Anyway, so three times in the last two days I came across non-work things that incorporated a chemistry theme in their ads or product.  The first was for an Acura maintenance program that uses elements from the periodic table to spell out their name.  Pretty cool.  The next was in a catalog that someone had at work and they offered a "periodic table" of vegetables.  Pretty clever.  The last was something else that made me proud to be an ACC alum, which was an arrangement of the sports at the University of Maryland in which each program was given a box like an element.  Nicely done!

Now, I doubt that chem-themed ads aren't going to replace spokesmodels or anything, but I was pleasantly suprised to see such a concentration of them… concentration, get it?  Oh nevermind….

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7 thoughts on “Is Chemistry Becoming “in”?

  1. Thanks Joie!! :) (Yes, we're out there, they just try to limit our public access…=P ) I taught a number of labs when I was in grad school. They always seem like a LOT of work for that one credit, don't they? I think the big challenge in science education is connecting the somewhat obscure matter of the subject — (matter?? get it? oh….forget it) — to something in everyone's daily experience.
    Although one year I managed the o-chem labs — my biggest problem was trying to stop the male grad student TAs from hitting on their students! <slaps forehead>

  2. Steve: Did you happen to watch the show "Bones" this week? Though pretty far fetched they deciphered a code that was text messaged to them using the periodic table. Even though it's kind of a science based show anyway it was still cool.I only minored in chemistry as undergrad but I also can't stand this promotion of stupid being cool in the media and movies. The smart people are always quirky people who can't relate to the rest of society because "they are smart" they must be weird. Meanwhile the drunken fool is the one everyone cheers on and tries to emulate. Kids saying things like "I hate math", or science, or history, or art appreciation… drives me nuts!

  3. Hapa — that "Periodic Table of My Elements is great… very clever, probably too involved for a QotD though…. ;)

    sdede2 — you know, I've never watched "Bones" — although I did watch
    Boreanaz in "Angel". I heard that is got off to a pretty rough
    start, but has gelled. I like to think that at least some shows
    are beginning to portray people with brains as more well-balanced and
    not "eccentric" (to be kind). I do remember once when Scully told
    Mulder, "Smart is sexy…" that was pretty good. And yes, I doubt
    we'll be seeing DVDs advertised for "Girls Gone Smart".

    smeutaw — I remembered that ad — i think its a great ad — and
    thought about including it here but didn't b/c a) I didn't see it in
    the last couple of days, and b) coming from Dow seemed less mainstream.

  4. Hah — I'm fond of Maryland too — my sis lives in Mount Airy, and UMd
    offered me a job way back when — I didn't take it — chose another
    path — but I've been fond of them ever since.

  5. Chemistry is cool! I missed this post when you first posted it a few days ago – glad I came back and found it! That table of veggies is cool. Science, in general is seeming to get "cool" again. We have the Nerd Baby Alphabet for Mason and everything!

  6. It's cute, huh?! I initially saw it in a nursery picture on Flickr – I loved it and had to have it! The picture-taker let me know that she purchased it online. :)

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