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Alchemy, Drugs and the Quest for Immortality - CBMS123

Alchemy is the art and science of converting one substance into another, and it has been an important factor in shaping our society. Metals, ceramics, drugs and plastics have changed and enhanced our lifestyle. Drugs, fertilisers and pesticides have saved millions of lives, but not without some unforeseen environmental or social problems. When this happens, decisions have to be made and costs weighed against benefits. An appreciation of such issues is needed for better understanding the important problems that face society. This unit explores the way chemistry affects our lives, and the way chemists work things out. The unit does not aim to teach chemistry but looks at the impact that chemical sciences has had on civilisation and where the latest molecular innovations are likely to lead us. The commercial significance of key biological processes and industries is addressed, emphasising the Australian context. The unit also examines connections between chemistry and other scientific fields as diverse as psychology, finance, medicine, environmental studies and astronomy, as well as revealing aesthetic and philosophical aspects of chemistry. This unit is taught completely online with a combination of topical lectures and multimedia material.

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

S2 External - Session 2, External (On-campus dates: None)

Staff Contact(s): Dr Damian Moran



NCCW(s): CBMS234
Unit Designation(s):

Medical Sciences


Unit Type: Planet unit
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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