Science Outreach

Science Outreach

Poisonous Chemistry

sex hormones


a public lecture by Professor Ian Shaw for the International Year of Chemistry

held Tuesday 17th May 2011 at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology

Ian Shaw is Professor of Toxicology at the Department of Chemistry, University of Canterbury, and Professor of Food Safety, Department of Food, Wine & Molecular Biosciences at Lincoln University

Some people remember their horrible experiences with the school chemistry of years gone by – they shudder even at the thought of Chemistry.  Despite this Chemistry underpins almost everything we do; medicines and how they work, ingenious industrial process and everyday products, environmental impact and sustainability and even the chemistry of the cells that comprise our bodies, transmit our nerve impulses, generate the energy to drive us and organise the thought processes in our brains.

In his lecture Ian will dip into all of these aspects of Chemistry as he takes a trip through the human body’s response to the cornucopia of chemistry it is exposed to every second of every day; even our response to this daily onslaught of chemicals is pure chemistry.  This is the science of Toxicology, and, believe it or not, out of our understanding of how and why some chemicals are toxic have emerged some of the most useful medicines of our time…

Ian hopes that you might leave his talk thinking ‘that was interesting’ and that you will realise that ‘that’ indeed was Chemistry!

Download the podcast here (mp3, 48.6MB)