PLEDGE NOW
Stories from The Periodic Table

We dive into human chemistry and the strange great tales behind the periodic table of the elements.

Disappearing Spoon (cover detail)

Disappearing Spoon (cover detail)

Sam Kean got turned on by the stories in chemistry class.

Not the math and test tubes, but the yarns.

Of Gandhi and Godzilla. Of Nebuchadnezzar and his Hanging Gardens.

Of history and alchemy and mythology. Of literature and psychology and the forensics of poison.

Now that’s some human chemistry! And it all goes back to the elements.

Gold, silver, mercury, manganese. Hydrogen and caesium and ununquadium.

The table of the periodic elements, he says, is a map of the fundament of the world. And to great stories.

This hour On Point: human chemistry, and the elements.

Guest:

Sam Kean, author of “The Disappearing Spoon: and Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements.” You can read an excerpt.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
RECENT
SHOWS
Jun 9, 2016

Newly-minted college graduates on the job hunt. We’ll look at who’s hiring, starting salaries, and strategies for landing that first job.

 
Jun 9, 2016

Europe, India and China, are taking on American tech giants over privacy, monopolies, and more. We’ll look at the global technology pushback against the U.S.A.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Jessica Valenti: ‘Objectification Is About Dehumanizing People’
Wednesday, Jun 8, 2016

“There is some power in laying claim to the word victim.” — Jessica Valenti on the Stanford sexual assault case, and the importance of language.

More »
Comment
 
Why The ‘Roots’ Remake Matters (And What Stays The Same)
Tuesday, Jun 7, 2016

The recent remake of “Roots” on the History Channel makes important changes, Morehouse College’s Stephane Dunn argues. But it also holds true to the original story.

More »
Comment
 
Former Trump Advisor Roger Stone: ‘Trump’s Going To Be The Next President’
Monday, Jun 6, 2016

Longtime political consultant Roger Stone apologizes for his “two martini tweets,” even as he predicts Donald Trump will be the next U.S. president.

More »
Comment