How do you make a chemical-resistant beaker out of such a fragile material as glass? And how can the temperature of a piece of steel be determined without a thermometer?

These are questions that Anna Ploszajski deals with in her book Handmade: A scientist’s search for meaning by making. As a materials scientist, engineer, science communicator and occasional comedian, Ploszajski explores the domain of manufacturers and craftsmen. With knowledge gained through generations of trial and error, these experimenters understand popular materials like glass, steel, and wood far better than any scientist.

In this episode, we talk to Ploszajski about finding new perspectives by stepping out of the scientific realm and finding out if every materials scientist should start forging.

You can also read Jen’s review from Handmade Here.

We’ll read in our next episode Vampirology: The Science of Horror’s Most Famous Fiend, the new title for chemist and science communicator Kathryn Harkup. The book records the murky waters of the vampire myth to investigate how scientific interpretations can shed light on the darkness. If you like Harkup’s work, we’ve reviewed her first book A is for arsenic in our very first book club episode.

If, dear listener, you have any thoughts Handmade or do you know of a book we should discuss in an upcoming book club, let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @ChemistryWorld.



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