Why Gold is Valuable

Photo courtesy of David Kestenbaum/NPR. Sanat Kumar, with table.

Here at (a)biotic we are die-hard fans of just about every series produced by NPR.  One of our favorites is Planet Money.  Every week the show takes on a difficult economic situation or concept and breaks it down in a clever, easy to digest manner.  In general, Alex Blumberg leads a less than rag tag bunch of smarty-pants contributors who weave tales of the economy with interesting highlights culture and ecology.

One story a few months ago was particularly interesting, they tackled the question of why we, as a society, have valued gold. Over all the other elements in the world why does gold get the pole position?

They contacted Sanat Kumar, a chemical engineer at Columbia University and asked him to plow through the periodic table and tackle this question.  It is a fascinating tour through history and science.  You can read or listen to the story here:



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