Prometheans in the Lab

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9780071407953: Prometheans in the Lab
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"...excellent job of describing the chemical processes and their legacies-both beneficial and unintended. She never lets any of her characters be good or bad, just human. This humanity makes her stories gripping. I highly recommend this thoughtful and thought-provoking book. McGrayne successfully describes the ambiguous effects of chemical technology and the role that human strengths and frailties play on mitigating or exacerbating those effects."—Chemical & Engineering News

"...a compelling read."—Nature

"Sharon Bertsch McGrayne's appealing collection of biographical essays reminds us how much we owe to chemistry." ­­—New Scientist

"On your next trip to the bookstore bypass the action adventure thrillers and seek out Prometheans in the Lab by Sharon McGrayne . . . I wish that (it) were twice its length." —­­PopularMechanics.com

"In this striking and readable collection of nine thumbnail biographies of heroic (and troubled) figures in the history of chemistry . . . McGrayne is conscientious about showing the downside of each chemical breakthrough, and the human flaws and 'features' of each Promethean." ­­—Choice

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From the Back Cover:

The History of the Chemical Revolution--and How it Has Shaped Our World

"Chemistry's relationship with the public is unique ... Chemistry's products become part of our everyday lives and are profoundly intertwined with society's tastes, needs, and desires...."

Leblanc, Perkin, Rillieux--they aren't household names of science, yet they are some of the chemists responsible for products that make our lives easier, cleaner, and sweeter. Soap, sugar, colorful dyes, clean water, safe refrigeration, and powerful cars--they're taken for granted, yet behind every chemical product is the story of a scientist and a breakthrough discovery.

Acclaimed science writer Sharon Bertsch McGrayne depicts this chemical revolution through the lives of its creators. Prometheans in the Lab takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of history through epidemics, wars, scandal, moral dilemmas, and personal tragedies as McGrayne explores the upside of each pivotal discovery, and also its sometimes devastating effects on the environment and public health. It is an enlightening account of chemical discoveries, the people who discovered them, and how they shaped the modern world--for better...and for worse.

"...these are the dramatic stories of bold chemists who irrevocably changed our lives. They are indeed Prometheans who made our modern world."

Sharon Bertsch McGrayne is a science writer and award-winning journalist. She has been a reporter for Scripps-Howard, Crain's, Gannett, and other newspapers covering education, politics, science, and health issues. She is a former science editor and writer for Encyclopaedia Britannica and the author of several books, including Nobel Prize Women in Science.

About the Author:

Sharon Bertsch McGrayne is a science writer and award-winning journalist.

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9780071350075: Prometheans in the Lab: Chemistry and the Making of the Modern World

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ISBN 10:  0071350071 ISBN 13:  9780071350075
Publisher: McGraw-Hill, 2001
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