Book Launch: Chemistry in the Marketplace

Date & time

5.30–7.30pm 29 June 2017


Science Teaching & Learning Building, ANU


Professor Joan Leach
Emeritus Professor Ben Selinger
Associate Professor Russell Barrow
Professorial Fellow James Robertson
Dr Megan O'Mara


 Elouise O'Toole
 +61 2 6125 4287

Chemicals are everywhere. Many are natural and safe, others synthetic and dangerous. Or is it the other way around? Walking through the supermarket, you might ask yourself: Should I be eating organic food? Is that anti-wrinkle cream a gimmick? Is it worth buying BPA-free plastics?

To help you navigate this murky world of chemicals for the consumer, we are inviting you to the launch of Chemistry in the Marketplace, a fascinating and at times amusing insight into the real world uses of chemicals.

  • Chemistry in the Marketplace book launch
  • Thursday 29 June, 5.30 – 7.30pm, Science Teaching & Learning Building
  • Panel discussion followed by drinks and light refreshments

This new edition of Chemistry in the Marketplace provides fresh explanations, fascinating facts and funny anecdotes about the serious science in the products we buy and the resources we use.

Chemistry in the Marketplace authors Professor Ben Selinger and Associate Professor Russell Barrow from The Australian National University Research School of Chemistry will be on hand to answer your questions about chemistry in the real world. They may even save you some money!

About the speakers:

Emcee: Joan Leach is a Professor and Director of the Australian National Centre for Public Awareness of Science and Chair of the National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science at the Australian Academy of Science. Her research centres on public attitudes to science and how they are formed.

Ben Selinger AM is Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University. His extracurricular activities have included consumer protection, regulating Australia’s chemicals, and providing features on science on talk-back radio and for the Canberra Times. He was awarded a Eureka Prize for Science Communication by the Australian Museum.

Russell Barrow is an Associate Professor in the Research School of Chemistry at the Australian National University. He researches the roles of chemicals in natural systems, including chemicals involved in ecological processes such as plant pollination and the chemistry of compounds from mushrooms that are used traditionally in Papua New Guinea.

James Robertson is a Professorial Fellow and Director of the National Centre for Forensic Studies (NCFS) at the University of Canberra. He is the current President of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences. As the former head of the forensic group with the Australian Federal Police from 1989 to 2010 he experienced firsthand how chemistry contributes to real world outcomes in solving crimes and countering terrorism. His broad research interests include the forensic examination of trace evidence including fibres, hairs and soils!

Megan O’Mara is the Rita Cornforth Fellow and a senior lecturer in the Research School of Chemistry. She uses computer simulations to work out the chemical basis of antibiotic resistance, how chemotherapeutic drugs bind to proteins in cancer cells, and how protein and lipids interact to allow cell function.

Books will be available at a 20% discount ($56 on the night – RRP is $69.95) and will have cash and credit card facilities

Updated:  11 December 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director, RSC/Page Contact:  Web Admin, RSC