Welcome to a tour of some of the recent advances in chemistry, taking in the cosmetic factory, the pharmacy, the grooming salon, the diet clinic, the power plant, the domestic cleaning company, and the art gallery along the way.
Award-winning popular science writer John Emsley is our guide as he addresses questions of grooming, health, food, and sex.
The trip is for all those of us wanting to know more about the impact of chemical products on our everyday lives.
Each chapter begins with a fictional news item from the future speculating on the possible benefits that might develop from further approaches to research, and each chapter ends by addressing an issue of concern related to the topics discussed.
These include whether homeopathic medicines really work, date rape drugs, how the toxic chemical acrylamide got into our food, and whether great artists were affected by the pigments they used.
With his informal style, linking well-founded chemicals knowledge to fun situations, the author presents the information in a way such that the layperson can easily understand the arguments, weighing up the risks and benefits for each product concerned. Includes a glossary containing all the technical terms used for non-specialists.