Essays on Science and SocietyBEYOND THE IVORY TOWER

Not a Pure Science: Chemistry in the 18th and 19th Centuries

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Science  05 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5698, pp. 981-982
DOI: 10.1126/science.1089888

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In this essay, Klein argues that most 18th-century chemists were both savants and learned practitioners, but that it was their experimental expertise that was sought after by governments and broader society. Chemical theory began to play a key role in 19th-century experimentation, including the emergence of the synthetic chemical industry.