Historical aspects of higher learning in chemistry

This paper intends, without the pretention of being exhaustive, to present essential historical aspects related to higher chemical education, "the significative unrelevant facts" mentioned by Taine, discussing the characteristical aspects of the various evolutive periods which can be considered in chemistry as an academical activity, or as an university discipline, discussing as well decisive factors for the structural and institutional changes observed. We will not at this point argue about the essential issues related to curricula, practices, texts or programs. A history which, not limited to the rankean wie es wirklich gewesen ist , looks for collecting the necessary data before a deeper discussion of contents, methods and results of higher chemical education in each one of the periods considered could take place, leaving a more profound discussion for future papers. But we do insert chemistry in the university context as a whole. From a chronological viewpoint, we will comment the period extending from medieval university to the beginnings of the 19th century, just to the consolidation of chemistry as an university discipline: after comments on the unformal relations between alchemy and medieval university, we will comment chemistry/chemiatry related to medicine and pharmacy (16th and 17th centuries), a more "applied" chemistry in connection with metallurgy and other industries/"arts" (18th century), and an independent chemistry located not at the medical but at the philosophical faculty, for the first time in 1789. At the eve of the 19th century, chemistry establishes itself as an autonomous activity at universities and institutions of higher learning.

History of scientific institutions; History of chemistry; History of higher chemical learning; Chemistry at universities; Chemistry at technical schools; Scientific chemistry


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