Lecture uncovers the amazing chemistry we use every day

St Peter's School

Lecture uncovers the amazing chemistry we use every day

Dr Peter Wothers at St Peter's

For hundreds of York residents, a bottle of shampoo will never be the same again.

A audience of more than 400 people heard Dr Peter Wothers of the University of Cambridge explore the unusual stories behind many of the chemical products we use every day, in a packed event at St Peter’s School.

In his lecture, entitled ‘Gods, Devils and Alcohol’, Dr Wothers employed some explosive demonstrations to illustrate why historical scientists got the names of oxygen and hydrogen the wrong way round, traced some shampoo ingredients back to their classical origins, and explored the unusual connection between alcohol and Egyptian eyeliner.

He tackled questions from the audience on the use of chemistry in ancient warfare, how gold can be destroyed in water, and the effects of certain chemicals on the human voice.

Andy Parr, Head of Science Outreach at St Peter’s, said: “Dr Wothers delivered an enormously entertaining lecture which really helped to unravel many of the mysteries surrounding chemistry. His passion for the subject is truly infectious and the his demonstrations brought the subject matter to life for the audience in a truly dramatic way.”