Brown Bag Lecture: “The History of Chemistry in 30 Minutes Flat”

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Date: September 23, 2014
Time: 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Event Type: Open to the Public
Fee: Free
RSVP Online: No Registration Required

A talk by William Brock

Although Partington and many other historians have published “short” histories of chemistry, they are all quite detailed and extensive. How, then, does one go about writing “A Very Short Introduction to the History of Chemistry” for a general public? What can be ignored? What must be included? What are the essential themes? Brock will use his talk to share his own approach to tackling such questions.

William Brock is the author of a dozen books and over 100 papers on the history of science. In particular, his research has focused on the history of chemistry, the social history of Victorian science and mathematics, the development of scientific education, and the development of scientific periodicals. Brock’s best-known work, The Norton History of Chemistry, has been translated into Spanish, Polish, German, and Japanese. Brock has had a long association with the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry, both as editor of its journal Ambix (1968–83) and as its chairman (1993 to 2006). He was awarded CHF’s Roy G. Neville Prize in 2009. Currently, he is developing A Very Short Introduction to the History of Chemistry for University of Oxford Press and is a Beckman Center Doan fellow.

About Brown Bag Lectures

Brown Bag Lectures (BBLs) are a series of weekly informal talks on the history of chemistry or related subjects, including the history and social studies of science, technology, and medicine. Based on original research (sometimes still in progress), these talks are given by local scholars for an audience of CHF staff and fellows and interested members of the public.

For more information, please call 215.873.8289 or e-mail

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