Why should we study Chemistry?
The word “chemistry” has been derived from the Greek word “chemeia”, meaning, “the art of metal working”. Obviously modern chemistry involves a great deal more than this. Chemistry has become an interdisciplinary science, and today no scientific work can escape chemistry.
Chemistry plays a pervasive role in all our lives. Hundreds of materials that we use directly and indirectly everyday are products of chemical research. The development of fertilizers, which is one of the major areas of the chemical industry, has profound effect on agricultural production. Another major area of the chemical industry is the pharmaceutical, or drug, industry. Who among us has not used an antibiotic to cure an infection or various drugs to alleviate the pain associated with dental work, accidents, or surgery? Modern medicine which rests firmly upon chemistry, has increased our life expectancy. It is hard to believe that little over a century ago many people actually died from simple infections and other diseases that we seldom hear anymore.
Perhaps the chemical products most familiar to all of us are plastics. About 50 percent of industrial chemists are involved with the development or production of plastics. There is hardly an activity in our daily life that does not include some plastic products. Chemistry also plays a major role in materials science-from the manufacture of computer chips to paper and wood products to structural metals such as steel and lightweight titanium and aluminum alloys for ships and aircrafts.