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Stepping through Science's Door: C. W. Scheele, from Pharmacist's Apprentice to Man of Science
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science and Technology.
2008 (English)In: Ambix, ISSN 0002-6980, E-ISSN 1745-8234, Vol. 55, no 1, 29-49 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This reinterpretation of Carl Wilhelm Scheele's (1742-86) early life and career analyses the social interplay between Scheele and other chemists who were active in eighteenth-century Sweden. It is argued that Scheele, a rather lowly journeyman working in peripheral pharmacies, had to work hard and traverse several geographical and social boundaries to gain a foothold in the scientific community. Eventually, Scheele's skilful analysis of the mineral magnesia nigra would establish him as one of the pivotal Swedish chemists. However, this happened only after Scheele had managed to prove himself as a knowledgeable chemist who did not threaten the authority of certain socially superior colleagues. When Scheele had gained a place in the scientific community, the exchange logic of the eighteenth-century republic of letters permitted him to trade experimental results for other kinds of resources. Hence, he gained in both social status, economic prosperity and scientific prominence in a relatively short time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 55, no 1, 29-49 p.
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URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-33350DOI: 10.1179/174582308X255398ISI: 000207562200002ScopusID: 2-s2.0-58149163321OAI: diva2:414692
QC 20110504Available from: 2011-05-04 Created: 2011-05-04 Last updated: 2011-05-04Bibliographically approved

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