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By Patrick Coffey

In Cathedrals of Science, Patrick Coffey describes how chemistry received its smooth footing-how 13 great males and one lady struggled with the legislation of the universe and with one another. They desired to realize how the area labored, yet in addition they sought after credits for making these discoveries, and their personalities usually affected how that credits used to be assigned. Gilbert Lewis, for instance, might be reclusive and envious, and his enmity with Walther Nernst could have rate him the Nobel Prize; Irving Langmuir, gregarious and fascinating, "rediscovered" Lewis's conception of the chemical bond and bought a lot of the credits for it. Langmuir's character smoothed his route to the Nobel Prize over Lewis.

Coffey bargains with ethical and societal concerns besides. those related scientists have been the 1st to be noticeable by way of their nations as army resources. Fritz Haber, dubbed the "father of chemical warfare," pioneered using poison gasoline in global conflict I-vividly described-and Glenn Seaborg and Harold Urey have been leaders in global warfare II's ny undertaking; Urey and Linus Pauling labored for nuclear disarmament after the warfare. technology was once now not continually reasonable, and plenty of have been excluded. The Nazis driven Jewish scientists like Haber from their posts within the Nineteen Thirties. Anti-Semitism used to be additionally a strength in American chemistry, and few girls have been allowed in; Pauling, for instance, used his effect to chop off the investment and block the courses of his rival, Dorothy Wrinch.

Cathedrals of Science paints a colourful portrait of the development of recent chemistry from the overdue nineteenth to the mid-20th century.

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Cathedrals of Science: The Personalities and Rivalries That Made Modern Chemistry by Patrick Coffey


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