John Emsley

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Dr John Emsley (born 1938) is a UK popular science writer, broadcaster and academic specialising in chemistry. He researched and lectured at King's College London for 25 years, authoring or co-authoring about 100 papers, and then became Science Writer in Residence at Imperial College London in 1990. From 1997 to 2002 he was Science Writer in Residence at the Department of Chemistry at Cambridge University, England, during which time he started and wrote the newsletter Chem@Cam. He is the author of more than 12 books including Nature' Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements in which he shows that the periodic table is an essential part in the discipline of science and chemistry in particular; and several other books which have been translated into other languages.

Newspaper column[edit]

For six years Emsley wrote a column on chemistry for the Independent called "Molecule of the Month".


  • "More Molecules of Murder", Royal Society of Chemistry, 2017.
  • "Chemhistory" Witley Press, 2017.
  • "Chemistry at Home" Royal Society of Chemistry, 2015.
  • "Chemystery" Witley Press, 2013.
  • "The Newsletter; Attn EPIC Tale of Spin" Witley Press, 2013.
  • "Sweet Dreams, Nightmare Days" Witley Press, 2013
  • Islington Green: A Book of Revelation Witley Press, 2012.
  • Nature's Building Blocks: an A-Z Guide to the Elements 2001, 2nd edition 2011.
  • A Healthy, Wealthy, Sustainable World, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2010
  • Molecules of Murder, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2008
  • Better Looking, Better Living, Better Loving Wiley-VCH 2007
  • The Elements of Murder, Oxford University Press, 2005
  • Vanity, Vitality, and Virility, Oxford University Press, 2004
  • Shocking History of Phosphorus, 2000. US Edition The 13th Element: The Sordid Tale of Murder, Fire, and Phosphorus, 2006
  • Was it something you ate?, co-author P.Fell, Oxford University Press, 1999
  • Molecules at an Exhibition, Oxford University Press, 1998
  • The Elements, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 1998
  • The Consumer's Good Chemical Guide: Separating Facts from Fiction about Everyday Products, W.H. Freeman, 1994. (Winner of the Rhone Poulenc Science Book Prize 1995)
  • "The Elements" Oxford University Press, 1989, 2nd edition 1991, 3rd edition 1998.
  • "The Chemistry of Phosphorus" co-author C. Hall, Harper & Row, 1976

External links[edit]