By Jonathan Simon
This e-book explores the historical past of pharmacy in France and its courting to the self-discipline of chemistry because it emerged firstly of the 19th century. It argues that an appreciation of the historical past of pharmacy is vital to a whole figuring out of the structure of contemporary technology, specifically the self-discipline of chemistry. As such, it offers a singular interpretation of the chemical revolution (c.1770-1789) that might, doubtless, generate a lot debate at the position of the chemical arts during this tale, a query that has hitherto lacked enough scholarly mirrored image. moreover, the e-book situates this research in the broader context of the French Revolution, arguing that an intimate and direct hyperlink may be drawn among the political upheavals and our imaginative and prescient of the chemical revolution. the tale of the chemical revolution has frequently been advised via concentrating on the small team of French chemists who championed Lavoisier's oxygen thought, in any other case his competitors. this type of point of view emphasises competing theories and interpretations of severe experiments, yet neglects the demanding factor of who might be understood as working towards chemistry within the eighteenth century. by contrast, this research lines the culture of pharmacy as a qualified pursuit that depended on chemical concepts to arrange drugs, and indicates how one of many valuable components of the chemical revolution used to be the kind of awake disassociation of the hot chemistry from this old chemical paintings.
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Additional resources for Chemistry, Pharmacy and Revolution in France, 1777-1809
The implication might even be taken to be that a science is not practiced in a guild, but in an Academy! Indeed, we should bear in mind that in April 1731 the king had founded a Parisian academy for the surgeons. 12 As a pale reflection of this national scientific institution, an academy of apothecaries in the form of the College of Pharmacy could serve its own royal patron by performing functions parallel to those the Royal Academy of Sciences performed for the crown. This tentative claim concerning the pharmacists' ambition for their representative body is supported by the central role of the college's patron, JeanCharles-Pierre Lenoir, Conseiller d'Etat and Lieutenant-General of Police, who was also the chief representative of the king at the college's ceremonies 13 The relationship between Lenoir and the Collège de pharmacie was a symbiotic one, and seems to have exhibited many features of a patron's relationship with a private academy, if not a royal one.
First, pharmacists need to accept the superiority of the new chemistry (including, of course, its new language) in order that they might benefit from its entry into their profession. Second, for the sake of the science of chemistry, pharmacists should render up their secrets, in particular those of their technical expertise, which they had tended to keep hidden in the interests of the 'business' of pharmacy. This second injunction demanded that pharmacists pay the price for being considered scientists, forsaking their guild past and playing by the rules of openness associated with the physical sciences.
On this day, however, despite the number of dignitaries present, it was the turn of the pharmacists' to speak; first M. Habert in his capacity as apothicaire du Corps du Roy and perpetual honorary provost, followed by Trevez, and finally M. Demachy, a demonstrator for the course in botany and natural history. The order in which these men spoke further reflects the centrality of the king's agents in the position of the new Collège. The apothicaire du Corps du Roy was being given the privilege of opening the proceedings, which shows a temporary acceptance of a contested status within the Collège.
Chemistry, Pharmacy and Revolution in France, 1777-1809 by Jonathan Simon