I am a recent graduate with a Biochemistry and English double major. For me, science is a method of channeling the natural human curiosity in an organized fashion. I watched a lot of Bill Nye when I was a kid, and my first scientific experiment was making a camera obscura following instructions in an episode of Magic School Bus. My love of ‘geek’ culture is just about as long-standing, with my introduction to Dungeons & Dragons when I was seven and my absolute love of The Lord of the Rings.
To some, these may seem like contradictory interests, but, in my opinion, they should not be. Not every work needs to be perfectly scientifically accurate (the fantasy genre, especially, might find this difficult), but knowledge of science enhances the work whether written or filmed (there’s a reason Dame Agatha Christie’s known as The Queen of Crime, after all). Furthermore, any realistic, well-written world follows rules that may not be explicitly defined to the reader but are carefully followed by their writer, and science is the exploration of the underlying rules of the world.
Currently, science is definitely at a low point in its reputation to non-scientists. My hope is that by writing this blog, I can be the catalyst for thought and conversation. I hope to demonstrate how science can be useful even in writing stories, as well as, perhaps, inspire more science in fiction. If I can educate and inspire wonder, I’ve done my job.
My title choice pays homage to the fascination fiction has with alchemy as well as the origins of chemistry itself. Transmutation was found to be a misguided concept, but the idea that certain compounds could be changed into other compounds through some sort of repeatable process is one that scientists have kept, as well as an interest in learning the rules of how the world works.
Note that when I’m writing posts about specific shows, books, or movies, my entries will probably contain spoilers. Make decisions about viewing on your own. In general, if you have not looked at most of these things under the microscope you should, because it is well worth the time in the lab.
Disclaimer: This blog has nothing to do with the book by Frater Albertus.
Credit: All pictures found at Flickr’s Creative Commons.
Chemical Compounds (used on main page)-User URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/archeon/
Volumetric Flask (used as an icon on the side menu)-User URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mpa/
Book (used as tab icon)-User URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/deferrol/