EDUCATION: Chemists in Their Own Words

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Science  25 Jun 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5679, pp. 1883
DOI: 10.1126/science.304.5679.1883d

Textbooks usually summarize the work of famous chemists such as Marie Curie and Antoine Lavoisier in a few lines or paragraphs. Students who want to read the scientists' writings or follow their arguments can browse this archive of classic chemistry papers, book excerpts, and other resources. The site, hosted by Lemoyne College in Syracuse, New York, holds or links to selections from more than 50 chemical thinkers, ranging from the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius to Nobel laureate Linus Pauling. The archive shows the researchers struggling toward the right answer—and occasionally stumbling. In one 1808 book excerpted on the site, for example, English chemist John Dalton lays out his hypothesis that a water molecule contains one oxygen and one hydrogen atom.

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