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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 19 (2014) pp 269-274

Discussions of Chemistry in Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island

James E. House*

Department of Chemistry, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL 61701,
Received July 8, 2014. Accepted August 21, 2014.

Published: 10 September 2014

Abstract. One of the most famous writers of the genre known as science fiction is Jules Verne. Some of his books display an insight to scientific developments that would be called prophetic. Others gave descriptions of scientific topics that explained the use and status of contemporary science in the late 1800s. One such book, The Mysterious Island, has substantive chemical content that is useful to chemistry students. For several years, the author has conducted voluntary discussion/enrichment meetings with small groups of general chemistry students in which a variety of topics are discussed. One of the popular discussions has been of the chemistry described in The Mysterious Island. The purpose of this review is to elucidate the salient chemistry that Verne teaches and to show how it is useful even at the present time for introducing numerous topics to students in general, organic, and inorganic chemistry.

Key Words: In the Classroom; genery chemistry

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