That’s a pretty typical response when I tell people I’m majoring in chemistry. Everyone studying math or science gets this reaction, over and over. “Math? I suck at math,” or “You want to be an engineer? Good luck with that.” Many people are stuck on the memory of their experiences in high school math class. You know, where the teacher copied the problems out of the book, or that 50-minute chunk of time every day in which you learned how to doodle really, really well?
It’s too bad it stops there for so many people. I’ll be the first to admit that numbers really aren’t my thing. For me the benefits of knowing chemistry, really understanding the factual explanations for everyday occurrences, far outweigh the frustration I feel when looking at my physics textbook. On the other hand, I understand that most people would rather accept not knowing the why or how than to take higher-level science courses. When I learn something really cool from class, a scientific journal or my textbook, and share it with the people around me (i.e. not science types), they usually find it cool, too. I wouldn’t expect anyone to peruse Organic Chemistry texts, or pursue science or math over their individual passions. However, it seems fair that there should be simple answers to simple questions, like ‘why is the sky blue?’.
Hopefully, I can answer some questions via this blog. I want science to be enjoyable and accessible. There’s no reason chemistry can’t be for everyone.