John Dean et al
Prentice Hall
2011 | 592pp | £32.99
ISBN 9780273731184

Any undergraduate who could develop all of the skills in this book would make a fine chemist. In fact, the title of this book seriously undersells the material within the covers, as this book, in its second edition, now covers much more than practical (laboratory) skills.

The authors provide a comprehensive overview of the wide range of skills needed to be a modern chemist -from time management, communication, employability and revision skills, through to using chemical databases, writing practical reports and using statistical methods to present data. In addition, as the title suggests, the book also covers all of the main practical skills from basic bench-top synthetic chemistry and more advanced inert atmosphere techniques, to instrumental techniques and advanced analytical methods.

Practical methods are clearly described and well illustrated and the book provides an ideal reference for the confused student to dip into. Perhaps in future editions, the authors might also consider making video demonstration resources available to support some of the key experimental methods -embedding video resources into laboratories is one of the ways in which we are currently supporting York students’work in experimental methodology.

As the book stands, it is certainly more useful to the student than the instructor - it could not be used to develop practical or other skills courses, and therefore would probably not be adopted as a course text. However, it is my view that a book of this type should be primarily for students -after all, skills development should be a personal mission for undergraduate students, and I would recommend any of mine to have a copy of this book on their bookshelf.

Purchase this book from Amazon.