Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Score one for the chemists.

I get the feeling sometimes that whenever anybody actually remembers chemists, the tend to get dismissed (not nastily, just ... ignored) as not quite physics or not quite biology. I think though, that it's quite possibly chemists that make the bigger impact on our day to day lives. Yes, the work of biologists contributes to our understanding of the body and the world around us, gives us medicines when we're sick etc. Physicists are looking at the stars or at very small things telling us how space/time works, possibly giving us new methods of generating energy etc. Things which are critically important. In terms of day to day impact though, it's chemists who are working on things like new batteries. Writing this though, it occurs to me that these guys are probably on the border of physics and chemistry though. It's the physicists who are working on the giant capacitors for powering cars I think, though it's probably team work with a few chemists thrown in. Conclusion: Chemistry has become, I think, one of those things like math. You need somebody who knows what they're talking about in order to make any progress but as a field, it doesn't generally receive it's fair share of kudos.

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