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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I know my credit card details will be secure when I make an order for one of your products?

All payments are by PayPal, we do not see your details. Please email for details: sales@meta-synthesis.com.

When the meta-synthesis team have dispatched your order, usually within 24 hours using premium rate airmail from the UK, you will be e-mailed to confirm that your order is on its way.

If your order does not arrive in a reasonable time, please contact sales@meta-synthesis.com. It is company policy to send immediate repeat orders if there are any dispatch problems.

Anything else? Contact support@meta-synthesis.com.


Q: Why is the publishing house called meta-synthesis?

Mark Leach's project involves meta analysis ("high-level examination") of chemical species and their reactions.

The most important practical application of reaction chemistry is the synthesis of chemicals.

The project is concerned with the synthesis of new chemical ideas from established theory... hence the name meta-synthesis

... as suggested by Dr. Marcus Lynch – a good friend of the company – who also came up with the term chemogenesis.


Q: What is the relationship between the Chemogenesis Web Book and The Chemical Thesaurus?

The Chemogenesis web book is made up of four broad strands:

  • The story of how chemical reactivity emerges from the periodic table of the elements.
  • An investigation into the nature of mechanism.
  • A discussion of the ideas and theories about chemistry.
  • A discussion of complexity & chemistry.

The Chemical Thesaurus is a reaction chemistry database that:

  • Holds all of the raw reaction chemistry data [OK, most of the reaction chemistry data] that lies behind chemogenesis analysis, and it holds lots of other stuff as well.
  • The database has extensive links to Wikipedia chemistry knowledge and the NIST chemistry webbook.

Importantly, the rigour of the relational database development environment – the total separation of chemical entities from chemical reactions, the formal classification of material type, the introduction of generics, etc. – provides a stiff logical backbone to the analysis used in the Chemogenesis web book.

There are numerous web links between the Chemogenesis web book and The Chemical Thesaurus reaction chemistry database (in both directions), and more are being added on a regular basis.

The Chemical Thesaurus database engine also drives much of the Chemistry Tutorials & Drills web site.

For design and organisational reasons, The Chemical Thesaurus reaction chemistry database is found under www.chemthes.com, Chemistry Tutorials & Drills under www.chemistry-drills.com and the chemogenesis web book uses the www.meta-synthesis.com domain. All these domains are owned by meta-synthesis.


Q: Are The Chemical Thesaurus and the Chemogenesis web book finished?

No, definitely not!

The Chemogenesis web book is nearly finished in that it is structurally more or less complete, but subsections (pages) need to be added, text & graphics need to be updated and expanded, the formatting needs sharpening and the text edited/proofed, more synthlets need to be added, etc... but overall the web book is close to its final form.

The Chemical Thesaurus reaction chemistry database is a different matter, and it is far from finished.

  • The Chemical Thesaurus now strongly links to Wikipedia & NIST. These will be expanded.
  • Older "stand-alone" versions of The Chemical Thesaurus are still still available here. However, this situation is changing as this web version develops. If you have a slow Internet connection these locally run versions may be of interest.

There are many possible developments:

  • The Chemical Thesaurus reaction chemistry database can quite easily hold data on the top 1000 chemicals of commerce, including an outline of how they are produced. Much of this information is already in the database.
  • Students of chemistry are often confused about what exactly it is they are expected to know for examination purposes. This information can be specifically mapped to The Chemical Thesaurus reaction chemistry database. Work has already been carried out on the British A-level university entrance exam system, here, and this could be extended to AP and IB.
  • As The Chemical Thesaurus is now a web resource, there is no reason why individual academics or departments or institutions could not choose chemistry tailored to specific courses.
  • It will be possible to expand and open up the data entry to chemists and chemical educators on the web.


© Mark Leach 1996- mrl@meta-synthesis.com