Category Archives: Chemistry

Newton’s Philosopher’s Stone

“the magisterium“the magisterium, our great work, the stone” “The Alchemist” Act 1. Scene 4 Today we remember Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) for his contributions to optics, mechanics and astronomy, but as a typical scholar of his time he was also … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Geology, Metaphysics | 2 Comments

Geologizing Asses

“Humanity’s genius is to have always had a sense of its weakness. The physical energy and strength, with which nature insufficiently endowed humans, is found in animals that help them to discover new territories.” Thanks to this special kit and … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Exploration, Geology, Humour? | Leave a comment

Newton’s Alchemy and early Geochemistry

Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is today remembered for his contributions to optics, mechanics and gravity, but as a typical polymath of his time he was also interested in alchemy. And through his interest in this early predecessor of chemistry he … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Geology, Philosophy | Leave a comment

Touching and feeling: Henry Moyes redux

I have received several suggestions about what the natural philosopher Henry Moyes was holding in the portrait I showed in my last post. I posted some further thoughts on these, another image of Moyes and a fascinating account of his … Continue reading

Posted in Arts, Chemistry, History | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

When did what end?

One of the advantages of this blog is that many of those who comment here are more intelligent, better read, better informed and better educated than the blog author, this means that in their comments they question, provoke and suggest … Continue reading

Posted in Astrology, astronomy, Chemistry, History | Leave a comment

Exploded systems: views of alchemy in the 19th century

As has been highlighted in previous posts, we historians of science are on our guard against being whiggish in our discussions of past science but, in the process, have a tendency to be just that in our treatment of historiography: we … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, History | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

David Willetts and the history of science

There has been an interesting discussion on Mersenne, the history of science listserv, prompted by James Sumner, who has kindly allowed me to post his email to the Mersenne subscribers. Dear Listmembers  Those of us keen, for whatever reason, to gauge … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, History | Tagged , | 9 Comments