Debbie Chachra is a materials scientist. Working out of Olin College — an engineering school set up like a liberal arts college — she teaches undergraduates, researches better ways of teaching undergraduates, and does strange things with bees. Beyond her professional duties, she runs Daily Idioms, a Tumblr of striking ideas.
Chachra has a knack for noticing and pointing out the underlying forces that shape the stuff our stuff is made of and how the properties of that stuff in turn shapes our tech and so our culture. Last year, Warren Ellis asked her to write about whatever was on her mind. The result was a fascinating exploration of the consequences of peak oil for industrial design. She called it “peak plastic.”
Tim Maly talks with Chachra about peak plastic, the challenges of the 3-D printing revolution, and honey bees.
-“The End of Plastic”, by Tim Maly