Chemistry in America 1876–1976: Historical Indicators by Arnold Thackray

By Arnold Thackray

This examine is an outgrowth of our curiosity within the background of contemporary chemistry. The paucity of trustworthy, quantitative wisdom approximately earlier technological know-how used to be introduced domestic forcibly to us after we undertook a study seminar within the comparative background of recent chemistry in Britain, Germany, and the USA. That seminar, which came about on the college of Pennsylvania within the spring of 1975, used to be paralleled by way of one dedicated to the paintings of the "Annales School". the 2 seminars jointly catalyzed the try to build ancient measures of switch in features of 1 technological know-how, or "chem­ ical indicators". the current quantity screens our effects. possibly our labors should be so much usefully in comparison with the paintings of these scholars of medieval technology who commit their top efforts to the identify­ ment of texts. basically while appropriate texts were comprised of fragmentary and corrupt resources can students flow directly to the extra pleasant company of constructing heritage. So too within the sleek interval, an important pre­ liminary to the complete background of any clinical career is the constructing of trustworthy quantitative details within the type of statistical sequence. This quantity doesn't provide heritage. in its place it offers yes aspect- symptoms -- which may be important to members drawn to the background of yankee chemistry and chemical undefined, and suggestive for policy.

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American Political Science Association (1888). and Geological Society of America (1888). 13 The history of the various associations established to foster the interests of the 23 CHEMISTRY AS OCCUPA nON AND PROFESSION NUMBER OF MEMBERS (hundreds) 20 18 16 14 12 10 .. . 1870 1875 1880 ... 1885 1890 1895 1900 YEAR Fig. 2~1. ) 1876~1900. (See 24 CHAPTER 2 Membership in the ACS may serve as an explicit-discovered indicator of the size of the chemical profession. 2-2, which provides a century-long time series.

AA / AA -A , " , '. ," . , , A ............. A A AAA .. , ' , ,, A . AA , A AA .. & ... '. " .. - A AA - ..... ' '" ,, ,, : A A -- - 01 ," 7/ ,•• a " " legend: All Fields Natural SCIences A A A Chemistry Trend (exponential) - - 001 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 YEAR Fig. 1-5. Trends in doctorate degrees conferred in selected fields, 1890-1978.

1 . 1 •I • 1 • I I •1 • ...... e. • ,. ,. I I / legend: Observed I Figures ••• Trend(logisllc, 1889-1935) __ _ Trend (lOgistiC ,1935-1979) _ _ I /. -••,eI 01~-----+----~----~~----~----~----~----4-----~-----+----~~----~ 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1930 1920 1940 1950 1960 1970 YEAR Fig. 2-7. Short-run nonlinear trends in annual membership in the American Chemical Society, 1889-1979. ) 1980 32 CHAPTER 2 proceeded more-or-Iess according to a new logistic curve, taking off rapidly in the late thirties, then growing at a steadily declining rate.

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