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Position: Home > issue > February 28, 2021 Volume 2, Issue 1
Organic Synthesis: A Plea for Pure Science
Category:   Editorial   Download:  PDF  Figure  Endnote
Author: Henry N.C. Wong

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Organic synthesis: arts of science


In 1883, Henry A. Rowland, the first President of the American Physical Society and Professor of Physics at Johns Hopkins University, published an essay entitled ¡°A Plea for Pure Science¡± in Popular Science Monthly. He took the development of gunpowder as an example to emphasize that SCIENCE itself must be sought in the applications of science. ¡°They [Chinese] have known the application of gunpowder for centuries; and yet the reasons for its peculiar action, if sought in the proper manner, would have developed the science of chemistry, and even of physics, with all their numerous applications.¡± This paper includes some questionable viewpoints, but the one mentioned here is worthy of our reflection on its implications.





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