Late Eighteenth Century European Scientists is an account of the remarkable progress made by European scientists at the close of the eighteenth century in the fields of chemistry, electricity, astronomy, and botany. Seven scientists are profiled: Jean Lamarck, Joseph Koelreuter, Antoine Lavoisier, Henry Cavendish, Alessandro Volta, James Watt, and William Herschel. In choosing these scientists, the book emphasizes the following considerations: the need to be representative, to show the contrast between those whose work is primarily experimental and those whose work is speculative, and to include a subject which shows the reaction of science on technology and of technology on society. Comprised of seven chapters, this book begins with Lamarck, whose views, particularly on physics and chemistry, furnish a picture of traditional science during the mid-eighteenth century. The first chapter looks at his life, writings, and work in fields ranging from meteorology and geology to botany, zoology, and evolution. The next chapter focuses on Koelreuter and his experiments on pollen, ovule, pollination, fertilization, and hybridization. The discussion then turns to Cavendish, Herschel, and Volta, who have been included in this monograph primarily because they employed observation and experiment so successfully and as a result made important discoveries. Lavoisier has been chosen on account of his genius for looking at well-known facts and fresh discoveries from a new point of view. Watt has been selected in order to show the technological and sociological difficulties that are involved in applying a new source of power to industry and commerce. This book will be of interest to both students and scientists.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1 Jean Lamarck, 1744-1829 2 Joseph Koelreuter, 1733-1806 3 Antoine Lavoisier, 1743-1794 4 Henry Cavendish, 1731-1810 5 Alessandro Volta, 1745-1827 6 James Watt, 1736-1819 7 William Herschel, 1738-1822