207, 2014
  • Chemistry of Gunpowder v3

The Chemistry of Gunpowder

July 2nd, 2014|

With the Fourth of July and American Independence Day on the horizon, a somehow topical post seemed in order. Having already examined the chemical compounds that give fireworks their colours in a previous graphic, I decided to examine another important firework component here: the first chemical explosive, gunpowder, also commonly referred to as black powder.


806, 2014
  • The Chemistry of Cats and Catnip

The Chemical Behind Catnip’s Effect on Cats

June 8th, 2014|

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Everyone knows cats go crazy for catnip. It’s an effect that’s been noted in scientific literature as far back as the 18th Century, when scientists observed┬áthat cats seemed to be attracted to catnip when the plant was withered or bruised. Since then, research has managed to amass a little more detail on exactly why catnip affects cats in the way it does. […]

1905, 2014
  • Natural & Man-Made Chemicals - Dose Makes The Poison

Natural vs. Man-Made Chemicals – Dispelling Misconceptions

May 19th, 2014|

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The term ‘chemophobia’ has been used on social media amongst chemists with increasing regularity over the past year. Defined as ‘a fear of chemicals’, more specifically it refers to the growing tendency for the public to be suspicious and critical of the presence of any man-made (synthetic) chemicals in foods or products that they make use of. Sense About Science, a UK-based charitable trust whose mission is ‘to equip people to make sense of science and evidence’, is attempting to combat this with a new free guide, “Making Sense of Chemical Stories”, for which the graphics in this post were made.


105, 2014
  • Cigarette Smoke Compounds

The Chemicals in Cigarette Smoke & Their Effects

May 1st, 2014|

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That smoking causes cancer is a well known and scientifically proven fact. Everyone knows that nicotine is present in cigarettes, and causes addiction to smoking; however, what’s a little less well known is the range of chemicals contained within cigarette smoke that can lead to carcinogenic (cancer causing) effects, and what other effects they can have on the body. The effects of some of these chemicals also explain why it’s advised that women shouldn’t smoke during pregnancy.


204, 2014
  • A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science 2015

A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science

April 2nd, 2014|

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A brief detour from chemistry, branching out into science in general today. This graphic looks at the different factors that can contribute towards ‘bad’ science – it was inspired by the research I carried out for the recent aluminium chlorohydrate graphic, where many articles linked the compound to causing breast cancer, referencing scientific research which drew questionable conclusions from their results.