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Chemistry As A Hobby

Aug 17, 2007
From 1959 to 1977, Dr. George Crikelair directed the plastic surgery service at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. Serving in that capacity, Dr. Crikelair noted that a large number of the child patients exhibited burned clothing. Frequently the burned fabric had been part of some cotton sleepwear.

It was that observation that caused Dr. Crikelair to pursue chemistry as a hobby. His attention to that hobby earned him added recognition. He was put on a national advisory committee. That committee developed and promoted the federal Flammable Fabrics Act.

Do we have any youth today who might take up chemistry as a hobby? Such a youth might come up with an equally beneficial invention. There are two ways to locate any such youth. One requires contact with the editor of ChemMatters Magazine.

That is a magazine that targets any youth who wants to consider chemistry as a hobby. It features articles about new products for teens, especially when that new product can be explained chemically. The magazine might, for example, chose to run an article about the special rubber on Five Ten mountain climbing shoes.

The teen who would read such an article might decide to take up chemistry as a hobby. He or she might be a teen who had once received a chemistry set as a Christmas gift. One could therefore study the purchase of chemistry sets, in order to locate any potential future chemist and possible inventor.

Such a study might reveal one reason why so many chemists have been men. In the early 1970's, Anna Jane Harrison, a chemistry teacher at Mount Holyoke College, disclosed to a few students some of her Christmas gift plans. She confessed to the purchase of a chemistry set for her nephew, but not for her niece. She herself was surprised at her reluctance to "push" chemistry on her niece.

In late 1976, Anna Jane Harrison made her niece aware of chemistry in a very different way. Anna Jane Harrison became the first female president of the American Chemical Society. Since then, the Society has had a string of female presidents.

The American Chemical Society puts out a monthly publication. If one were to locate all those who receive that publication, one might find one or more retiree who has chosen to pursue chemistry as hobby.

Some retirees and environmentalists have become "kitchen chemists". They have sought to locate the chemical cause for allegedly harmful odors. They have even gone after the root cause for a very well-liked odor - the traditional "new car smell".

The choice by some to pursue chemistry as a hobby has thus encouraged them to challenge a large number of marketing specialists. Those specialists know that smell is a strong motivator, when a consumer considers a possible purchase. The new car smell encourages the consumer to buy a new car.

The marketers could turn to the chemists for creation of a different motivator.
About the Author
More information about chemistry and organic chemistry in particular can be found on Kevin Dark's Chemistry Guide website.
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