I am going to write about science, so stick with me… The peerless Antoine Lavoisier, father of modern chemistry. Mendeleev, of periodic table fame and the ultimate player of Tetris. Marie Curie (née Sklodowska) who discovered that uranium is a radioactive material that has “the power of ionization”. The first woman to win a Nobel Prize (and only woman to win one twice). Louis Pasteur, most well-known for one-liners about what you call milk passing in front of you, also played an important bio-chemical role in the discovery of germ theory (he was, allegedly, vexed by his wine going bad – it’s sometimes funny what kick-starts scientific discovery).
Less well known is Josiah Willard Gibbs. His work on thermodynamics helped turn chemistry into a rigorous inductive science. Certainly an improvement on the alchemy of turning lead into gold. His work leads to an important piece of understanding for exasperated parents: The universe dictates that your child’s bedroom should be disordered and untidy – puddles evaporate, sand-castles are blown to the dunes. The laws of thermodynamics state that this should be so, so don’t be too frustrated with them, blame entropy.
And finally, saving the best till last, Year 8 students Gwen, Hebe, Isabella and Sophie are chemistry champions of Bristol no less! Future Nobel prize recipients who took the Salter’s festival of Chemistry top prize against stiff competition (a more detailed report follows). Well done girls!