On December 8 and 15, 2019, Professor Kim Min-kyung is to be shown on a KBS documentary film on chemical substances. Professor Kim is also the author of the book, There is a chemist in my house. She has inspired many students through her message, “the more you know, the more you see”.
Q. What kind of experiments did you demonstrate in the documentary?
A. I showed students the flame reaction, exothermic reaction and many other experiments, and explained the theories through different kinds of experiments.
Q. Is there a reason you wrote the book, There is a chemist in my house? Why is it important to know about chemistry in daily life?
A. After the 2007 South Korea oil spill in Taean, I was looking at the TV and saw little kids volunteering at the site with their parents. However, I knew that there are many toxic substances such as benzene in the oil which can, though with low possibility, cause cancer. I thought if the people working in the broadcasting field knew that such substances could be deadly, they wouldn’t have captured the moments of little kids cleaning up the oil which encouraged many parents to bring their kids to the beach. The only reason parents brought their own kids to inhale such toxic substances is because they simply did not notice the danger of these substances. Even though the College of Liberal Arts and Natural Science has a different curriculum, people will be able to live a ‘wise and smart’ daily life if they receive the basic education on chemistry.
Q. Students that have listened to your class tend to love it. What do you think the reason is?
A. Students consider something boring when they don’t realize ‘why’ they need to learn it. So, I always try my best to tell them how such theory can be used or seen in daily life. Thus, I prepare for each class based on which major I have to teach. For example, I would teach students majoring in Automotive Engineering about chemistry related to automobiles while teaching students from Nuclear Engineering about chemistry used in nuclear power.
Q. Many students tend to think of chemistry as a difficult subject. Is there anything you would like to tell them?
A. The water in our body itself is already chemistry. Don’t think of it as a challenge but think of it as something that is living along with us. I would like to tell the readers to take some time before going out to the society, to read a book that has nothing to do with their major. This will help a lot in the future when they will not have time to read such books. Students studying liberal arts should try reading books related to natural science and vice versa.