Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Lifestyle

Defying Empire commemorates the 50th anniversary of 1967 Referendum

You cannot live without chemicals. Lecture at the ANU

By Barcham - 12 September 2013 55

One of my favourite pieces of stupidity is people who try and live “chemical free”.

It’s by far the most wonderfully ridiculous of all the ‘new age’ nonsense that people like to sprout.

Short of ejecting their consciousness from their bodies and floating around some astral plane, I really don’t see it happening.

Peter Wothers is presenting a lecture at the ANU on chemistry and the role chemicals play in our lives and the in universe around us in the hopes of changing the minds of a few of these chemophobic nutters.

“Every time you make a cup of tea or coffee you are doing chemistry,” he says. “You are extracting certain materials you do want from those you don’t want – you don’t want to crunch your way through coffee grinds to get the delicious coffee taste.”

“It’s a similar thing with chemistry. Over time we have found there are certain medicines that work really well but wouldn’t it be better to have just the part that is effective?”

Wothers says chemistry is about finding these effective components, and separating them from the extra bits and pieces.

“For instance if there is a drug in a sea sponge, do we need to eat the whole sea sponge? Or should we try and make the active component? That is one of the roles of the chemist, trying to make these reactive components rather than slaughtering all these rare sea sponges.”

Wothers has been visiting ANU for many years, sharing his enthusiasm for chemistry through his entertaining and often explosive shows.

“The current show is based around the idea that people think chemicals are bad. They don’t realise that everything around them is made up of chemicals – their food, themselves. All the chemicals we use in the lecture we show how they are made or can be obtained through nature.”

God speed Dr Wothers!

Free Range Chemistry will be presented on Friday 13 September at 7pm and Saturday 14 September at 2pm in Chemistry T1 Lecture Theatre at ANU. Both shows are free and open to the public. Seating is limited; arrive early to avoid disappointment

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
55 Responses to
You cannot live without chemicals. Lecture at the ANU
CraigT 3:58 am 13 Sep 13

Masquara said :

Putting people who are cautious around, say, GM, into the same basket as Nimbinite hippie anti-vaccination paranoids is equally unsound. It’s perfectly mainstream to wish to choose food without GMO and be skeptical about scientists who operate in cahoots with Monsanto.

GM is a menace:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14735903.2013.806408

The authors compare US & Canadian yields of the primary GE crops with yields in Western European countries that prohibit the use of GE seeds, and they come to the conclusion that any yield gains cannot be attributed to GE. Their analysis also concludes that, while GE may have led to decreased pesticide/herbicide usage, Western European nations decreased their usage even further despite not growing GE crops.
They also note that GM leads to decreased genetic diversity, and genetic diversity being the most basic factor in maintaining productivity in the face of ever-changing crop threats, GM has already demonstrated it can cause serious and even catastrophic productivity failures.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 11:08 pm 12 Sep 13

May aswell lock and archive this thread. The nutters have already spoken and can only go downhill from here…

dtc 10:38 pm 12 Sep 13

I’ve been to one of his lectures and – unless he has changed his approach – its far less serious than suggested – basically its a fun show with lots of sparks and flames and interesting bits and pieces and some chemistry knowledge snuck in. Sort of like a (very) souped up Questacon show. Worth going for all ages – my 9yr old son and his friends had a great time.

Masquara 9:42 pm 12 Sep 13

Putting people who are cautious around, say, GM, into the same basket as Nimbinite hippie anti-vaccination paranoids is equally unsound. It’s perfectly mainstream to wish to choose food without GMO and be skeptical about scientists who operate in cahoots with Monsanto.

IrishPete 9:23 pm 12 Sep 13

Ronald_Coase said :

Diggety said :

Hot Diggety, I could think of many space-cadets needing to see this lecture.

* Entire population of Nimbin
* Those who self-diagnose themselves with Coeliac
* Helicopter parents
* Anyone who takes Greenpeace ‘studies’ seriously
* Anti-GMO nutters
* Other assorted skalliwags of a similar nature.

Add peak oil nutters to that list. My question for them is, how precisely do we run out of hydrocarbons? And how does it matter given we trade in it? Is it not possible that as the resources become scarce that the price rises and we substitute? Maybe with geo-thermal, solar, lng, etc?

LNG is a hydrocarbon. So are you, largely (ignoring all the water). Peak Oil is about running out of (well, that’s inaccurate too, but I’ll leave it alone) of fossil fuels, not hydrocarbons.

IP

IrishPete 9:21 pm 12 Sep 13

Barcham, you lost me completely. Apart from creating an opportunity for some fairly ignorant posts by others, what exactly was the point of this story? Anyone who thinks “chemicals are dangerous” dropped out of school too early. Anyone who thinks Greenpeace or GMO-protesters (I presume they mean GM – not sure what the o stands for, Organisms?) are ignorant, also dropped out of school too early.

I’ve never been to Nimbin, but I suspect the people there are actually highly educated, and simply trust evolution more than they trust Big Pharma, Big Coal or Big Oil.

IP

poetix 8:57 pm 12 Sep 13

DrKoresh said :

Silentforce said :

I am always amused by Smokers who say “I have to go outside for fresh air.”

Because you enjoy irony or because you’re oblivious to it?

Irony is menthol for the mind.

Jethro 8:37 pm 12 Sep 13

I agree with ronald. Oil production will continue to increase for ever.

Ronald_Coase 6:57 pm 12 Sep 13

Diggety said :

Hot Diggety, I could think of many space-cadets needing to see this lecture.

* Entire population of Nimbin
* Those who self-diagnose themselves with Coeliac
* Helicopter parents
* Anyone who takes Greenpeace ‘studies’ seriously
* Anti-GMO nutters
* Other assorted skalliwags of a similar nature.

Add peak oil nutters to that list. My question for them is, how precisely do we run out of hydrocarbons? And how does it matter given we trade in it? Is it not possible that as the resources become scarce that the price rises and we substitute? Maybe with geo-thermal, solar, lng, etc?

Diggety 6:13 pm 12 Sep 13

gospeedygo said :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAJ4XVmI4dc

Lol, another cracker: dihydrogen monoxide!!!

DrKoresh 4:21 pm 12 Sep 13

Silentforce said :

I am always amused by Smokers who say “I have to go outside for fresh air.”

Because you enjoy irony or because you’re oblivious to it?

Silentforce 4:13 pm 12 Sep 13

I am always amused by Smokers who say “I have to go outside for fresh air.”

Madam Cholet 3:37 pm 12 Sep 13

Diggety said :

Hot Diggety, I could think of many space-cadets needing to see this lecture.

* Those who self-diagnose themselves with Coeliac
.

God, I hate the self-diagnosers who go around eating gluten free products because for some reason they have decided that gluten is the devils work. Most would not have a clue what it in fact is.

And with regards to the Nimbin dwellers – send all the anti-vac parents up there and then blow the place up. Will take all their infectious germs with them on the way.

There’s nothing wrong with making your own choices, but they need to be researched if you are going to expound on them.

Diggety 3:10 pm 12 Sep 13

Hot Diggety, I could think of many space-cadets needing to see this lecture.

* Entire population of Nimbin
* Those who self-diagnose themselves with Coeliac
* Helicopter parents
* Anyone who takes Greenpeace ‘studies’ seriously
* Anti-GMO nutters
* Other assorted skalliwags of a similar nature.

gospeedygo 2:28 pm 12 Sep 13
1 2 3 4

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au

Search across the site