A world without chemmistry would be simply disastrous. We would have no phones, no lightbulbs, no social networking! Almost everything we use in our daily lifes depends on chemistry to exist, from the food we eat to the clothes on our backs. If we had never studied chemistry we wouldn’t have liquid oxygen. This was developed in the 1800s and is now probably best-known for its role as rocket fuel. Without rockets the space race wouldn’t have happened, or all the everyday things that we got from programmes related to it – from satellite TV to the internet.
Chemistry has been called ‘the central science’ because of its role and influence on all of the sciences. It involves the study of the basic units of matter, and without that knowledge other sciences such as physics and biology would not have been particularly successful. Before a world of modern chemistry, humans had very limited ways of preserving foods. It would be very hard to find clean water nowadays if it weren’t for chemistry. Deadly waterborne diseases such as cholera, dysentery and typhoid would be very common. Without chemistry, we would not be able to understand the composition of food.
We would not be able to tell what foods are good for us and what foods are bad. We would not be able to estimate the shelf life of foods. We also wouldn’t know how to how to nourish our body with food that would protect us from illnesses such as rickets, osteoporosis and scurvy. Chemistry has enabled us to make up for the nutrients we miss out on, with important vitamins and minerals in capsule form, and fortified breakfast cereals. Without chemistry we would not have modern medicine. Disease and illness would be spreading like wildfire!
When modern chemistry began to take off, by the 17th century, the average life expectancy was only 35 years. Advancements in chemistry was able to change that. Nowadays, the life expectancy in Ireland is 80. 32 years. Without modern chemistry we would not have been able to achieve such a high age of life expectancy. Without chemistry, penicillin would never have existed, and minor cuts and grazes and low-grade viruses would often progress to serious illness and fatal septicaemia (blood poisoning). Without chemistry we wouldn’t have salicylic acid!
That’s the chemical name for aspirin, the cheap wonder-drug which has given us relief from headaches and fever as well as helping to prevent strokes and heart attacks. And what would us poor, pimply teenagers do without this wonderous chemical to fight all our spots? All I can say is, THANK YOU CHEMISTRY! Chemistry plays a big role in every aspect of our lives. It has allowed other sciences to blossom and has expanded our collective knowledge. We understand how the tiniest components of the human body work and can predict the composition of planets millions of miles away.