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Gods, Devils and Alcohol - their influence in chemical nomenclature

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This lively lecture, based around the composition of everyday shampoo, explores the often-convoluted history behind the names of the ingredients. What connects a urinating camel to a spiral fossil? What was the significance of a birthing rat? How did Egyptian eyeliner end up making us drunk, but amethyst kept us sober? In which brands of shampoo can you find “Fooles Bolloxe “and “beaver testicles ”? Under the surface of the dry, impenetrable code understood only by the initiated, the language of the chemist contains a fascinating insight into the ideas and achievements of mankind through the ages from astrology to zoology. This lecture guarantees you will never look at a bottle of shampoo in quite the same way again!

This talk is part of the Stokes Society, Pembroke College series.

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