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Synthesis

Science On The Small Screen

September 21, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 37

The PBS docudrama “The Mystery of Matter” sounds fantastic (C&EN, Aug. 17, page 56). Besides those covered by the TV show, two other people who would make for interesting television would be the German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the Russian composer Alexander Borodin.

In addition to his writings, Goethe made major contributions to mineralogy and understanding the properties of light; he was also a major player in both artistic and scientific circles. Borodin is known for his music but was among the leading organic chemists of the 19th century (and illustrated how the West marginalized Russian science).

By revealing this little-known aspect of the lives of these two well-known artists, a show can demonstrate to the general population how arts and science can interact.

Norman Oppenheimer
via C&EN’s website
hhttp://cenm.ag/mystery

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