La revolución química: Entre la historia y la memoria

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Universitat de València, 2006 - 300 páginas
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En la famosa Encyclopédie de mediados del siglo XVIII se afirmaba que «el gusto por la química» era «una pasión de locos». Los químicos formaban «un pueblo distinto, muy poco numeroso, con su lengua, sus leyes, sus misterios, casi aislado, en medio de gentes poco curiosas por conocer sus actividades», que no esperaban «nada de su arte». Al acabar el siglo, la situación había cambiado de manera radical, hasta el punto que un autor de esos años llegó a afirmar que la química se había convertido en el «ídolo» frente al que «se arrodillaban» personas de toda condición. Este libro analiza la transformación que situó a la química en una posición destacada entre las ciencias. La voz de los protagonistas permite construir una narración plural, que a menudo difiere sustancialmente de las versiones elaboradas en el siglo XIX y que todavía mantienen una fuerte presencia en los manuales de enseñanza y en la literatura de divulgación.
 

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Ana Carneiro, Isis, 2007, vol. 98 (4)
The Chemical Revolution: Between Memory and History is an impressive and challenging book on the chemical revolution, published in Castilian. In writing the
book, José Ramón Bertomeu Sánchez and Antonio García Belmar relied primarily on their own historical research; at the same time, they studied critically the international literature on this theme produced over more than a century. As they recognize, the chemical revolution has prompted more studies than any other topic in the history of chemistry, from nineteenth‐century work written by “chemist‐historians” to work published by today’s historians of science. In the twentieth century, this episode in the history of chemistry also received much attention from philosophers and sociologists of science, and in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Thomas S. Kuhn was to transform it into a paradigmatic example of a scientific revolution.
As Bertomeu Sánchez and García Belmar argue, anniversaries, centenaries, and other celebrations of the chemical revolution established commemorative practices that helped to reinforce and crystallize the roles of certain characters, events, instruments, and objects in the construction of the identity of chemists worldwide. In this context, an apparatus such as the weighing balance became a symbol of the new chemistry as a quantitative science; the discovery of oxygen and the synthesis of water offered models of conduct in the laboratory and a reference for correct experimental reasoning; Lavoisier became the founding hero. La revolución química explores long‐held representations of eighteenth‐century chemistry and chemists, which became part of the collective memory of both the chemical community and the public. One of the book’s salient features is thus the careful and fine‐grained reconstruction of events and the deconstruction of myths and preconceptions, usually derived from nineteenth‐century images of the chemical revolution, that one still finds in textbooks and popular literature.
In this historical account, events are followed chronologically; success, hesitation, and failure are all part of the narrative. Following Aldo Mieli’s claim that the chemical revolution was a collective enterprise, rather than the work of a single character (Lavoisier), the authors introduce a wide range of protagonists. The various actors, well known and less known, are approached in their laboratories, lecture theaters, academies, and other research and teaching spaces so that the reader can understand their work and ideas, as well as the
 

Contenido

INTRODUCCIÓN
9
EL FLOGISTO EN EL AIRE
63
AGUA
89
LEER ENSEÑAR PUBLICAR
117
LOS USOS DE LA QUIMICA
151
LA REVOLUCIÓN QUÍMICA EN EUROPA
175
JUAN MANUEL DE ARÉJULA O LA REVOLUCIÓN QUÍMICA VISTA
211
LA REVOLUCIÓN QUÍMICA ENTRE LA HISTORIA Y LA MEMORIA
231
GLOSARIO
257
BIBLIOGRAFÍA
265
ÍNDICE DE AUTORES CITADOS
289
Derechos de autor

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Pasajes populares

Página 277 - A practical perspective on Joseph Priestley as a pneumatic chemist," British Journal for the History of Science 16(1983): 223-238.
Página 277 - Lavoisier, the two French revolutions and the "imperial despotism of oxygen'", Ambix, 1995,42, 101-118.

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