Early chemistry was developed during the eighth century by Jābir ibn Hayyān, a Muslim astronomer, philosopher and scientist. At the time, the focus of chemistry was on alchemy, the pursuit of turning metals into gold. Today, modern chemistry is studied so that we can learn about the substances that exist around us. In the medical field, it is used to save lives. This could mean developing drugs, exploring the effects of substances or protecting the environment. Sound interesting? If so, we have some careers in mind for you.
Pharmaceutical scientists work in the pharmacology discipline. They learn how different compounds interact with disease-causing cells and organisms and investigate how these compounds interact with the human body to ultimately determine if they can become new drugs.
Pharmacologists specialize in one aspect of the drug development process, including but not limited to: designing new drugs, improving drug manufacturing processes or determining effective formulation for a specific drug.
Forensic toxicologists are an integral part of criminal investigation teams. Investigators rely on them to make conclusions about the impact of a substance and what effects it had on a victim of a crime. They isolate and identify substances in the body, such as:
- Illegal or prescription drugs
- Other chemicals
Forensic toxicologists can work in a variety of settings on variety of tasks. Some focus on doping control in sports. Others track substances in those on probation or parole. They also work on cases involving environmental contamination to determine the impact of chemical spills on nearby populations.
Environmental Health Sciences
Environmental health science is a wide-ranging and multifaceted profession. It focuses on identifying how the environment around us affects our daily health. Possible duties for those working in this field include cleaning up polluted areas, advising policy makers or working to reduce waste.
Environmental health science can span chemistry, toxicology and engineering, among many other disciplines. Chemists in this field study how solid waste management, hazardous waste management and water quality impacts environments and ecosystems. Environmental scientists do this via collecting and analyzing samples from the impacted areas.
You have many career options if you’re a chemistry ace! If you want to learn how you can channel that knowledge into a career, check out the American Chemical Society.