June 26 at 8:30-9:00
Chemistry tends to be a science that many journalists, even science journalists, avoid because they doubt public interest in the topic or because they worry that it is too complex and difficult to explain. And, in fact, chemistry does have that reputation. But it also offers a great case study in ways that journalists can take up a challenging field of science and make it both approachable and unique. I use an example my own focus on forensic chemistry to explore the ways a writer can tell stories of science with use of narrative, history, personal details, suspense – and, of course, scientific detail. The talk will provide background on toxic elements, their uses, their unique poisonous mechanisms and also the ways that forensic chemists – and members of the audience – can draw upon that knowledge to solve a murder.