Prometheans in the Lab: Chemistry and the Making of the Modern World

Prometheans in the Lab: Chemistry and the Making of the Modern World
Pages:
224
Language
Published:
August 1st 2002 by McGraw-Hill Companies
ISBN10:
0071407952
Genre:
Goodreads Rating:
3.98
ISBN13:
9780071407953

Newton, Darwin, Pasteur, Einstein and other great physicists and biologists are household names, but the great chemists have received little recognition. Yet it could be argued that chemistry, more than any other scientific discipline, has made the modern world possible, largely through products that we take for granted. In the style of the biology classic, The Microbe Hunters, acclaimed science writer Sharon Bertsch McGrayne tells the history of the chemical revolution through the lives of the men who created it. We don't recognize their names, but their legacy is all around us. Before Nicholas LeBlanc discovered the chemical process for making washing soda in the early 1800s, soap was a highly taxed luxury item, and now it's something we use many times everyday without a second thought. Without chemical fertilizer there might have been worldwide starvation in the mid 1900s. Even something as simple as affordable dyes, which brought bright colorful clothing to the masses and democratized fashion, is given full attention. An even-handed account, Prometheans in the Lab describes not only the upside of each pivotal discovery, but also the oftentimes devastating unforeseen effects the

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