From the Test-tube to the Autoanalyzer: The Development of Chemical Instrumentation in the Twentieth Century
11 - 12 August 2000
Science Museum, South Kensington, London, United Kingdom
A joint Conference organized by the IUHPS/DHS Scientific Instrument Commission and the Royal Society of Chemistry Historical Group. Sponsors include the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the Hans R. Jenemann-Stiftung and the Fish Trust Fund of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
The conference will address the development of modern chemical instrumentation, one of the most serious lacunæ in the “new experimentalism” in history of science. The impact of chemical instrumentation in the latter half of the twentieth century has been both momentous and all-pervasive, and has not only brought about many significant scientific advances, including our understanding of the environment, both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial, but has also transformed the practice and the culture of chemistry, the biomedical sciences, and clinical medicine.
In the four sessions of the conference we seek to explore and assess this revolution in terms of the history of 20th century chemistry, using insights and tools obtained from the study of earlier periods. This conference will bring together twenty-five leading scholars in the field, mostly historians of chemistry, but also chemists, philosophers, sociologists, economic and business historians. The papers will be pre-circulated, in order to maximise the time for discussion.