Chemistry has a great influence on human life since the most ancient times. The very word “chemistry” tells us about its ancient origin, because according to some it comes from “khumos” (juices), alluding to the production of metals from their respective minerals, and there is also the belief that it comes from “khemeia” which was the name given to the black lands of Egypt and also the black of the pupil of the eye – a symbol of the dark and hidden – because of what “chemistry” originally meant “secret and Egyptian science.” In ancient times it was used to isolate natural products useful in daily life and to seek new applications such as pigments, elixirs, ointments, preservatives, perfumes or household utensils.
Later, in the 18th and 19th centuries, when chemistry reached the rank of a true science and what the atom really was was understood and the concept of a molecule developed, chemistry ceased to be an empirical science. Quantitative methods were introduced into reactions and laws were discovered that regulated their direction and speed.
With this new knowledge, techniques were developed to synthesize new substances that were better than natural ones, or that could completely replace them at great savings. Thus began to synthesize natural products in an efficient and economical way and to obtain new materials, increasingly complex, that made old dreams of man possible. New plastics and fabrics were created, and also drugs to combat all kinds of diseases.
In parallel, and due to scientific developments in other sciences such as physics, biology or geology, other spectacular scientific and technological advances were achieved; but it soon became clear that each science, in its own way, was based on the study of matter and its changes. Chemistry was the basis of all of them and thus disciplines appeared that bridged with chemistry, taking advantage of its advances, such as biochemistry, geochemistry and physicochemistry.
Chemistry surrounds us everywhere
Our body processes are mostly chemical. As we breathe, digest, grow, age, and even think, we are being walking chemical reactors. The chemical processes in factories are different in scale, rather than conceptually, since materials are processed, separated, and recombined into new and profitable forms.
Chemistry operates on a human scale
Chemistry, among all the sciences, is the one that can be applied most effectively to solve problems on a human scale, such as food, clothing, or health and hygiene. You have to turn to physics if you want to split atoms, to astronomy if you want to discover black holes. But if your child needs new shoes, then chemistry is what you need (whether they are made of leather, rubber or plastic, their manufacture depends on chemical processes).
Chemistry can invent on request
Chemical research operates on two levels: that of basic scientific discoveries, which often have no immediate application, and that of products to satisfy a particular need. When a human problem occurs – sudden or announced shortages, material failures, or new hazards – the chemical industry can guide its research objectives to find a solution.
Chemistry is the versatile science that renews itself
Solidly established in Europe for more than 200 years, chemistry continues to find new avenues of profitable development. It began with the manufacture of basic materials such as glass and soap, and has evolved to genetic engineering.
Chemistry is the science based on knowledge
Chemical knowledge, as shown in the scientific literature and patent registration, is growing rapidly. Chemistry not only discovers new processes, but at all times tries to know why and how they work, and how they can be improved and controlled.
Chemistry is the science of the 21st century and it will be necessary to address it to solve the problems that beset us
Over the next 30 years, the world population will increase by 2 billion people who will need food, clothing, shelter, protect their health and live in a welcoming environment. Already today it is estimated that 1,250 million people lack adequate housing, more than 1,700 million people do not have adequate sanitation systems and at least 2,100 million inhabitants lack electricity. On the other hand, a large part of humanity is not sufficiently nourished and in the poorest countries life expectancy is between 35 and 45 years, compared to about 75 in developed countries. The existence of a longer life expectancy in these countries has made the objective of combating the chronic diseases of the elderly: rheumatoid arthritis,