Remember the periodic table? With its 92 elements and perplexing abbreviations? No doubt, you had to memorize portions of the table back in high school. But beyond high school classes and chemistry jobs, why should we care about the elements?
Hugh Aldersey-Williams has some reasons. He’s the author of the new book “Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements.” And his research about the elements says as much about world history and culture as it does about science.