I've just been updating my blog's page for my books on science. Most of these books are for a series from Rosen Publishing, called Understanding the Elements of the Periodic Table. I really liked the approach to the topic of chemistry for this series. We authors were encouraged to find interesting facts to place in each book, often as sidebars set aside from the main text. Some of these facts are about the element itself, others are about the history of chemistry and the uses people have for various elements.
These sidebar facts are great ways to introduce my science books. Who knew that Copper had many uses among the First Nations of North America, including shields? Why was a 16th-century scientist burned as a witch for studying Cobalt ore? What does a Peruvian lake full of Lithium salts have to do with nuclear weapons? How could a Jewish refugee flee Nazi Germany with a piece of platinum stashed in his little homemade crate? It was fun to think of hard science facts in terms of the actions and choices that people were making through history.
The origins of the modern science of chemistry include the studies of the alchemists looking for the Philosopher's Stone. I like the idea that people can be trying very carefully and methodically to understand the world around us, and change their focus from a goal of perfection or worldly gain to centre instead on the methodical study itself.
Look here for my books on science!