Prometheans in the Lab

Prometheans in the Lab

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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 theWhile Midgley had needed three years to find his antiknock compound, he solved the major public health problem of refrigeration in a few hours. ... This repeating cycle could be used to cool a refrigerator, a house, or even an automobile but no one had found a safe gas. ... More than 1 00 people died from a refrigerant leak in a Cleveland hospital in 1929, and, because of the danger, most hospitalsanbsp;...


Title:Prometheans in the Lab
Author: Sharon Bertsch McGrayne
Publisher:Sharon Bertsch McGrayne - 2001
ISBN-13:

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