In chemistry, as in every branch of science, major breakthroughs happen rarely. Knowledge creation more typically comes from the incremental advances of diligent scientists toiling in obscurity.
Chemistry research in Canada pre-dates Canada itself. In the 1840s, decades before confederation, British ex-pat Henry Holmes Croft became the first chemistry professor at the University of King’s College, the precursor to the University of Toronto. Croft developed a method of removing sulphur from Sarnia oil wells, making the oil safe for household lamps. He was a pioneer in forensic chemistry...
Hewers of wood and drawers of water is the oft-repeated narrative used to describe Canada’s historical reliance on natural resources.
Decades before climate change became an environmental crisis, Canada’s petroleum industry disposed of then-unmarketable natural gas, or methane, simply by burning it. In Alberta’s Turner Valley oilfield in the 1920s, large gas flares would light up the sky.
The city of Suzhou in Jiangsu province in China lies about 100 kilometres northwest from Shanghai, China’s largest economic and trading centre.
For most of human history, fresh water was wherever we could find it. Communities were set up on flood plains...