1st Edition

Every Molecule Tells a Story

By Simon Cotton Copyright 2012
    280 Pages
    by Chapman & Hall

    280 Pages 369 B/W Illustrations
    by Chapman & Hall

    From cooking to medicine, from engineering to art, chemistry—the science of molecules—is everywhere.

    A celebration of the molecules of chemistry, Every Molecule Tells a Story celebrates the molecules responsible for the experiences of everyday life: the air we breathe; the water we drink; the chemicals that fuel our living; the steroids that give us sex; the colours of the seasons; the drugs that heal us; and the scented molecules that enrich our diet and our encounters with each other. You can’t see them, but you know that they are there.

    Unveiling the structures of poisonous "natural" substances and beneficial man-made molecules, this book brushes away any preconceived notions about chemistry to demonstrate why and how molecules matter.

    Air And water, Food - fuels for the body, Hydrocarbons, not just fuels, Acids and alkalis, Strength and Sex, Chemistry of the senses - vision, smell and warm + cold molecules, Cosmetics and Perfumes, Natural killers, Unnatural killers, Destructive molecules (drugs and explosives), Pleasure molecules, Natural healers, Man-made healers, Giant molecules, Vitamins.


    Simon Cotton obtained his B.Sc. and PhD at Imperial College London, followed by research and teaching appointments at Queen Mary College, London, and the University of East Anglia. He subsequently taught chemistry in both state and independent schools for over 30 years, has lectured widely in the UK and carries out research on the chemistry of iron, cobalt, scandium, and the lanthanide elements.

    "I find that I lack the time and self-discipline to read a factual book from cover to cover, but I love books that I can dip into and read short, self-contained articles. Every molecule tells a story by chemistry lecturer and science writer Simon Cotton is one such book. … Simon introduces his molecular collection by explaining the relevance of chemistry in our everyday lives. … find the pretty comprehensive bibliography at the end of the book really useful, especially as it is divided up using the same molecular headings as the main text. It forms a handy way into the literature covering the wide-ranging topics."
    —Anne Hodgson, Chemistry Review

    "… this is an excellent and attractively priced book which should be in the possession of all who teach chemistry so that they may dip into it and use the information to enliven what may appear to be rather dry material of doubtful practical usefulness."
    —Edward R. Adlard, Chromatographia (2012) 75:809–810

    "It will most likely be used as a go-to reference or a source of interesting tidbits by someone looking for basic information about a specific molecule, or by someone browsing for any interesting facts without a specific molecule in mind. … Specifics about synthesis and reactivity will be useful to chemistry-savvy readers, while historical background and pop-culture references will be accessible to all.

    Ultimately, if you are someone who tries to entertain and catch the interest of students with quirky stories of molecules, then this book would be a wonderful addition to your bookshelf. If you assign your students the task of writing reports about molecules, this book will earn its keep in your institution’s library as a reference of first resort."
    —Scott Smidt, Laramie County Community College, Albany County Campus, Journal of Chemical Education, 2013

    "Every Molecule Tells a Story consists of 14 chapters, beginning with the atmosphere and it