CHEM0001 Chemistry in Human History











Course Code CHEM0001  
Course Title Chemistry in Human History

Class Date 13, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 August 2022  
Class Time 1:00pm – 3:30pm
Teaching Mode Online with live lessons
Teacher Dr. Sam C. K. HAU

Department of Chemistry
The Chinese University of Hong Kong



  More about Department of Chemistry, CUHK:

  1. B.Sc. in Chemistry
Medium of Instruction Cantonese
 Course Description In this course, a series of stories of the fascinating connections between chemical structures and historical episodes or vents will be explained and discussed. The dependence on similar chemical structures of those seemingly unrelated events will be uncovered and this course will help students to understand the extent to which the development of society has depended on the chemistry of certain compounds. Students are expected to be raise their interests and appreciation on the importance of and the contributions done by Chemistry.
Course Content 10 Chemical Structures are selected and discussed in this course, which are

  1. Ascorbic Acid;
  2. Glucose;
  3. Cellulose
  4. Nitro Compunds;
  5. Silk and Nylon;
  6. Dyes;
  7. Wonder Drugs;
  8. Morphine, Nicotine and Caffeine;
  9. Salt;
  10. Chlorocarbon Compounds
Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Learn basic Chemistry concepts and knowledge related to Life Science.
  2. Appreciate the role of Chemistry in various stages of life and daily life.
  3. Describe the correlation between Chemistry and the history of human society development.
Recommended Reading(s) / Reference(s) Le Couteur, P.; Burrenson, J. Napoleon’s Buttons – 17 Molecules that Changed History, 2003, Penguin Group (USA) Inc. New York.
Course Assessment In-class worksheets (x3) (30%)

Group Presentation (40%)

Take-home Assignments (x3) (30%)

  The above course information is subject to change and approval.
  Last updated on 3 August 2022