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The Politics of Chemistry

The Politics of Chemistry
Science and Power in Twentieth-Century Spain

£75.00

Part of Science in History

  • Publication planned for: August 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from August 2019
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108482431

£ 75.00
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  • Agustí Nieto-Galan argues that chemistry in the twentieth century was deeply and profoundly political. Far from existing in a distinct public sphere, chemical knowledge was applied in ways that created strong links with industrial and military projects, and national rivalries and international endeavours, that materially shaped the living conditions of millions of citizens. It is within this framework that Nieto-Galan analyses how Spanish chemists became powerful ideological agents in different political contexts, from liberal to dictatorial regimes, throughout the century. He unveils chemists' position of power in Spain, their place in international scientific networks, and their engagement in fierce ideological battles in an age of extremes. Shared discourses between chemistry and liberalism, war, totalitarianism, religion, and diplomacy, he argues, led to advancements in both fields.

    • Explores the role of chemistry as a modernising agent in the twentieth century
    • Highlights the inherently political nature of science, and its links with different political regimes, from dictatorships to democracies
    • Enriches our knowledge about the history of Spain in the twentieth century
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Scientists were prominent in building Spain's democratic Republic - two, the chemist José Giral and the physiologist Juan Negrín, became prime ministers. Science under the Franco dictatorship was dominated by one chemist, José María Albareda while another, Manuel Lora-Tamayo, was Minister of Education and Science in the 1960s. This fascinating and totally original work examines the links between chemistry and politics in a way that casts its light far beyond the specifics of Spain.' Paul Preston, London School of Economics and Political Science

    'After taking sides during the Spanish Civil War, chemists either emigrated, endured persecution in Spain, or supported the Franco regime - the latter often selling out their colleagues in the process. Today the Fascist chemists are honored in Spain, but not their victims, an injustice this path-breaking and important book will correct.' Mark Walker, Union College, New York

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: August 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108482431
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • contains: 36 b/w illus. 1 map
    • availability: Not yet published - available from August 2019
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    Preface
    Acknowledgments
    Chronology
    List of abbreviations
    Introduction
    Biographies of power
    A political chemistry
    1. Dreams of Modernity
    1.1 Cosmopolitanism
    1.2 Laboratories and schools
    1.3 Useful chemistry
    2. A republican science
    2.1 A new enlightenment
    2.2 Nobel visitors
    2.3 The Silver Age of industry
    3. War weapons
    3.1 A chemical civil war
    3.2 A damaged community
    3.3 Tortured skills
    4. Totalitarian ambitions
    4.1 Fascist chemistry
    4.2 Chemistry and religion
    5. Autarchic ambiguities
    5.1 'Our' chemicals
    5.2 'Technical' chemistry
    5.3 Chemical diplomacy
    6. Technocratic progress
    6.1 'Neutral' expertise
    6.2 Cold war allies
    6.3 Corporate chemistry
    7. Liberal dissent
    7.1 Chemists in exile
    7.2 Internal refugees
    Conclusion: the moral ambiguity of chemistry
    Pure-applied chemistry
    Modernisation paradoxes
    A troubled identity
    Chemists as intellectuals
    History and memory
    Addendum: Juan Julio Bonet Sugrañes (1940–2006)
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Agustí Nieto-Galan, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
    Agustí Nieto-Galan is Professor of History of Science at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), He has written widely on the history of chemistry and natural dyestuffs, the history of science popularization and the urban history of science (eighteenth to twentieth centuries). In 2009 and 2018, he was awarded the 'ICREA-Acadèmia' Research Prize by the Catalan Government.

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