ReAction!: Chemistry in the Movies

Hardcover | August 13, 2009

byMark A. Griep, Marjorie L. Mikasen

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ReAction! gives a scientist's and artist's response to the dark and bright sides of chemistry found in 140 films, most of them contemporary Hollywood feature films but also a few documentaries, shorts, silents, and international films. Even though there are some examples of screen chemistry between the actors and of behind-the-scenes special effects, this book is really about the chemistry when it is part of the narrative. It is about the dualities of Dr. Jekyll vs. inventor chemists, the invisible man vs. forensic chemists,chemical weapons vs. classroom chemistry, chemical companies that knowingly pollute the environment vs. altruistic research chemists trying to make the world a better place to live, and, finally, about people who choose to experiment with mind-altering drugs vs. the drug discovery process. Little did Jekyll know when he brought the Hyde formula to his lips that his personality split would provide the central metaphor that would come to describe chemistry in the movies. This book explores the two movie faces of this supposedly neutral science. Watching films with chemical eyes, Dr.Jekyll is recast as a chemist engaged in psychopharmaceutical research but who becomes addicted to his own formula. He is balanced by the often wacky inventor chemists who make their discoveries by trial-and-error.

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ReAction! gives a scientist's and artist's response to the dark and bright sides of chemistry found in 140 films, most of them contemporary Hollywood feature films but also a few documentaries, shorts, silents, and international films. Even though there are some examples of screen chemistry between the actors and of behind-the-scenes ...

Mark Griep is a chemistry professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who is searching for new antibiotics and who recently received a College Distinguished Teaching Award. Marjorie Mikasen is a Geometric painter, who recently received an Individual Artist's Fellowship from the Nebraska Arts Council. Her work is in public and...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 0.12 × 0.12 × 0.12 inPublished:August 13, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019532692X

ISBN - 13:9780195326925

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Dr. Jekyll's Mysterious Transformative Formula2. Invisibility Steals the Seen: Chemistry Creates Criminal Opportunities3. Isomorphs of Paranoia: Chemical Arsenals4. Bad Company: The Business of Toxicity5. A Master/Slave Narrative: Drug Addiction and Psychoactives6. Inventors and their Often Wacky Chemical Inventions7. Hard Science = Hard Evidence: Forensic Chemistry and Chemical Detectives8. Chem 101: Learning by Doing9. Good News: Research and Medicinal Chemists Making a Difference10. First, Do No Harm (but Before that Self-ExperimentConclusion: Chemistry in the MoviesAppendix 1Appendix 2ReferencesIndex