Pure Intelligence: The Life Of William Hyde Wollaston by Melvyn C. UsselmanPure Intelligence: The Life Of William Hyde Wollaston by Melvyn C. Usselman

Pure Intelligence: The Life Of William Hyde Wollaston

byMelvyn C. Usselman

Hardcover | May 21, 2015

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William Hyde Wollaston made an astonishing number of discoveries in an astonishingly varied number of fields: platinum metallurgy, the existence of ultraviolet radiation, the chemical elements palladium and rhodium, the amino acid cystine, and the physiology of binocular vision, among others. Along with his colleagues Humphry Davy and Thomas Young, he was widely recognized during his life as one of Britain's leading scientific practitioners in the first part of the nineteenth century, and the  deaths of all three within a six-month span, between 1828 and 1829, were seen by many as the end of a glorious period of British scientific supremacy. Unlike Davy and Young, however, Wollaston was not the subject of a contemporary biography, and his many impressive achievements have fallen into obscurity as a result.

Pure Intelligence is the first book-length study of Wollaston, his science, and the environment in which he thrived. Drawing on previously-unstudied laboratory records as well as historical reconstructions of chemical experiments and discoveries, and written in a highly accessible style, Pure Intelligence will help to reinstate Wollaston in the history of science, and the pantheon of its great innovators.
Melvyn C. Usselman was professor emeritus in the Department of Chemistry at Western University in London, Ontario.
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Title:Pure Intelligence: The Life Of William Hyde WollastonFormat:HardcoverDimensions:424 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.4 inPublished:May 21, 2015Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022624573X

ISBN - 13:9780226245737

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Editorial Reviews

"Somehow no biography of William Hyde Wollaston materialised during or just after his life, and over time he became little more than a name, sometimes regarded as a recluse. Now after a lifetime’s devotion, Usselman has magnificently filled the gap with a book that brings this great man to life and puts him in his context of Regency Britain and its ‘Second Scientific Revolution,’ in which science became specialised and professional. Anyone with interests in the history of science generally as well as in chemistry specifically will want to read and enjoy this biography, and I am happy to commend it most warmly."