Citizens of the Chemical Complex: Industrial Expertise and Science Philanthropy in Imperial and Weimar Germany
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CitationLeon, Juan Andres Andres. 2014. Citizens of the Chemical Complex: Industrial Expertise and Science Philanthropy in Imperial and Weimar Germany. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
AbstractThis dissertation is a social and cultural history of chemical industrialists and their role in the development of both science and capitalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It focuses on the case of Germany, where many chemists became some the most powerful industrial leaders during this period. Since the late nineteenth century, chemistry in Germany constituted a cosmos radiating from the large industrial sites, of which the academic discipline was just the tip of the iceberg. The chemical Industry supported a formidable scientific research system, and industrial chemists rose to the highest social circles, from which they exerted unique forms of activism. In particular, science philanthropy provided chemical industrialists with a point of entry to elite German society. Their status as scientists, combined with their manufacturing social backgrounds, led to an inclination towards supporting scientific research through direct participation and political lobbying, with less emphasis on the financial donations common in American philanthropy. Crucially, this support extended beyond chemistry, to other applied sciences and even apparently non-industrial pursuits such as astronomy. In these other fields, they sought to replicate the industrial support system that existed in chemistry, while opening the opportunity to participate directly in their amateur scientific interests. I contend that these non-financial forms of support for science played an important role during the radical changes in twentieth-century Germany, including war, hyperinflation, extreme economic cycles, and the increasing political polarization of the Weimar era.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11745705
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