Chemistry and Culture.The manufacture of paper – the traditional support of written culture – is only possible thanks to chemistry, and books, which require paper, inks and adhesives, also owe their existence to chemistry. Furthermore, chemistry today not only helps to obtain support, but its own products are the support of new cultural forms.
Thus, chemical products generate the manufacture of synthetic papers, photographs, cinema, magnetic video or audio tapes, floppy disks, compact discs and CD-Rom and DVD, which allow the storage of very long texts, photographs, sound and video, to such an extent that hundreds of literary works can be accommodated on a single CD-Rom, in a new format that, compared to books, offers the possibility of searching that cannot be practically performed on their printed counterparts.
Painting, from the origins of man, requires varied, stable and environmentally resistant colorants, and to preserve the enormous cultural heritage of humanity, subjected to the action of time, meteorological agents and the sometimes violent action of man, requires chemical products in the form of glues, moldings, pigments, protective materials and adhesives (silicones, plastics, rubbers and lubricants) that are used to repair, rebuild and protect works of art.
But in the transmission of culture, even more important than paper, has been the ink, which has accompanied us for more than 40 centuries. Its history is an adventure of investigation, since it has had to evolve as the supports in which it had to be applied were modified. Today, there is a type of ink applicable to almost any type of surface imaginable.
The demands to which this product has been subjected have been extraordinary, because the fundamental condition to be able to transmit culture is its persistence, avoiding any type of degradation due to the effect of time, light, the substrates themselves and others. external agents.