Science on Tap: A History of the Chemical Elements for (Big) Kids

On Monday, July 13, chemistry teacher Adrian Dingle took us deep into a world of backstabbing, cheating, scandal, and greed. Oh, and science! We also learned some science.


  1. On Monday, a packed house of nerds was all set to learn some science!
  2. And because we were at National Mechanics, we drank some beer, too.
  3. Adrian Dingle, a chemistry educator, author, and research fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, took us on a wild ride through the discovery and naming of the periodic table's more obscure elements.
  4. We quickly learned that chemistry is a messy business.
  5. First, there was tungsten, or element #74, whose discovery and naming provoked nationalist bickering straight through the twentieth century.
  6. Spanish chemists—including the scientists who first isolated the element—desperately wanted element #74 to be called wolfram. But...
  7. And tungsten wasn't the only element that led to some international name-calling...