Post Tagged with: "Lab Hut"

“Oh, and what do you study in grad school?”

Answering the question, “What are you studying in grad school?” is never an easy task. Especially if the person really cares what the answer is. If they don’t care, “Chemistry” is usually a sufficient answer, and we move on. I’ve come up with several stock answers that vaguely describe synthetic organic chemistry in somewhat easy-to-understand English for non-chemistry majors (First, I have to explain that ‘synthetic organic chemistry’ is not an oxymoron…)

But if the conversation really gets scintillating (that’s the term I’m going to use, at least), I get to try to explain concepts like flash column chromatography to non-chemists. Over time, I think I’ve formulated a fairly good explanation-by-analogy. I’ll lay it out below the jump. Let me know how I did – especially if you yourself are not completely familiar with column chromatography. What concepts related to your field have you had to explain to non-scientists?

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By October 29, 2008 11 comments synthetic chemistry