This study is an outgrowth of our interest in the history of modern chemistry. The paucity of reliable, quantitative knowledge about past science was brought home forcibly to us when we undertook a research seminar in the comparative history of modern chemistry in Britain, Germany, and the United States. That seminar, which took place at the University of Pennsylvania in the spring of 1975, was paralleled by one devoted to the work of the "Annales School". The two seminars together catalyzed the attempt to construct historical measures of change in aspects of one science, or "chem- ical indicators". The present volume displays our results. Perhaps our labors may be most usefully compared with the work of those students of medieval science who devote their best efforts to the establish- ment of texts. Only when acceptable texts have been constructed from fragmentary and corrupt sources can scholars move on to the more satisfying business of making history. So too in the modern period, a necessary pre- liminary to the full history of any scientific profession is the establishing of reliable quantitative information in the form of statistical series.
This volume does not offer history. Instead it provides certain element- indicators -- that may be useful to individuals interested in the history of American chemistry and chemical industry, and suggestive for policy.
`... a fantastic collection of quantitative data linked to a splendid bibliography. Arnold Thackray et al have produced a monumental work enlivened by moments of bouncy prose and authentic chutzpah.'
Technology and Culture, July 1987
`... well planned and meticulously organized book ... The authors have done a fantastic amount of work in producing this gold mine of interesting data on a multitude of topics. A panorama of American chemistry, its place in society and the world, this volume is a useful compendium of conclusions as well as facts on American chemistry. It will be of interest to chemists, chemical engineers, historians and sociologists of science and technology, specialists in science indicators, policy analysts, and anyone concerned with American science.'
Annals of Science
`...a must for historians of chemistry, both as a source of information and as an example of good historiography. Historians of American business, culture, and education also will find the book useful because the data it presents ara analyzed in the context. ... Academic, industrial and especially government science advisers will find the book invaluable because of the information it offers on trends and nontrends. Presumably, the writers of the Pimental Report reviewed this text. If they did not, they should have. Chemists, in general, too, will find the book interesting because it provides a different perspective on the community in which we work. It forces us to look at ourselves as members of an enormous and very complex community.'
Chemical & Engineering News (1986)
1. Orientations.- 1.1. American Chemistry in Cultural Context.- 1.2. Indicators of Trends in American Chemistry.- 1.3. Indicators and History.- 1.4. The Structure of This Study.- 2. Chemistry as Occupation and Profession.- 2.1. Chemistry as Occupation.- 2.1.1. The Differentiation of Occupations.- 2.1.2. The Problems of Measurement.- 2.1.3. Indicators of the Occupation.- 2.2. Chemistry as Profession.- 2.2.1. The American Chemical Society.- 2.2.2. The Professionalization of Chemistry.- 2.2.3. Chemistry among the Professions.- 3. Chemical Education as Context.- 3.1. Higher Education.- 3.1.1. Exponential Growth and Relative Decline.- 3.1.2. Decoupling: Vocation and Culture.- 3.2. Secondary Education.- 3.3. Mass Culture.- 4. Chemical Industry as Context.- 4.1. Diversities and Definitions.- 4.2. Chemicals and Allied Products.- 4.3. Oligopoly and Patents.- 4.4. Industry, Progress, and Boosterism.- 5. A Second Look at Employment.- 5.1. Industry.- 5.1.1. Chemists in Industry.- 5.1.2. Research Laboratories and Research Workers.- 5.2. Government.- 5.2.1. The Federal Government.- 5.2.2. Contexts of Federal Employment.- 5.2.3. State and Local Government.- 5.3. Academe.- 5.4. Other Contexts.- 6. Chemistry as Discipline.- 6.1. The Chemical Discipline and the Research University.- 6.2. Papers, Prizes, and International Prestige.- 6.2.1. Citations of American Research.- 6.2.2. Nobel Prizes.- 6.3. The Entrenchment of Chemistry.- 6.4. The Differentiation of Chemistry.- 6.4.1. Chemical Journals.- 6.4.2. Specialization and ACS Strategy.- 6.4.3. Specialty Structure.- 6.5. ACS Presidents: Some Micro-Indicators.- 6.5.1. Age Structure.- 6.5.2. Educational Background.- 6.5.3. Institutional Loci and Employment.- 6.5.4. Social Ties.- 6.6. Concluding Remarks.- Appendixes.- A. Chemistry and Chemists: Alternative Definitions.- B. Chemical Industry: Alternative Definitions.- C. Procedures Used in Analysis of Citations.- D. A Note on the Treatment of Errors.- E. Trend Analyses: Technical Details.- Tables.- An Introductory Note.- I. Data Sources.- A. Federal Government.- B. Other.- II. Bibliography, Historiography, and Methodology.- III. Other Books and Articles.