Chemistry of Cosmetics and Chocolate; Brain science, Galileo comes to life, and science authors

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ISC Masthead Aug.




Dear Science Field Trips Meetup Member, 


ISC continues to honor the International Year of Chemistry.  Although perhaps "honor" is not as apt as "getting our hands dirty mixing stuff together to see what happens for the fun of it."  Chemistry for Adults is not the usual talk with Q&A, but involves hands-on, do-it-yourself experiments.  Typically, only kids are allowed to play with science like this.  But with ISC you can order a drink at the bar if your experiment doesn't go as you wish!  

Bring a date.  Tell your friends - or just sign them up.  You'll be glad you did! 


Chemistry of Cosmetics (any product you put your skin)   

personal care products


This is NOT just for women who wear make-up.  "Cosmetics" means all personal care products.  It's for anyone who bothers to bathe regularly (hopefully, all of us) or ever put a product on their body or hair to make themselves look better or smell better.  That definitely means ALL of us.   


This unique workshop will be led Perry Romanowski, cosmetic chemist and author of Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm? and Dr. Shelby Hatch, chemistry faculty at Northwestern University.  



Come learn how a little knowledge of chemistry can, in fact, make you richer (avoid overpriced products) and better looking (avoid rashes).  You'll get the inside chemical scoop on the lotions, potions and products that clutter our bathrooms.  You'll get to test some things out yourself too!  

  •  Are natural or organic products better for my skin? 
  •  Are more expensive products worth the price? 
  • There are thousands of shampoo choices - what works best?
  • Is wearing makeup bad for me?  
  • And the eternal mystery Einstein couldn't answer... Can I get hooked on lip balm? 

Register now -- space is limited!  No science prerequisites are necessary but you must be 21 or older.  Perry's book will be available for purchase.  He'll sign your copy!

Lip Balm Book  


Wednesday, September 14,  2011  

6:30 - 8:30pm  

O'Callaghan's Pub, 3rd floor   

29 W. Hubbard St. (at Dearborn), Chicago  

$15 Register here  



Psst -- We're working to schedule additional Chemistry for Adults programs on topics like honey, beer and coffee. So stay tuned and be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn where you'll get advance notice when registration opens.  

Chemistry of Chocolate with Blommer Chocolate Company  



Back by popular demand! ISC brings you a another edition of this awesome workshop led by Dr. Shelby Hatch, chemistry faculty at Northwestern University, with the Melissa Tisoncik, R&D Specialist at Blommer Chocolate Company.  Whether it's a daily necessity, an indulgence, or your drug of choice, chocolate is a marvel.  You love it.  But to fully appreciate it you should understand its amazing chemical properties.  Here is your chance to learn more about your beloved sweet treat.

  • How is chocolate actually made?
  • What's the real distinction between dark and milk chocolate?
  • What's up with white chocolate?
  • Why does it sometimes turn a grayish color?
  • What's the role of emulsifiers and incompatible fats?
  • What are the findings of all those health studies done on chocolate? 

Register now -- space is very limited!  No science prerequisites necessary but you must be 21 or older.  For only $15 you will develop a blissfully heightened appreciation for chocolate, the nectar of the gods.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

6:30 - 8:30pm  

O'Callaghan's Pub, 3rd floor 

29 W. Hubbard St., Chicago  

$15 Register here  



Blommer Chocolate is a fully integrated chocolate and cocoa manufacturer serving customers around the world. A family tradition, the company was founded in 1939 in Chicago, Illinois by Henry Blommer, Sr., along with his brothers Al and Bernard.  Today, with four generations of chocolate makers behind it, Blommer is still family-run and has grown to become one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in North America.  Their success is a direct result of dedication to the Blommer brothers' founding principles - quality, consistency and concern for the customer.

Spectacular science authors coming to town

Illinois Science Council is co-sponsoring the following author talks.  All great writers and fascinating topics.  Mark your calendars so you can be sure to attend.  


Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn

by Cathy Davidson



Cathy Davidson, nationally recognized scholar and researcher, discusses and signs her latest book, Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way  We LivCathy Davidsone, Work, and Learn.  Using cutting-edge research on the brain, Davidson shows how "attention blindness" has produced one of our society's greatest challenges; despite the great changes of the digital age, most of us still toil in schools and workplaces designed for the last century.  Now You See It is a refreshingly optimistic argument for a bold embrace of our connected, collaborative future.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Public Library

400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL  

Free and open to the public. 



A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos by Dava Sobel 


It was an outrage! Copernicus claimed the sun -- not the earth -- was at the center of the universe.  Best-selling author and former New York Times reporter Dava Sobel, who has written previouslyDava Sobel

about scientific discoveries that have revolutionized society's worldview, delves into the 16th century tensions between science and faith.  Book signing to follow.  Presented with the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation.  

Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 7:30pm

Wright Unity Temple, 875 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL 

$15 non-members; $12 UTRF members, students and seniors.   

For tickets click here.  Proceeds benefit the restoration of Unity Temple, Frank Lloyd Wright's modern masterpiece.  



Save the Dates!  These two upcoming talks will likely require ticketed registration. Please check Illinois Science Council or Chicago Public Library regularly for notice of when registration becomes available. 


Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker, one of the world's leading authorities on language and the mind and author of the extraordinarily popular books, The Stuff of Thought, The Blank Slate, and How the Mind Works discusses and sign his latest book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. Pinker's explores of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives - the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away.  

Thursday, October 13, 2011  

Lisa Randall


Lisa Randall, renowned Professor of Physics at Harvard University and one of today's most extraordinary, influential and highly cited theoretical physicists, discusses and signs her new book, Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World.  Randall examines how the latest developments in physics have the potential to radically revise our understanding of the world. Knocking on Heaven's Door is an exhilarating and accessible overview of these developments and an impassioned argument for the significance of science.

Tuesday, November[masked]


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Select Science Sayings


Chemistry ought to be not for chemists alone.

 - Miguel de Unamuno



It's not vanity to feel you have a right to be beautiful. Women are taught to feel we're not good enough, that we must live up to someone else's standards. But my aim is to cherish myself as I am.

- Elle Macpherson



Science is everywhere, even when you're not looking.

- Lurleen the Elder



Love is a matter of chemistry, but sex is a matter of physics.



If there is a single quality that is shared by all great men, it is vanity.  

- Yousuf Karsh  



Chemistry can be a good and bad thing. Chemistry is good when you make love with it. Chemistry is bad when you make crack with it.

- Adam Sandler



Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.

- Dave Barry



Better living through chemistry.
- Friedrich Nietzsche  



The knowledge of yourself will preserve you from vanity.
- Miguel de Cervantes



To think is to practice brain chemistry.

- Deepak Chopra



Vanity of science. Knowledge of physical science will not console me for ignorance of morality in time of affliction, but knowledge of morality will always console me for ignorance of physical science.

- Blaise Pascal



"Why do chemists use nitrates?"  

Because they are cheaper than day rates.

New Scientist 12/1992



Carob is a brown powder made from the pulverized fruit of a Mediterranean evergreen. Some consider carob an adequate substitute for chocolate because it has some similar nutrients (calcium, phosphorus), and because it can, when combined with vegetable fat and sugar, be made to approximate the color and consistency of chocolate. Of course, the same arguments can as persuasively be made in favor of dirt.

- Sandra Boynton, author  Chocolate: the Consuming Passion



The best substitute for brains is silence.



Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.   

- Adam Smith, Scottish economist



The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.

- Albert Einstein



A tidy laboratory means a lazy chemist.  

- Jöns Jacob Berzelius, Swedish chemist



Bunsen Burner:  A device invented by Robert Bunsen [masked]) for brewing coffee in the laboratory, thereby enabling the chemist to be poisoned without having to go all the way to the company cafeteria.



A bartender is just a pharmacist with a limited inventory

- Bumper sticker


A fact is a simple statement that everyone believes. It is innocent, unless found guilty. A hypothesis is a novel suggestion that no one wants to believe. It is guilty, until found effective.

- Edward Teller



A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. 

Max Planck


Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss. 

- Ralph Waldo Emerson  

Half of the modern drugs could well be thrown out of the window, except that the birds might eat them.

 - Martin Henry Fischer  


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