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Poll: Is chemical education being cramped by current safety regulations?
Yes --- 89 (89%)
No --- 11 (11%)

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Author: Subject: Is chemical education being cramped by current safety regulations?
Quince
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[*] posted on 19-9-2005 at 20:40


A propane burner doesn't classify as a FAE.



\"One of the surest signs of Conrad\'s genius is that women dislike his books.\" --George Orwell
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The_Davster
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[*] posted on 20-9-2005 at 16:52


I remembered something my general chem proff once said right after doing a KClO3/Sugar +sulfuric demo; "Don't ever try this at home, if you were to order chlorates the police would show up and you would be thought to be a terrorist, we can only do this here because as a university we are the only ones which can carry out the reaction safely and in a controlled way, and we can keep stringent controls on who uses the chemicals."

Chem Nazi....:mad:

Surprisingly, I would have thought as a university they would have pure K-chlorate, but the flame colour indicated strong sodium contamination.




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Dr.Freemanstein
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[*] posted on 22-9-2005 at 16:06


I whole heartedly agree...

when I hear what my step-son says about his science lessons now, makes me cringe!!

We got to do some great experimental stuff, but now (only 8-10years on!) if they are allowed to do anything remotely dangerous, its gotta be done in like a air-tight, bio-controlled, strike-hard nuclear bunker before the govenors will allow it to be performed! When we were at school, they were dropping re-active metals into all sorts of stuff to show us how much of a Bang they make!!!




My nick is not a reference to Half-Life!!!!!
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triphenylphosphineoxide
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[*] posted on 15-6-2006 at 19:57


Last year most of my fellow Chemistry grad students worked for a Science and Technology centre, taking science "shows" to primary schools, we also ran shows for a few early secondary schools. The shows we offered were hydraulics, electricity, and chemistry.
Almost 90% (18/21) of the primary schools in the local area asked for the hydraulics demonstration. This demonstarion was the safest, but also the cheapest and the one with the least need for us.
The electricity show was only ordered by the secondary schools, and shockingly(sorry;)) none of these schools had a working Van de Graff Generator, Hiring us fitted better with budget constraints than getting the damned thing fixed. A result of some strange 80:20 guideline ie 80% of department funding should go on staff, 20% on infrastructure or consumables. This is not a law just a guideline, but still it's killing music departments, and crippling science at secondary levels.
The real tradgedy was the chemistry show only 2 local primary schools ordered it(both private), and one distant public school. the schools that ordered this one were amazing. The teachers were enthusiastic and wanted to expose their students to aspects of science that primary schools just can't offer. These teachers had also taken it upon themselves to teach some of the theory behind our experiments prior to our arrival.(Grade 3 and 4 or 8/9 year olds learning redox chem.) This show was loved. Each time we stayed an extra two hours playing showing what can be done with chemicals we could find in the staff room/art room/garden etc. the kids loved it.
The tragedy being that all the other schools missed out, as they could only afford one or for nonsensical reasons like "Isn't that a bit dangerous?" or "They're only children it's a bit over their heads"
From this limited sample it seems clear that chemical education is suffering more than most, but safety regulations themselves play only a small part in this. Fear of danger is more crippling. Lack of finances, bizarre financial priorities, Chemically ignorant teachers, and a persistant desire to underestimate a child's intelligence are just as detrimental.
I almost feel sorry for the students we interacted with, as they will not meet chemistry like this again untill post compulsory education( over the age of 16), unless they become home experimenters.
i'll stop now but I could keep up this rant for another 3 hours minimum.

[Edited on 16-6-2006 by triphenylphosphineoxide]
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vulture
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[*] posted on 16-6-2006 at 13:08


Just look at the positive side. Knowledge truly is power.

Every day the people around you get dumber, is a day that you get smarter and that gains you more power.

Ofcourse, knowledge of how to deal with this power is important, as dumb masses can still instigate powerful witchhunts. You can't outthink an angry mob.




One shouldn't accept or resort to the mutilation of science to appease the mentally impaired.
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Quince
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[*] posted on 16-6-2006 at 17:03


On a related topic, according to an influential US political economist, basic science should be regulated by government (outside federal grant programs as well): http://www.sais-jhu.edu/Faculty/fukuyama/articles/pi.pdf



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The_Davster
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[*] posted on 16-6-2006 at 22:38


Quince, I am not going to say I read the entire thing, I was nauseous before the fifth page.
Anyone who says that religion and politics should regulate science is a crackpot




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Quince
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[*] posted on 17-6-2006 at 00:06


Hehe, he was on the bioethics committee advising Bush until 2005. I'm sure many of his cronies remain. These are the people affecting US policy on science.



\"One of the surest signs of Conrad\'s genius is that women dislike his books.\" --George Orwell
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vulture
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[*] posted on 17-6-2006 at 13:38


Well maybe we scientists are partly self to blame. In Belgium there are nearly zero scientists in parliament. All is full with economics masters, communication sciences (blegh, kinda the dumpster faculty if you know what I mean) and ofcourse celebs or sportsmen/women.



One shouldn't accept or resort to the mutilation of science to appease the mentally impaired.
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[*] posted on 3-7-2006 at 07:10


I was thinking on this for years and now I realise, the things are prety simple :
During the cold war we were needed to make nukes, etc... now when the cold war is over... you know what the situation is.

And the "crackdown" in science started far before 2001.

Everything is becoming private! The worse is the place in the 3rd world. Corporations sell their goods here, but they do not hire people from here (in science sectors) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead...
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Magpie
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[*] posted on 3-7-2006 at 16:11


a recent US newspaper editorial:

"Society suffers from lack of chemistry sets

Kudos to The Dispatch for Tuesday’s editorial "Wonder deficit." It was right on target.

I was a member of that generation for whom a chemistry set was a portal to adventure. In fact, for more than half of my Christmases, Santa left either a chemistry set or an Erector set under our tree, much to my joy.

As a teen, the interest that grew from those sets led to setting up a larger lab at home. And yes, in retrospect, and now as a parent, the image of a kid making bromine, chlorine and hydrogen in his bedroom seems problematic.

But I did survive, and those experiments fueled my long-standing love of science. And in truth, the level of risk some of those activities required forced a sense of caution and responsibility that probably exceeded my age. While these are definitely different – and riskier – times than those of my childhood, we ought to worry a bit about what we have lost in our zealousness for absolute safety. EARLE M. HOLLAND Assistant vice president for research communications Ohio State University Columbus"




The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
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franklyn
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[*] posted on 30-7-2006 at 14:08


Quote:
Originally posted by sparkgap
Is chemical education being cramped by current safety regulations?

IT'S NOT BEING CRAMPED IT HAS BEEN KILLED , NOT JUST DEAD ,

IT"S GOOD AND DEAD , AND WON'T BE COMING BACK IN OUR LIFETIMES.

I'M THE POSTER CHILD OF IT'S EFFICACY.

Quote:
Originally posted by cyclonite4
( quote ) - Some call Dihydrogen Monoxide the "Invisible Killer"
dihydrogen monoxide should be Banned


Read the entry in Bretherick's , it's hair raising :o


[Edited on 30-7-2006 by franklyn]
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franklyn
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[*] posted on 26-9-2006 at 23:06
A little nostalgia


Click the page of each article that appears to view the rest of it.

http://blog.modernmechanix.com/category/chemistry/

http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2006/05/18/magic-tricks-for-t...

.

[Edited on 27-9-2006 by franklyn]
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not_important
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[*] posted on 27-9-2006 at 00:33


Quote:

http://blog.modernmechanix.com/category/chemistry/

* The gas that makes you laugh.
* The crystal which eliminates the need for sleep.
* The dust that lets you lift a car.
* The weed that makes you feed.
* The liquid that gives you control of time and space.


And they said the 1960s were full of dopers.
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