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The Right Chemistry: 108 Enlightening, Nutritious, Health-Conscious and Occasionally Bizarre Inquiries into the Science of Daily Life

Overview

A big part of Dr. Joe's job as director of McGill University's Office of Science and Society is persuading people that the pursuit of science knowledge is a potential source of wonder, enlightenment and well-being for everyone. And as a chemist, he's particularly keen to rescue chemistry from the bad rep it's developed over recent decades. There is more to chemistry than toxins, pollution, and "Don't drink that soda—it's full of chemicals." 

The evangelic zeal Dr. Joe ...

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The Right Chemistry: 108 Enlightening, Nutritious, Health-Conscious and Occasionally Bizarre Inquiries into the Science of Daily Life

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Overview

A big part of Dr. Joe's job as director of McGill University's Office of Science and Society is persuading people that the pursuit of science knowledge is a potential source of wonder, enlightenment and well-being for everyone. And as a chemist, he's particularly keen to rescue chemistry from the bad rep it's developed over recent decades. There is more to chemistry than toxins, pollution, and "Don't drink that soda—it's full of chemicals." 

The evangelic zeal Dr. Joe brings to his day job is of course also the driving force behind his work as an author. Once again, here he is to tell that everything is full of chemicals, and that chemistry means health, nutrition, beauty products, cleaning products, DNA, and the means by which Lady Gaga's meat dress was held together. 

In the style established with the bestselling Brain Fuel, each section here is themed and contains a mixture of short, pithy items and slightly longer mini-essays. And as before—but never with such energy and relish—Dr. Joe goes on the attack against charlatans in the alternative health trade, naming and shaming them in a particularly entertaining and edifying section of the book called "Claptrap."

You will learn whether to put broccoli on a pizza before or after baking, whether beauty pills are worth taking, and whether the baby shampoo you're using is poisonous. You will discover but not use, please, the recipe for a Molotov cocktail. You will be enabled to enthrall fellow dinner guests with the derivation of the name Persil, and the definition of a kangarian (it's someone who only eats kangaroo meat).

As ever, this torrent of entertainment is delivered in Dr. Joe's unmistakably warm, lively and authorative voice.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[Joe Schwarcz] is the Carl Sagan of chemistry, explaining it to the public and demonstrating its wonders… The Right Chemistry is a worthy addition to the series of similar books Dr. Joe has published. He has a gift for making science fascinating and fun…  His style is entertaining, and his dry sense of humor always makes me laugh. To paraphrase Bill Nye the Science Guy, ‘Chemistry rules!’ Pseudoscience can’t even begin to compete with the attractions of real science.”
—Harriet Hall, Skeptic magazine.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385671590
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada
  • Publication date: 11/6/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 587,859
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

DR. JOE SCHWARCZ is director of McGill University's Office of Science and Society, where he teaches courses on nutrition and the applications of chemistry to everyday life. Among his many honours are the Royal Society of Canada's McNeil Award, and the American Chemistry Society's renowned Grady-Stack Award, of which he is the only non-American recipient. Dr. Schwarcz is the host of a weekly radio show on CFRB in Toronto and CJAD in Montreal, and writes a weekly column for the Montreal Gazette. The author lives in Montreal.

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Table of Contents

Introduction vii

First, the Past 1

Tricks of the Trade 25

Creatures Great and Small 43

Claptrap 65

To Your Health 99

Bites and Sips 127

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall 173

Weird and Wonderful 191

Chemicals for Better and for Worse 211

Chemistry Up Close 251

How Green Was My Chemistry 261

Index 275

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