The Chronicle Flask
My name is Dr Kat Day and I have a PhD in chemistry and over a decade’s experience as a chemistry teacher. I started this blog back in 2013 because I felt that chemistry was sadly often overlooked by the media in favour of its sidekicks, physics and biology. A shame really, since without chemistry there would be no medicine, no plastics, no brightly-coloured pigments and no fireworks (oooh). As we (should) all know, chemistry is by far the most important science – explaining as it does the behaviour and properties of all the stuff you’re looking at, touching, smelling and possibly even tasting right now. Yes, right now. Seriously. Just think about that for a minute…
Over the last few years this blog has taken a bit of a sceptical turn. I’ve taken on several areas of dodgy science, including apricot kernels, so-called ‘alkaline’ diets and CD/MMS. If you’ve seen something you think I’d be interested in, have a look at the Contact page.
The Chronicle Flask was named in honour of all the students who have, in the past, misspelled ‘conical flask‘ in their chemistry coursework. There were many.
In 2015 The Chronicle Flask won the 2015 ABSW Science Blog award supported by Good Thinking. Full awards lists here, and a bit more information here. In 2016 Feedspot listed The Chronicle Flask as one of the Top 50 Chemistry Websites & Blogs on the web.
I’ve also written for Sense About Science as part of their Ask for Evidence campaign, been a guest contributor for Things We Don’t Know, written articles for WhatCulture Science, been published in Private Eye, written a chapter for an upcoming book about the science of superheroes (due out in 2017, hopefully!) and written and contributed to several articles for Nature Chemistry.
Speaking of which, it was me who set up the “name element 117 octarine in honour of Terry Pratchett” petition, which got over 50,000 signatures. Sadly, the element has since been officially named tennessine. But element 118 was named oganesson, with the symbol Og, in honour Yuri Oganessian. (Did you say Ogg and son?)
- Ask for Evidence: some statistics are only skin deep
- Things we don’t know: what must women avoid during pregnancy?
- Things we don’t know: wondering about water
- Nature Chemistry Blogroll: Hot and Sweet
- Nature Chemistry: New Kids on the p-Block
- Nature Chemistry: Another Four Bricks in the Wall
- Nature Chemistry: Uuh? No. It’s livermorium!
- WhatCulture Science: 8 Things People Get Wrong about ‘Scary’ Chemicals
- Private Eye #1431 (Nov 2016): Quack Addicts (no longer available online)
- WhatCulture Science: 10 Chemicals You Really SHOULD Be Scared Of
- Private Eye #1434 (Dec 2016): Medical Quackery (not available online)
- Private Eye #1436 (Jan 2017): Coming Clean (not available online)
- Private Eye #1439 (Mar 2017): Loopy Goopy (not available online)
You can also follow The Chronicle Flask on Facebook and Twitter, and if you’d rather read fiction than all this proper science stuff, check out my companion site, The Fiction Phial.
“Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and reinvigorate it.”
— Robert M. Sapolsky
“Go on, prove me wrong. Destroy the fabric of the universe. See if I care.” — Terry Pratchett
A comment about comments…
As anyone who’s ever written anything on the internet which has been read by more than three people knows, there sometimes comes a point when the comments go a bit batcrap crazy. This has happened on a few of my posts, and comments have been subsequently closed. All comments on this site are moderated. If you post comments on other pages regarding closed topics, your comment will be deleted.
If you call me a shill (or anything less polite), your comment will be deleted. In fact, anything offensive will be deleted. Comments promoting products or services will also be deleted, and if they’re promoting quack health products (or suggesting that cancer can be cured with the contents of a kitchen cupboard) they’ll be deleted double-quick with extra angry muttering. In short, don’t waste your time writing this kind of stuff, because it will not see the light of day.
I’m not paid by ‘Big Pharma’ to write what I write. However, in the interest of full disclosure, I did once work for a pharmaceutical company. I worked for Eli Lilly as a quality control chemist from 1991-1993. My annual starting salary was, from memory, about £5000. It wasn’t a huge amount of money, even ‘in those days’.