Learning the global nature of scientific discovery

Science is a global subject
Chemistry 1105
Learning the global nature of scientific discovery
Science did not suddenly come into existence; it has
been developed over centuries by people. The course of
discovery has often been hazardous, erratic and
controversial. We tend to view modern science and
scientists as being a homogeneous, unified group, but
this is something of an illusion.
In this exercise, we will examine some of the
individuals involved in chemistry’s greatest leaps
forward. We will look at their environment, what
obstacles they faced and what contributions to
knowledge they made, and to what extent these
contributions were accepted at the time.
Each student is assigned a scientist. About two pages (double-spaced) will be written
clearly addressing the following points. Don’t just write an arid summary of work done;
set the scene, place your scientist in his/her historical and social context.
Country of origin and country where work performed (not always the same)
Date of birth
Brief description of political, economic and cultural climate at the time
What contribution was made
How society was changed if at all
What obstacles were overcome
Was acceptance immediate or delayed
Resources to work on this are available in the library and on the internet. One book that
would be highly relevant is “Creations of Fire” by Cathy Cobb.
Acceptable formats are .doc, .rtf, .txt, .wpd, .wps .pdf.