I have just finished reading a review of a book about the chemical elements in the periodic table, "Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements" by Hugh Aldersley-Williams. It's clearly a quirky book about chemistry, and I look forward to reading it. What caught my attention particularly was his lament at the disappearance of "wet chemistry" from the school curriculum. No more "stinks and bangs", experiments are now on video not on the lab bench, everything is safe and sanitised. The author, says the reviewer, "even regrets the removal from the paintbox of rich greens based on arsenic and flame-red vermilion formed from powdered mercuric sulphide." And concludes "Removing risk, he suggests, enfeebles life."
I'll second that.