News: Kevin Abourzek wrote in the Sioux City Journal on 2 March 2014 about my collaboration to develop a sustainable two-semester chemistry course at Nebraska Indian Community College and Little Priest Tribal College
Quotes: While ReAction! is interesting and easy to navigate, readers should be aware that this book is an in-depth and scholarly examination of the topic and not just a simple catalog. One advantage of thoroughly reading this book is that one acquires the tools to critically examine the use of chemistry in films not considered in the book. After completing ReAction!, I put what I learned to the test when I saw Iron Man II (2010).
News: I gave the Maiben lecture at the 120th Annual Meeting of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences on April 22, 2010.
Review for ReAction!: Book to Note: Spring 2010 by Andrew Mangravite for Chemical Heritage Newsmagazine, published by the Chemical Heritage Foundation, volume 28, March 2010.
Quotes: Mark Griep and Marjorie Mikasen have tried something new by presenting a scientific -not sociological- analysis of chemistry’s role in films…While none of us will ever know what Stevenson was actually imagining when he described that ‘blood-red liquor,’ Griep’s and Mikasen’s guesses are thought provoking…This is a long-overdue salute to films that have used chemistry as more than a mere plot device.
Quote: No school teacher should be without the capabilities of bringing Hollywood into the classroom especially where the chemistry context motivates, consolidates and educates students of all ages. Mark Griep and Marjorie Mikasen’s book is likely to act as a catalyst to do that.
Lights, Camera, … ReAction! review by Edward Morgan for Nature Chemistry in the February 2010 issue.
Quote: Fascinating and engrossing…The book leaves the reader with plenty of ideas for films to see and some excellent stories about chemists and chemistry. But more than that it presents a fascinating view of chemistry, the movies and chemistry in the movies, which gives the reader plenty of food for thought next time a bit of chemistry appears on the silver screen; and this is perhaps far more than one might expect from a book about chemistry in the movies.
Quote: I was thrilled to find that ReAction! is a detailed, thoughtful exploration of the representation of chemistry in film.
Review for ReAction! by Mark Brake for Chemistry and Industry, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, in December 2009.
Quotes: It’s about time someone ‘bigged up’ chemistry in the movies…The chapter dealing with Jekyll-Hyde himself shows how each chapter works. As well as a commendable account of the film’s narrative, we get a chemical discussion of what Jekyll’s potion might actually be. This analysis brings up the topic of chirality and mirror molecules, which leads nicely back into the idea of Jekyll’s own personality coming in two distinct forms and a reminder that, in the 1931 Fredric March film, Jekyll does indeed look at himself in the mirror. This rather playful, if slightly tenuous, use of chirality is a good example of the way in which chemical structures and arguments are used in the book…The book is well written and researched…It is encouraging to see enthusiastic chemists fighting their corner.
Review for ReAction!: Books for Chemists by Colin Batchelor for Chemistry World, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, in December 2009.
Quote: The book really comes alive when it takes even the unlikeliest chemistry in a film seriously. The first and possibly best example of this is where the authors discuss a candidate for the compound that turns Dr Jekyll into Mr Hyde, based on contemporary evidence about Robert Louis Stevenson, but there’s more of this all of the way through, further examples including Flubber,Moonraker, and an Elvis Presley vehicle, which I will confess to not having seen, called Clambake