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Views across the divide

8 July 2016 The Crucible

Philip Ball talks to chemists across Europe affected by Brexit about their concerns for the future of UK science

The synthetic human

4 July 2016 The Crucible

A plan to build our genome from scratch should be challenged on its scientific merit, not whether it is creating life, argues Philip Ball

The game (theory) of life

16 June 2016 The Crucible

Philip Ball asks if the building blocks of life benefit from cooperation 

Birds’ eye views

21 April 2016 The Crucible

Philip Ball asks whether quantum biology holds the secret to how birds navigate

Frothed at sea

5 April 2016 The Crucible

What causes salty water to foam? Philip Ball seeks the answer to a question more complex than it appears

What is a molecule?

28 January 2016 The Crucible

Despite being a standard scientific concept, it’s virtually impossible to agree a satisfactory definition, says Philip Ball

The periodic table name game

5 January 2016 The Crucible

Proposed new rules on how elements are named save confusion but sacrifice romance, argues Philip Ball

Why we need more research risks

22 December 2015 The Crucible

Scientists are playing it too safe when choosing topics for investigation, warns Philip Ball

Weapons of mass discussion

30 November 2015 The Crucible

A chemistry opera gives reason to face up to the role of scientists in war, says Philip Ball

Speaking of chemistry

28 October 2015 The Crucible

Richard Feynman’s mischievous genius shone discussing chemistry, says Philip Ball

Uncle Tungsten’s nephew

8 September 2015 The Crucible

Philip Ball pays tribute to Oliver Sacks

A shared secret?

26 August 2015 The Crucible

Do chemistry and alchemy have a common ancestor, or are they separated by science, asks Philip Ball

Weaving is believing

23 July 2015 The Crucible

Philip Ball unpicks the history of science’s woollen wardrobe

A coat of many colours

22 June 2015 The Crucible

Just how did lab couture settle on that little white number, asks Philip Ball

How do we solve a problem like Marie?

21 May 2015 The Crucible

Women in science’s history deserve better treatment than myths and martyrdom, says Philip Ball

Oh, the humanities!

20 April 2015 The Crucible

Science and the arts are equally essential to society, says Philip Ball. Don’t divide them by their differences

Dial chem for murder

6 March 2015 The Crucible

Poisons may seem to be a murderer’s perfect accomplice, but chemists can always persuade them to betray their secrets, says Philip Ball

A brave new word

24 February 2015 The Crucible

Why did scientists endure, while sciencers perished? Philip Ball examines the quirks of science’s lexical legacy

The spirit of the matter

27 January 2015 The Crucible

Philip Ball muses on the mercurial nature of chemical history

A complete chemist

11 December 2014 The Crucible

Philip Ball celebrates Paul Schleyer’s contributions to scientific discourse, spanning decades and disciplines

An end to bubble puzzle trouble?

2 December 2014 The Crucible

Has a 20-year-old problem finally been solved, asks Philip Ball

Spheres of influence

30 October 2014 The Crucible

Philip Ball savours the chemistry of avant-garde gastronomy

Appreciating art criticism

11 September 2014 The Crucible

Philip Ball considers Chinese works of art that comment on environmental and chemical issues

Does life play dice?

3 September 2014 The Crucible

Philip Ball wonders whether life evolved to exploit quantum phenomena, or if it’s just in our nature

The fascinating in the familiar

28 July 2014 The Crucible

A simple droplet shows that there are still plenty of puzzles to ponder in everyday observations, says Philip Ball