I agree with movies.
People think use chemical as a synonym of artificial or synthetic. One day, say to some “layman” that both DNA and water are chemistry. In general, they will look you with skepticism. Once, a TV program said that “ecological” agriculture did not use chemistry and then I saw to a man putting water. I said that was also chemistry, water is H2O!
However, the bad public image of chemistry is exclusive of 20th century. I cite from HYLE:
“Starting with the last part of the eighteenth century and continuing for all the nineteenth century, chemistry was, in the common opinion of educated people, ‘the Science’ par excellence. It was a paradigm for the other branches of science, a guide, the main guide indeed, to understand the essence of the material world as well as the main hope to improve the quality of life in industrialized countries.”
The main question is why the own chemists have favored the flourishing of this bad image. Now, young chemists as us are obliged to battle with a hostile environment. In fact, I am launching the canonical chemistry project, but due to rejecting, I am thinking in changing the name to canonical science simply by a question of public image!
What would I do? At one hand, I would see for my future, but at the other hand, I am very reticent to change my label of chemist because I did nothing!
I consider that chemistry is the study of matter in a general sense. Physics is more focused to energy and matter structure below atomic level and Biology is focused to living matter. However there are chemists working directly with living systems and chemists working with fundamental physics. For example, there are experiments with optical isomers for testing parity violation of the standard model. Martin Quack is a chemist what wrote a report about a new model for testing the standard model of physics with 10 times more precision that experiments proposed by physicists. He uses optical properties of isomers.
Other chemist is working in a general model (published in PNAS) that was applied to population genetics.
My two principal aims are to see to chemistry to achieve credit from public and formulate a general theory of matter in the sense of alchemists.
I also agree with Tetrahedrite
Many people see chemistry as a computer. They want use chemistry as a tool, ignoring much of its “internal structure”. And if the button of “on” is the same that of “off” then are more happy people!
Of course, chemistry is hard, but it is unnecessary study chemistry for obtain a general idea of that chemistry is. Few people have studied relativity but they have an idea about Einstein’s theory and time travels. I think that there are many popular books about physics, and genetics but few books about chemistry for laypersons.
Of course chemistry is necessary for all, Chemistry is the central science. Many of the current revolution in biology would be impossible without the previous chemical researches. The other day I read about a novel revolutionary chemical method for predicting earthquakes.
I also agree with Mitch comments
These are some of the problems of chemistry.
How could we solve it?