The University of Wisconsin Press

Medical Science


Lavoisier and the Chemistry of Life
An Exploration of Scientific Creativity
Frederic Lawrence Holmes

Antoine Lavoisier, the author of the "chemical revolution," also did much to estabish the foundations for the fields of organic chemistry and biochemistry.

Here, Frederic Lawrence Holmes gives us an intimate portrait of Lavoisier's investigations, ranging over twenty years, from 1773 to 1792, on respiration, fermentation, and plant and animal matter. These studies, Holmes finds, were not simply belated applications of Lavoisier's established chemical theories, but intimately bound from the beginning to his more widely known research on combustion and calcination.

“Holmes has succeeded in giving us a brilliant and exhaustive explication of Lavoisier’s creative vision, his experimental strategies and theoretical constructs. This is reflected in his intimate knowledge of Lavoisier’ laboratory notebooks and other documents, as well as his obvious familiarity with the large body of Lavoisier scholarship. In short, Holmes has made an important contribution to the history of science and biochemistry and to our understanding of scientific creativity.”—Alex Berman, Journal of the History of Medicine

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Drawing of an old chemistry lab

May 1985

LC: 84-040152 QP
608 pp.  5 7/8 x 9
23 illus.

The cloth edition of this title, ISBN 978-0-299-09980-0, is out of print but the paperback is available.

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Paper $24.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-09984-8
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