Oxygen / Edition 1

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Overview

What motivates a scientist? One key factor is the pressure from thecompetition to be the first to discover something new. The moralconsequences of this are the subject of the play "Oxygen", dealingwith the discovery of this all-important element. The focus of theplay is on chemical and political revolutions, as well as the NobelPrize, which will be awarded for the 100th time in 2001. The actiontakes place in 1777 and 2001; and the play is written for 3 actorsand 3 actresses who play a total of 11 characters. The worldpremiere will take place in early 2001 in San Diego, and the Germanpremiere in September.
The world-famous authors Carl Djerassi and Roald Hoffmann are aguarantee of excellence and suspense, both in their role asscientists — Carl Djerassi is known as the "Father of the Pill"while Roald Hoffmann received the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1982- as well as in their role as authors — Djerassi has writtenseveral successful novels, while Hoffmann is renowned for hispoetry.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Part of a feature story on Carl Djerassi: "It is 50 years sinceCarl Djerassi invented the contraceptive pill... and changed humanbehaviour for good. He has not stood still since... His latestwork... a play called... "Oxygen"... examines the nature ofachievement and accolades." (The Economist TechnologyQuarterly, June 23, 2001)

Part of the information regarding the ACS meeting on theeditor's page: "If you are one of those lucky chemists going to SanDiego, be sure to... see on of the performances of the worldpremiere of "Oxygen"... If you're not coming,... you might want toread the play, which is being published by Wiley-VCH." (Chemicaland Engineering News, March 5, 2001)

"...the mere existence of the play is to be applauded, and theauthors congratulated." (Education in Chemistry, November2001)

"The play works very well." (The Lancet, 17 November2001)

"Oxygen is an important stage in the move towards a moreinclusive form of education and plays testimony to the power oftheatre to open up the possibility of an interdisciplinary way ofviewing the world." (Irish Times, 23 November 2001)

As the play's cover notes declare, 'the ethical issues aroundpriority and discovery at the heart of this play are as timelytoday as they were in 1777'...Harold Varmus, Nobel Prize inMedicine, comments ‘With wit, scholarship, and stagecraftsmanship, Oxygen shows us how much scientists have learnedabout the world and how little they have changed.'" (AdvancedMaterials & Processes, July 2001)

"The book of the play is stylishly produced.... If you have notseen the play, I thoroughly commend the book to you."(Interdisciplinary Science Review, Vol.27, No.1, 2002)

"...We give Oxygen, an enjoyable, engrossing, and aboveall provocative and thought-provoking play and enthusiastic twothumbs up."(The Chemical Educator, Vol.8, No.2, 2003)

The Economist Technology Quarterly
Part of a feature story on Carl Djerassi: "It is 50 years since Carl Djerassi invented the contraceptive pill... and changed human behaviour for good. He has not stood still since... His latest work... a play called... "Oxygen"... examines the nature of achievement and accolades.
Chemical and Engineering News
Part of the information regarding the ACS meeting on the editor's page: "If you are one of those lucky chemists going to San Diego, be sure to... see on of the performances of the world premiere of "Oxygen"... If you're not coming,... you might want to read the play, which is being published by Wiley-VCH.
Economist Technology Quarterly
Part of a feature story on Carl Djerassi: "It is 50 years since Carl Djerassi invented the contraceptive pill... and changed human behaviour for good. He has not stood still since... His latest work... a play called... "Oxygen"... examines the nature of achievement and accolades.
Chemical and Engineering News
Part of the information regarding the ACS meeting on the editor's page: "If you are one of those lucky chemists going to San Diego, be sure to... see on of the performances of the world premiere of "Oxygen"... If you're not coming,... you might want to read the play, which is being published by Wiley-VCH.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783527304134
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/22/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 736,372
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.31 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Carl Djerassi:
Carl Djerassi, born in Vienna but educated in the US, is a writerand professor of chemistry at Stanford University. Author of over1200 scientific publications and seven monographs, he is one of thefew American scientists to have been awarded both the NationalMedal of Science (in 1973, for the first synthesis of a steroidoral contraceptive—"the Pill") and the National Medal ofTechnology (in 1991, for promoting new approaches to insectcontrol). A member of the US National Academy of Sciences and theAmerican Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as many foreignacademies, Djerassi has received 18 honorary doctorates togetherwith numerous other honors, such as the first Wolf Prize inChemistry, the first Award for the Industrial Application ofScience from the National Academy of Sciences, and the AmericanChemical Society's highest award, the Priestley Medal.

For the past decade, he has turned to fiction writing, mostly inthe genre of "science-in-fiction," whereby he illustrates, in theguise of realistic fiction, the human side of scientists and thepersonal conflicts faced by scientists in their quest forscientific knowledge, personal recognition, and financial rewards.In addition to novels (Cantor's Dilemma; The Bourbaki Gambit; Marx,deceased; Menachem's Seed; NO), short stories (The Futurist andOther Stories), and autobiography (The Pill, Pygmy Chimps, andDegas' Horse), he has recently embarked on a trilogy of plays whichhe describes in his web site as "science-in-theatre"-with anemphasis on contemporary cutting-edge research in the biomedicalsciences. "AN IMMACULATE MISCONCEPTION," first performed inabbreviated form at the 1998 Edinburgh Fringe Festival andsubsequently (1999) as a full, 2-act play in London (New EndTheatre),
San Francisco (Eureka Theatre) and Vienna (under the titleUNBEFLECKT at the Jugendstiltheater), focuses on the ethical issuesinherent in recent spectacular advances in the treatment of maleinfertility through single sperm injection (the ICSI technique). Aradio adaptation was broadcast over the BBC World Service as "Playof the Week." He is also the founder of the Djerassi ResidentArtists Program near Woodside, California, which providesresidencies and studio space for artists in the visual arts,literature, choreography and performing arts, and music. Over 1000artists have passed through that program since its inception in1982.
(There is a Web site about Carl Djerassi's writing athttp://www.djerassi.com)

Roald Hoffmann:
Roald Hoffmann, born in Zloczow, Poland but educated in the US, isthe Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters at CornellUniversity. One of America's most distinguished chemists, he wasawarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. A member of the US NationalAcademy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciencesas well as many foreign academies, Hoffmann has received 26honorary doctorates together with numerous other honors such as theNational Medal of Science. Hoffmann is the only person ever toreceive the American Chemical Society's top awards in three sub-disciplines: organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and chemicaleducation.

For the past dozen years, Hoffmann has simultaneously pursued aliterary career. He is the author of three books of poetry, "TheMetamict State" (1987), "Gaps and Verges" (1990), and "MemoryEffects" (1999). His three non-fiction books deal with the overalltheme of the creative and humanistic sparks of chemistry: Anart/science/literature collaboration with artist Vivian Torrence,"Chemistry Imagined" (1993); "The Same and Not the Same" (1995);and "Old Wine, New Flasks: Reflections on Science and JewishTradition," in collaboration with Shira Leibowitz Schmidt. Hoffmannis also is the presenter of a television course, "The World ofChemistry", which has aired on many PBS Stations and abroad.

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Table of Contents

By the same Authors.

Foreword.

Production History.

Cast of Characters.

Scene 1.

Intermezzo 1.

Scene 2.

Intermezzo 2.

Scene 3.

Scene 4.

Intermezzo 3.

Scene 5.

Scene 6.

Scene 7.

Scene 8.

Scene 9.

Intermezzo 4.

Scene 10.

Intermezzo 5.

Scene 11.

Scene 12.

Acknowledgments.

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