This episode examines the science behind auto racing by digging into Racing Green: How Motorsports Became Smarter, Safer, Cleaner and Faster, by science journalist and science historian Kit Chapman. In this, his second book, following Superheavy in 2019, the former Chemistry World comment editor chronicles how motorsport science is advancing and becoming more environmentally friendly, and he describes the ways in which these developments on the track are changing the world for the better.

Chapman uses exclusive interviews with folks at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center, Formula 1 insiders, engineers, scientists and drivers to tell this story. For us, he also recounts some of the exotic travels he emarked on to thoroughly research this topic, the fascinating people he met along the way, and lessons he’s learned from writing the book. He even talks about the serious curve balls thrown by the Covid-19 global pandemic, and how they showed up in his book, as well as on the racing track, hospitals and beyond. 

If you’d like your own copy of Racing Green, you can find it on or

Next time, we’ll be talking about Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes Through Indigenous Science by indigenous scholar, scientist and community advocate Jessica Hernandez. It’s a new book that talks about ecocolonialism, addresses the failures of western conservationism, and proposes an alternative vision to land stewardship.

If you, dear listener, have any thoughts on Racing Green or know of a book you would like us to discuss in an upcoming book club, let us know in the comments below or tweet at us @ChemistryWorld.