Science and Politics: Mad Chemists

Chemistry is fun!: Messy, but fun.
Chemistry is fun!: Messy, but fun.Courtesy stacina

(With the Republican National Convention literally across the street, the Science Museum of Minnesota will be closed starting Friday, August 29. But Science Buzz marches on! To honor our convention guests, I’ll be posting entries focusing on issues where science and politics overlap. Hopefully this will spur some discussion. Or at least tick some people off. Previous entries here, here, here and here.)

A couple of chemistry-related items that recently caught my eye:

Chemist arrested in Massachusetts
A retired chemist is arrested for conducting experiments in his home. When science is outlawed, only outlaws will practice science.

“Banned” chemistry book
A supposedly “banned” children's chemistry book is available on the web. When science books are outlawed, only outlaws will have science books.

(Actually, the US government does not have the power to ‘ha[ve] had the book removed from libraries and banned for sale.” The author doesn’t cite any sources, and all I could find on the web are people repeating the same claim. Some bloggers, however, note that the experiments in this book can be extremely dangerous if not done exactly right. Rather than a ban, it’s more likely the publisher just let it fall out of print rather than risk getting sued.)

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