By Arnold Thackray
This learn is an outgrowth of our curiosity within the historical past of contemporary chemistry. The paucity of trustworthy, quantitative wisdom approximately previous technology was once introduced domestic forcibly to us once we undertook a study seminar within the comparative background of recent chemistry in Britain, Germany, and the USA. That seminar, which happened on the college of Pennsylvania within the spring of 1975, was once paralleled by way of one dedicated to the paintings of the "Annales School". the 2 seminars jointly catalyzed the try and build ancient measures of switch in features of 1 technological know-how, or "chem ical indicators". the current quantity screens our effects. might be our labors could be such a lot usefully in comparison with the paintings of these scholars of medieval technology who dedicate their top efforts to the identify ment of texts. in basic terms while appropriate texts were made from fragmentary and corrupt resources can students circulation directly to the extra fulfilling company of constructing heritage. So too within the sleek interval, an important pre liminary to the complete historical past of any clinical career is the setting up of trustworthy quantitative info within the type of statistical sequence. This quantity doesn't provide heritage. in its place it offers sure point- signs -- that could be worthwhile to members drawn to the background of yankee chemistry and chemical undefined, and suggestive for policy.
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Additional resources for Chemistry in America 1876–1976: Historical Indicators
While exponential increases characterize the American academic system, there are dangers in being transfixed by the dramatic phenomenon of absolute growth. 1-8 reveals, chemistry has been subject to an enduring trend of relative decline for over half a century. In that time undergraduate chemistry degrees decreased in relative standing by an order of magnitude The time series for doctorates are limited to PhDs (see 1B, Adkins, 1975, 12-14). Since the category of first professional degree does not apply to most scientific disciplines, the discussion below uses second-level and masters as interchangeable labels when referring to degrees in these disciplines.
The conceptual issue overlaps with a practical problem. S. Bureau of the Census) with purposes of their own in mind. Their definitions do not necessarily remain stable over time or coincide with our purposes. 6 In the case of chemistry as occupation, the twin problems emerge with respect to the three categories of (a) chemists, assayers, and metallurgists; (b) chemists, chemical engineers, and biochemists; and (c) chemical educators. A time series on "chemistry as occupation" should include everyone who is engaged in practicing, advancing, or teaching the concepts or methods of chemistry.
This latter ratio has recovered steadily in the quarter century since 1950, signaling the extent to which holders of graduate degrees in chemistry are infiltrating the profession. 3. CHEMISTRY AMONG THE PROFESSIONS One final aspect of chemistry as occupation and profession deserves mention. 1 it was shown that chemistry has occupied a gradually increasing fraction of the labor force. Even so, chemists have always constituted a tiny fraction of that larger group (about 15 per 10 000 in 1970). It is instructive to consider the growth of chemistry as an occupational grouping in the context of the next most general level of aggregation of Census categories, namely "professional, technical, and kindred workers".