Friday, May 20, 2011


I Never Knew It Was In

Chemistry steps out of the shadows

Chemists have long suffered from an inferiority complex, so stories like this emerge now and then:
2011 is the International Year of Chemistry, and in honor of the occasion, the journal Nature reflects deeply upon the field’s long-running image problem.

Chemists often find them overshadowed by biologists on one side of the scientific spectrum, and by physicists on the other side. That brand confusion extends even to the event that provides the rationale for celebrating chemistry this year: The United Nations is turning its spotlight on chemists this year to mark the 100th anniversary of Marie Curie winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering radium and polonium. But that was actually her second Nobel. Her role in unraveling the mystery of radioactivity won her a share of the prize in 1903 ... in the physics category.
Image problem? I honestly did not know we needed an "image." Consider the next paragraph of the piece:
The discipline is getting even more tangled up in the 21st century. "Chemistry is often central, with principles and discoveries that enable work in other subjects," Nature reports. "Its ability to react and rearrange matter for applications such as energy storage, new materials and more efficient industrial processes is vital for modern technology. Yet often, other disciplines such as materials science emerge as the public faces of such successes."
So, chemistry is one of the most essential sciences, but under appreciated? By who? The general public? So what?

You know there is a spiritual lesson here. How often do we equate "success" in Christian service with well or widely known? Promisekeepers was successful, but the guy that hangs with the guy to help him overcome a porn problem is not successfully in ministry? Think about it - that is just warped.

I do not tend to worry about success because I am not at all sure what it actually is - I just work on trying to serve - sometimes that is in the spotlight and sometimes that is in a dark corner where no one should ever see.

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