By Arnold Thackray
This learn is an outgrowth of our curiosity within the background of recent chemistry. The paucity of trustworthy, quantitative wisdom approximately previous technology used to be introduced domestic forcibly to us after we undertook a study seminar within the comparative heritage of contemporary chemistry in Britain, Germany, and the U.S.. 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 to build old measures of swap in elements of 1 technology, or "chem ical indicators". the current quantity screens our effects. probably our labors will be so much usefully in comparison with the paintings of these scholars of medieval technology who commit their most sensible efforts to the identify ment of texts. in simple terms whilst applicable texts were constituted of fragmentary and corrupt assets can students flow directly to the extra enjoyable enterprise of creating background. So too within the smooth interval, an important pre liminary to the total historical past of any clinical occupation is the constructing of trustworthy quantitative info within the kind of statistical sequence. This quantity doesn't provide historical past. as a substitute it offers sure point- symptoms -- that could be helpful to participants attracted to the background of yankee chemistry and chemical undefined, and suggestive for policy.
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Extra info for Chemistry in America 1876–1976: Historical Indicators
For ACS activities in this area in the 1930's and 1940s, see III, Browne and Weeks, 1952,228-248. CHEMISTRY AS OCCUPATION AND PROFESSION 33 Accrediting Educational Institutions, the ACS sought to raise the standard of undergraduate training in chemistry. 19 The Society's reorientation notwithstanding, growth in membership slowed considerably in the postWorld War II period as the number of ACS chemists approached a natural ceiling equal to the total of employed chemists, and that total itself appeared to reach a saturation level in the American labor force.
THE PROBLEMS OF MEASUREMENT While continuities in the occupations of chemists may be traced over time, change is also apparent. Such change is easier to treat in qualitative than in quantitative ways. Two difficulties immediately appear when quantitative data are studied. The first is the conceptual problem of setting boundaries for the object under study. The problem surfaces in the choice of criteria for inclusion in the occupational and professional categories of "chemist", the disciplinary category of "chemistry", and the industrial category of "chemical industry".
Most important is the lack of reliable long-run data with which to make such adjustments. The main aim of this report - the construction of indicators that reveal trends over long periods - requires above all else the use of homogeneous and comparable time series. The paramount criterion is that the trends revealed by the series be accurate. Consequently, analyses of trends presented in the main body of the text are based upon those homogeneous 7 Metallurgists are included in the category for chemist in the 1970 Census.