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Thomas Paul Murphy

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New College Major Needed Chemistry Theory and Human Health 06 24 2012

New College Major Needed Chemistry Theory and Human Health 06 24 2012

This new college major would focus on presenting students with the molecular structures of chemicals and asking them to speculate what the impact on human health could be.  This exercise would also include students speculating on how the chemical might interact in the environment both short term and over time.  This major would also ask the students to come up with theories on how a chemical molecule would affect human reproductive health.  The assignments would also include asking the students to speculate on the interaction with various human organs. 

The reason for the class would be to help chemists think more responsibly about the chemicals that are produced for profit.  This would create a new generation of chemists who are more responsible to our world and should be both a mandatory class the chemistry major takes when he has attained a higher level of aptitude but not graduated.  A secondary reason would be to get chemicals off the market before they are found far too late in the process to be harmful and costly to our world.

Students would also be asked to speculate on how to neutralize the chemical- every chemical should indeed have an antidote?  What would be the cost of a potential catastrophe of this chemical and how such a catastrophe could be minimized or quickly cleaned up.  What hypothetical catastrophes could be caused by and irresponsible user of the chemical.  What would be the  hypothetical first signs a human being would experience if overexposed.
If a criminal minded person wanted to find a sick use for this chemical; what would it be?  What would the motivation be.

Students would also be asked to speculate on given the nature of a chemical and what its purpose is how could they find a better alternative that is more safe.  Natural solutions or solutions that involved process based chemistry would be would be favored.  Process based chemistry being defined to be how can we achieve the same effect of this chemical without using a chemical at all.  In other words can we define a natural process that would achieve the same effect.  This would involve an abstract understanding of the chemistry of the chemical and an abstract understanding of a natural process that would be the equivalent chemistry; translation learning of alchemy to rolled up sleeves if you will.
We needed this major to be part of the Chemistry coriculum retroactively to 80 years ago.

© 2012 Thomas Paul Murphy

Originally published on 06 24 2012 at:

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