Mission Statement

In The Alchemist in the Minivan: A Scientist’s Experiment in Parenting, I’m reflecting on my life as a Ph.D. chemist and a single father of four boys. As I’ve pursued the alchemist’s quest, I’ve yearned to convert the experiences of my daily life into the philosopher’s stone–the mythical substance that ensures wealth, power, and immortality. I’m finding out, instead, that the experiences of my daily life are transforming me, revealing a world already full of riches and life.

This blog is a unique concoction of personal memoir and scientific essay. Here’s my experimental method:

  • I’ll throw parenting anecdotes, work-family conflicts, chemistry demonstrations, and quirky metaphors into a big reaction vessel.
  • I’ll reflux this strange brew for several days.
  • Finally, I’ll distill off a few paragraphs to share with you.

I hope that The Alchemist in the Minivan will inspire you to reflect on your own experiences and find the philosopher’s stone already present in your own lives.

Readers of this blog will, I expect, be parents, students of science, and those interested in everyday spirituality. However, as a scientist, I’m open to serendipity, and I’d be delighted to find readers in places I never expected.

Originally, I started writing down these ideas with the goal of publishing a memoir. (Actually, I was going to call it a “chemoir.”) As new modes of communication and social networking have arrived, however, I’ve decided to use the blog format. Eventually, a book may re-emerge from this blog.  In the meantime, your comments and contributions are most welcome.

Published on December 20, 2008 at 9:59 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Dr.,
    Finally a blog with a truly Nobel focus, “The Family Peace Prize”
    Good luck!
    It was a pleasure to have met with you recently at the reagent warehouse and I found the idea of The Benzene Ring blog interesting.
    Best of luck in your experiments.

    Yours in neutrality and balance,
    P. Bruer
    sent from
    The Chemical Compound
    Wayzata, MN USA


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