Lords of the Ring
Summer 2017
Benzene’s hexagonal molecular configuration stops enzymes from grabbing hold and reacting easily, making this petroleum byproduct difficult­ to clean up. Chemical engineer­ Elizabeth Edwards­ of the University of Toronto is helping overcome this problem b

Was the structure of benzene really illuminated by a chemist’s dream of a snake devouring its own tail? Historians of science are skeptical of this persistent...

Summer 2017
Queen’s University’s David Zechel studies microbial­ enzymes­ that can break down the controversial herbicide­ glyphosate, also known as Roundup.

Is it possible for chemists to make the perfect molecule? David Zechel, associate professor at Queen’s University Department of Chemistry in Kingston, Ont., says...

Women chemists worked at the Imperial Oil Limited's laboratory in Sarnia, Ont., circa 1943.
Spring 2017
Female chemists and chemical­ engineers are making­ enormous­ contributions­ to science in Canada­ and around the world.

Women have — often quietly and anonymously — contributed to scientific innovation since time immemorial. 

Drilling into Canada's Petroleum History
Spring 2017
The birth of Canada’s oil and gas industry­ took place more than 150 years ago in southern­ Ontario.

James Miller Williams, a carriage maker from Hamilton, Ont. and the founding father of Canada’s petroleum industry, was drilling for water in 1858 when he struck...

Safeguarding the central science
Spring 2017
Key figures in the field reflect­ the past and the future of chemistry that, as McGill University vice-chancellor Suzanne­ Fortier says, will surely be amazing.

At the time of confederation in 1867, chemistry was already well on its way to becoming a mature and powerful scientific discipline that would usher in profound changes in our world, from life-saving medicines and food production technologies to the kaleidoscope of materials that underlie the electronic...

New Perscription
Spring 2017
Canada first became a player on the international pharmaceutical stage when Frederick­ Banting and Charles Best developed insulin for diabetics in the 1920s.

Humanity’s search for medicinal agents undoubtedly extends into our prehistoric past. Only since the 19th century, however, has this endeavour taken on the full trappings of scientific investigation. While plenty of diseases continue to afflict us, a huge portion of the world’s population now enjoys an unprecedented quality of life in terms of health, for which drugs often deserve a...