This collection of videos really surprised me. Honestly, I expected it to a bit dull and only picked it because I wanted to give a video I had passed over several times a fair viewing, but it ended up as a bit of a treat. Produced by the Open University and narrated by Professor Steven Ley of Cambridge University, this playlist includes videos on an array of chemistry related topics, interspersed with short asides on specific periodic table elements of note and short lists of different chemicals that are significant in some way. I get the feeling that this whole thing was created by a large number of Carl Sagan fans with more than a bit of an appreciation for Monty Python. All in all, it’s an educational good time.
The topics covered include the chemical secrets behind one of India’s most popular medicinal plants, the history and chemistry of the pigments in paints, as well as some rather poignant discussions on the core similarities between art and science; two things so often insisted to be opposite to the extreme. I think the latter were my some of my favorite moments in the series, they really have some impressive scientific figures making an eloquent case for the creativity of science. Numerous reputed scientists are interviewed, their work investigated and explained for the viewer in an a way that allows well displays the things that make chemistry such a fascinating topic to so many people. The big questions are all addressed and with a refreshingly clear and objective point of view and Professor Ley’s narration and humor simply put this series over the top.
Just keep in mind that the videos are numbered backwards; the first video is labeled as the last, but is the correct starting point.
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