From: DAVID <dakatz45**At_Symbol_Here**MSN.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Teaching Chemistry with a Historical Perspective
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2015 08:00:04 -0700
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: BLU174-DS11FAA17989CC8A5EDAA766C57D0**At_Symbol_Here**phx.gbl

Hi Ralph,
I was fortunate to have a great History and Philosophy of Science Course as an undergraduate in the 1960's.  That course was taught by a young teacher who was enthusiastic about the subject and focused on development of ideas with a historical perspective, and some original readings, without resorting to a list of names and dates.   Unfortunately, such courses and instructors were not valued by the college and that course (and the instructor) did not last and was later dropped from the science major curriculum.
I have always taught with a historical perspective and have given a number of papers on using history in teaching dating back to 1975.  I believe that it is important to understand how our modern concepts and theories developed.  Readings in the history of chemistry must, in my opinion, go beyond sources that discuss and compare these ideas and to reading some of the original papers by major scientists along with an understanding of the social and political climates of their times.  You may recall the excellent books and TV series The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski, and Connections by James Burke.  As I'm not aware of any compilation of the environmental and safety aspects of much of the historical work, it is up to the instructor to add that perspective. 
You can access some historical information on my History of Chemistry web page with additional sources compiled by Carmen Giunta at Le Moyne College. Carmen's Classic Chemistry web page, which also lists a number of Internet resources, is at 
Best regards,
  David A. Katz             
  Chemist, Educator, Expert Demonstrator, Science Communicator, and  Consultant
  Programs and workshops for teachers, schools, museums, and the public
  133 N. Desert Stream Dr. * Tucson, AZ 85745-2277 *  USA
  voice/fax: (520) 624-2207 * email: dakatz45**At_Symbol_Here**
           Visit my web site:
----- Original Message -----
From: Stuart, Ralph
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2015 4:46 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Teaching Chemistry with a Historical Perspective

Given the level of interest shown by the list in the cultural aspects of chemistry in the fictional universes, I thought I would point out to the list that there is an article in today's Journal of Chemical Education on "How Did We Get Here? Teaching Chemistry with a Historical Perspective" which has a helpful list of historical chemistry literature resources. There doesn't appear to be much on environmental or safety aspects of this history included in these resources, but this might be helpful in developing such materials.

Also, someone pointed out to me last week's C&EN article on the PBS Docudrama "The Mystery of Matter," which tells the tales of seven chemists with dramatic reenactments

I saw previews of the Marie Curie episode a few years ago and there are a lot of opportunities to discuss the connection between the demonstrated lab practices and the health impacts on her and her co-workers of the chemistry she conducted.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Keene State College


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