Print this page Share

Chemical Sciences in the 20th Century: Bridging Boundaries

Carsten Reinhardt (Editor), Roald Hoffmann (Foreword by)
ISBN: 978-3-527-30271-0
297 pages
May 2001
Chemical Sciences in the 20th Century: Bridging Boundaries (3527302719) cover image


Chemistry in the last century was characterized by spectacular growth and advances, stimulated by revolutionary theories and experimental breakthroughs. Yet, despite this rapid development, the history of this scientific discipline has achieved only recently the status necessary to understand the effects of chemistry on the scientific and technological
culture of the modern world.
This book addresses the bridging of boundaries between chemistry and the other "classical" disciplines of science, physics and biology as well as the connections of chemistry to
mathematics and technology.
Chemical research is represented as an interconnected patchwork of scientific specialties, and this is shown by a mixture of case studies and broader overviews on the history of organic chemistry, theoretical chemistry, nuclear- and cosmochemistry, solid state chemistry, and biotechnology. All of these fields were at the center of the development of twentieth century chemistry, and the authors cover crucial topics such as the emergence of new subdisciplines and
research fields, the science-technology relationship, and national styles of scientific work.
This monograph represents a unique treasure trove for general historians and historians of science, while also appealing to
those interested in the theoretical background and development of modern chemistry.
See More

Table of Contents

Introduction to the History of Theorectical Chemistry and Quantum Chemistry
Issues in the History of Theoretical and Quantum Chemistry, 1927-1960
Italian-German Scientific Relations in the 1930s and the Making of Quantum Chemistry
Theoretical Chemistry in France after World War II
Introduction to the History of Chemistry and Biology
From Genetics to Biochemistry. The Experimental Design of Alfred Kühn's Ephestia System
Biotechnology Before the Biotech Revolution: Life Scientists, Chemists and Product Development in the 1930s and 1940s
Analysing Practices, Reconsidering Interdisciplinarity: (Bio)chemists and the History of Molecular Biology
Introduction to the History of Radiochemistry, Nuclear chemistry and Astrochemistry
The Discovery of New Elements and the Boundary between Physics and Chemistry in the 1920s and 1930s
The Search for Artificial Elements and the Discovery of Nuclear Fission
From Geochemistry to Astro- and Cosmochemistry: A Historical Survey
Introduction to the History of Solid State Chemistry
The New Science of Materials: A Composite Field of Research
Polymer Science: From Chemistry to an Interdisciplinary Science
At the Boundaries: Michael Polany's Work on Surfaces and the Solid State
The History of Organic Chemistry
See More


"It should, of course, find a place on the shelves of every library with a history of science collection." (The Chemical Educator, November/December 2006)

"The entire book is filled with insight, charm, enlightenment, and sophistication. As I read each essay.... I see a fresh horizon or am touched by a profound sagacity." (Chemical Heritage, Vol. 21, No. 1, Spring 2003)

"...a high quality set of essays..if science is ever to be recognised as one of the crucial agents of social change, then we need more books such as this..." (Chemistry and Industry, 1 October 2002)

"...Many practising chemists will enjoy dipping into it to find fascinating insights..." (Education in Chemistry, July 2002)

"The book is well worth reading by both chemists and historians of science" (The Alchemist, Chemweb.com, 22 November 2001)

"For historians of the sciences, upper-division undergraduates through professionals." (Choice, Vol. 39, No. 4, December 2001)

"This book traces the development of the discipline of chemistry as an 'interconnected patchwork of scientific specialties' throughout the 20th century." (Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 123, No. 46, 2001)

See More

Related Titles

Back to Top