[SFRA-L] Positive visions of Chemists?
Allen, Virginia [ENGL]
vallen at iastate.edu
Fri Sep 9 16:55:16 EDT 2011
This is a great book: _The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science_ by Richard Holmes (HarperCollins 2008).
Sir Humphrey Davy figures prominently with a couple of stand-alone chapters, up to and including his (probable) exploitation of Faraday, conflict with his rival for the safety lantern prize, George Stephenson. The experiments of the Pneumatic Institute investigating the therapeutic viability of laughing gas may affront modern sensibilities, undergraduates are usually exempt. There's a cartoon by James Gillray, New Discoveries in PNEUMATICKS! Holmes: "... and the idea that laughing gas could produce a truly room-shaking f-- ...." Oh, never mind..
Between the two chapters on Davy is one entitled Dr. Frankenstein and the Soul." Also, interestingly, Davy's last book (published posthumously) _Consolations in Travel_ postulated not divine souls, but alien beings -- not gods, but "invisible, imperceptible, even unimaginable" (Holmes, p.294).
Did I mention I really like this book?
From: sfra-l-bounces at charlemagne.cddc.vt.edu [sfra-l-bounces at charlemagne.cddc.vt.edu] On Behalf Of Sharp, Patrick [psharp at exchange.calstatela.edu]
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2011 11:50 AM
To: sfra-l at charlemagne.cddc.vt.edu
Subject: [SFRA-L] Positive visions of Chemists?
Hello hive mind-
I am working on a linked English class with Chemistry and am wondering if anyone knows of some good stories with heroic chemists or chemists as positive figures (fiction and non-fiction)? I'm teaching Carson's Silent Spring, and would like to balance that a bit with a more positive story or two.
Dr. Patrick B. Sharp, Professor and Chair
Department of Liberal Studies, CSU Los Angeles
Treasurer, Science Fiction Research Association
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