The Public Image of Chemistry

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Popular associations with chemistry range from poisons, hazards, chemical warfare and environmental pollution to alchemical pseudoscience, sorcery and mad scientists, which gravely affect the public image of science in general. While chemists have merely complained about their public image, social and cultural studies of science have largely avoided anything related to chemistry. This book provides, for the first time, an in-depth understanding of the cultural and historical contexts in which the public image of chemistry has emerged. It argues that this image has been shaped through recurring and unlucky interactions between chemists in popularizing their discipline and nonchemists in expressing their expectations and fears of science. Written by leading scholars from the humanities, social sciences and chemistry in North America, Europe and Australia, this volume explores a blind spot in the science-society relationship and calls for a constructive dialog between scientists and their public. Sample Chapter(s). Introduction (143 KB). Chapter 1: The Alchemist in Fiction: The Master Narrative (253 KB). Contents: Popular Images in Fiction and Movies: The Alchemist in Fiction: The Master Narrative (R Haynes); Historical Roots of the OCyMad ScientistOCO: Chemists in Nineteenth-Century Literature (J Schummer); Chemists and Their Craft in Fiction Film (P Weingart); Chemistry and Power in Recent American Fiction (P Ball); Self-Images in Chemistry Popularizations: Popularizing Chemistry: Hands-On and Hands-Off (D Knight); Liebig or How to Popularize Chemistry (M Blondel-M(r)grelis); From Chemistry for the People to the Wonders of Technology: The Popularization of Chemistry in the Netherlands During the Nineteenth Century (E Homburg); Abraham Cressy Morrison in the Agora: Bringing Chemistry to the Public (A Ede); The Visual Image of Chemistry: Perspectives from the History of Art and Science (J Schummer & T I Spector); Mediated Images: Taking Science to the Marketplace: Examples of Science Service''s Presentation of Chemistry During the 1930s (M C LaFollette); The Image of Chemistry Presented by the Science Museum, London in the Twentieth Century: An International Perspective (P J T Morris); On the Self-Image of Chemists, 1950OCo2000 (P Laszlo). Readership: Academic and industrial chemists; sociologists and historians of science; humanists; nonexperts interested in the science-society relation."

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Introduction Joachim Schummer Bernadette BensaudeVincent Brigitte Van Tiggelen
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