Many reasons can be given for studying chemistry, ranging from,
"It is an intellectual adventure," to "I can make a good living
at it," or even "It is required for graduation."
But the most valid response is simple. Chemistry is the study
of how matter behaves. We have only one world in which to live.
If we want to know how we can change it and what we cannot alter,
or even simply to appreciate what we already have, then we must
know how it works.
Chemistry is the subject that tells us this. Physics may teach
us fundamental facts about elementary particles, matter, and energy,
but it stops short of drawing conclusions about how the different
kinds of matter around us change and react. Biology describes
the large-scale behavior of organisms, which at their core are
elaborate chemical systems. Some of the most fruitful advances
in biology in the past two decades have come from a thoroughly
chemical approach. If we can expand the concept of chemistry beyond
our present limited and inadequate knowledge, then biology fundamentally
is the highest form of applied chemistry. If chemistry is the
study of how matter behaves, we must not forget that we, ourselves,
are an integral part of this material world.