‘The Elements’ and ‘The Compounds’ are two series of professionally produced podcasts, each lasting between 5 and 7 minutes.
Whether you or your students are interested in the chemistry alone or wish to improve your scientific English, or if you have auditory learners among your students, these resources should be of interest to you. The chemistry podcasts are freely downloadable from the website of the UK’s Chemistry World magazine, a publication of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Both come with a transcript that would be useful in its own right.
In ‘The Elements’ podcast, a leading British scientist or author tells the story behind each of the elements. The resource is presented as a clickable periodic table. The informative articles explain the history behind the discovery of each element, its common reactions and uses.
In ‘The Compounds’ resource, around 150 important or interesting compounds or groups of compounds are explored. For ease they are listed in alphabetical order on the web page. Examples run from everyday laboratory reagents such as acetone (propanone), chloroform (trichloromethane) and sulfuric acid through to important pharmaceutical compounds such as the bronchodilator salbutamol (marketed as Ventolin), thalidomide and penicillin. A number of other curious compounds are also there, including tetrahydrocannabinol, ricin and Kevlar. For more biologically inclined colleagues, there are articles on several vitamins, haemoglobin, cholesterol and DNA
Check back monthly as this is an ongoing project with new material being uploaded regularly. The latest podcasts are also listed separately at the start of the web page.
You can listen to the podcasts here.