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The American Synthetic Organic Chemicals IndustryWar and Politics, 1910-1930$
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Kathryn Steen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469612904

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469612904.001.0001

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/ Ideology and Institutions

/ Ideology and Institutions

American Chemists Respond, 1914–1918

(p.113) 4 / Ideology and Institutions
The American Synthetic Organic Chemicals Industry

Kathryn Steen

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the role played by chemists, many of which had trained in Germany, in building a synthetic organic chemicals industry in the United States during World War I. More specifically, it considers the American chemists' involvement in fighting the war and the sense of patriotism that motivated them to “free” synthetic organic chemistry from German dominance. It also looks at the chemists' use of the American Chemical Society and its journals to voice out their sentiments, together with the reorientation of their research and teaching from universities to the nation. Finally, the chapter discusses the challenges posed by the war to the ideology of scientists, particularly with respect to issues of nationalism and internationalism.

Keywords:   chemists, Germany, synthetic organic chemicals industry, United States, World War I, synthetic organic chemistry, American Chemical Society, universities, nationalism, internationalism

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