The Making of the Chemist: The Social History of Chemistry in Europe, 1789-1914

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Modern chemistry, so alarming, so necessary, so ubiquitous, became a mature science in nineteenth-century Europe. As it developed, often from a lowly position in medicine or in industry, so chemists established themselves as professional men; but differently in different countries. In 1820 chemistry was an autonomous science of great prestige but chemists had no corporate identity. It was 1840 before national chemical societies were first formed; and many countries lagged fifty years behind. Chemists are the largest of scientific groups; and in this 1998 book we observe the social history of chemistry in fifteen countries, ranging from the British Isles to Lithuania and Greece. There are regularities and similarities; and by describing how national chemical professions emerged under particular economic and social circumstances, the book contributes significantly to European history of science.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Review of the hardback: '… this is much more than just a collection of national case-studies. It outlines the general trends, the main developments and the key actors in the process leading to the professional chemist, while providing a wealth of information that qualifies and diversifies the general scheme. In this respect, it is a model of collaborative publication, with genuine exchanges between the contributors and a thorough job of co-ordination by the two editors.' Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, Nature

Review of the hardback: 'The stories in this book will be read with enjoyment both by scientists and by those interested in the history of European culture and society.' The Chemical Intelligencer

Review of the hardback: ' … this is a book for everyone interested in the history of our subject, and highly recommended reading.' Angewandte Chemie

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521583510
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/22/1998
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword David Knight; Part I. The Big Three: 1. The Organisation of Chemistry in Nineteenth-century France Maurice Crosland; 2. The Profession of Chemistry in France: the Société Chimique de Paris/de France 1770–1914 Ulrike Fell; 3. Two Segments, One Profession: the Chemical Profession in German society 1780–1870 Ernst Homburg; 4. Origins, Education and Career Opportunities of the Profession 'Chemist' in the second half of the nineteenth century in Germany Walter Wetzel; 5. Chemistry in an Offshore Island: Britain, 1789–1840 David Knight; 6. 'A plea for Pure Science': the Role of Academia in the Making of the English Chemist, 1841–1914 Gerrylynn K. Roberts; 7. A British Career in Chemistry: Sir William Crookes (1832–1919) William H. Brock; Part II. Medium Developed Countries: 8. Developments of Chemistry in Italy, 1840–1910 Luigi Cerruti, and Eugenio Torracca; 9. The Evolution of Chemistry in Russia during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries Nathan M. Brooks; 10. Seeking an Identity for Chemistry in Spain: Medicine, Industry, University, the Liberal State and the new 'Professionals' in the Nineteenth Century Agusti Nieto-Galan; 11. The Profession of Chemistry in Nineteenth-century Belgium Geert Vanpaemel, and Brigitte van Tiggelen; 12. Chemistry in Ireland David Knight, and Gerrylynn K. Roberts; 13. Chemistry on the edge of Europe: Growth and Decline in Sweden Colin A. Russell; Part III. On the Periphery: 14. Out of the Shadow of Medicine: Themes in the Development of Chemistry in Denmark and Norway Helge Kragh; 15. Chemistry and the Scientific Development of the Country: the Nineteenth Century in Portugal António M. Armorim da Costa; 16. The Transmission and Assimilation of Scientific Ideas to the Greek-speaking world c. 1700–1900: the Case of Chemistry Kostas Gavroglu; 17. The First Chemists in Lithuania Mudis Salkauskas; 18. Individuals, Institutions and Problems: a Review of Polish chemistry between 1863 and 1918 Stefan Zamecki; Afterword: the European Commonwealth of Chemistry Helge Kragh; Notes on contributors; Index; Maps of Europe in 1815 and 1914.

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