Dr John Emsley
Telephone: 01525 404718
Writer, broadcaster and author
Books in print:
- A Healthy, Wealthy, Sustainable World (2010)
- This book deals with the things we regard as essential to a modern lifestyle: a secure
food supply, clean water, transport fuel, medical treatment, a comfortable home –
and even sports equipment. All these will be put at risk in a world where there are
yet more people aspiring to the same high standard of living, but where we no longer
rely on fossil fuels. This book shows that sustainability is possible, but only
if we embrace the benefits which chemistry can bring.
- Molecules of Murder
- This is about infamous murderers and famous victims; about people like Harold Shipman, Alexander Litvinenko, Adelaide Bartlett, and Georgi Markov. Few books on poisons analyse these crimes from the viewpoint of the poison itself and the forensic evidence, but doing so throws a new light on how the murders or attempted murders were carried out and ultimately how the perpetrators were brought to justice.
- Better Looking, Better Living, Better Loving
- Better Looking, Better Living, Better Loving is about the chemistry of grooming, health, food, and love making, and the products we buy to improve these areas of our life. There are also chapters dealing with new materials for turning sunlight into electricity, new products for the home, and new ways of restoring works of art to their original state.
- Elements of Murder
- There are some chemical elements that are inherently toxic and which for centuries
insidiously affected human affairs by their widespread poisoning of the home and the
environment, sometime killing even the high and the mighty. Meanwhile less exalted
people deliberately used them to dispose of unwanted individuals and until chemical
analysis became part of forensic investigation they murdered with impunity. Arsenic,
antimony, mercury, lead and thallium are the most infamous of the poisonous elements,
and even today they continue to poison the environment
- The Consumer's Good Chemical Guide:
Separating Facts from Fiction about Everyday Products, Corgi Books, 1994.
- Winner of the Rhone Poulenc Science Book Prize 1995. A balanced account of
chemicals such as perfumes, sweeteners, alcohol, cholesterol, fats, fibre, painkillers,
PVC, dioxins, nitrates and carbon dioxide, which have often been the cause for
popular concerns, and wrongly so.
- The Elements, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 1998.
- A compilation of data, in alphabetical order, of all the main properties of the
chemical elements under the headings chemical data, physical data, biological data,
nuclear data, electron shell data, crystal data, geological data. Also includes
derivation of name, foreign names, discoverer, date of discovery, etc. and chapter
on the development of the periodic table.
- Molecules at an Exhibition, Oxford University Press, 1998.
- A tour through the art gallery of chemistry in which there are 'portraits' of around a hundred chemicals that impinge on our lives. There are nine galleries devoted to various categories, such as the strange chemicals in food, the metals in our bodies, the molecules that turn us on and help produce healthy babies, drug molecules, polymers that we use in everyday life, renewable fuels, and even the elements from hell.
- Shocking History of Phosphorus
- This is the biography of a terrifying chemical element that was discovered long before humans were capable of controlling its awesome power. Born of the age of alchemy it brought wealth to a few and misery to many, in the form of medicines, poisons, and warfare agents. And yet phosphorus is still an essential component of so much that we need and use.
- Nature's Building Blocks: an A-Z Guide to the Elements
- An alphabetical listing of all known elements with each one being discussed under the following headings: derivation of the name; its presence in the human body and in the diet; its possible role in medicine; the history of its discovery; its economic role; its environmental impact; its basic chemistry; and finally a section 'element of surprise' which reveals some unexpected aspect.
- Vanity, Vitality, and Virility.
- This book sets out to explain in everyday language the nature and behaviour of around 40 ingredients that play important roles in modern living, ranging from lipstick to Viagra. There are chapters on cosmetics, diet, sex, hygiene, depression, and polymers. The final chapter covers the causes of chemiphobia, in other words why people are now rejecting the benefits of chemistry, and suggest possible cures for the unpopularity of this science.