Alchemy: About the the Role of Alchemists in the History of Chemistry

Transforming the Alchemists. ‘Historians of science are taking a new and lively interest in alchemy, the often mystical investigation into the hidden mysteries of nature that reached its heyday in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries and has been an embarrassment to modern scientists ever since. There was no place in the annals of empirical science, beginning mainly in the 18th century, for the occult practices of obsessed dreamers who sought most famously and impossibly to transform base metals into pure gold. So alchemy fell into disrepute. But in the revival of scholarship on the field, historians are finding reasons to give at least some alchemists their due.’

Related: Triple Point: The Story of Alchemy and the Beginnings of Chemistry.

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