Elective Affinities

In the mid-eighteenth century, the famous Encyclopédie by Diderot and D’Alembert, stated that «an interest in chemistry» was really «a madman’s passion». Chemists belonged to «a different race», «very few in number» and society expected almost «nothing from their art». However, when the century of enlightenment drew to a close, another commenter stated that the chemist had become an «idol», before which all kinds of people «bowed down», be they princes or clerics, educated or uneducated, subjects of high or low rank, alike. In the International Year of Chemistry, this Mètode monographic issue looks at the remarkable variations in the social image of chemistry, its affinities and concerns, and its many faces, spanning the eighteenth century to the present day.

Monograph coordinated by:
Antonio García Belmar. Professor of the Department of Community Nursing, Preventive Medicine and Public Health and of the History of Science. University of Alicante.
José Ramón Bertomeu Sánchez. Professor at the López Piñero Institute for the History of Medicine and Science (University of Valencia-CSIC).
© Mètode, Annual Review 2012.


Two artists of great renown and projection have collaborated with Mètode on this monograph devoted to chemistry. The painter Uiso Alemany (Valencia, 1941) proposes a series of faces portraying «self-absorbed» chemists, while Eugènia Balcells (Barcelona, 1943) brings us some of her productions and multimedia installations, exploring the multi-faceted relationship between science and art.
Above, Uiso Alemany. «The Self-absorbed Chemist Series», 2010. Mixed technique, 27 x 35 cm.

© Mètode 2011 - 69. Online only. Elective Affinities - Spring 2011