6th International Conference of European Society of History of Science, Lisbon, Portugal, 4–6 September 2014
Call for Papers for a session
Pauling’s « Nature of chemical bond » in post WWII European chemical curricula
The American chemist Linus Pauling began investigating the forces that
held together atoms to form molecules using quantum physics in a series
of articles published between 1931 and 1933. His quantum mechanical
approach was further developed and later disseminated through his
ground-breaking textbook “The Nature of the Chemical Bond” published in
1939, soon to be followed by a second revised edition in 1940.
Considered a milestone in theoretical chemistry in the late 1940s
already, its circulation in Europe was however hindered by World War II
and the subsequent partition of the Old Continent in two blocks that
added to the natural inertia of scientific curriculum to novelty. As a
consequence, in some places it could take a generation before the
implications of this new approach was fully incorporated into the
scientific and teaching communities.
This session aspires to explore how the appropriation developed, and how
local cultures of chemistry and indigenous teaching policies and
traditions adapted the main principles of Pauling´s quantum approach to
chemical bond to their chemistry curricula at the higher education
level, including continuing education.
To that aim, a survey of the many translations (who, when, where, why
and for whom?) of the “The Nature of the Chemical Bond” may serve as a
starting point for analysis. Likewise, studies of the translations and
uses of Pauling’s textbook “General Chemistry”, the spreading of which
further served to establish the new description of chemical bonding, can
add further knowledge about the spread of Pauling’s ideas. The session
furthermore welcomes analysis of the incorporation of Pauling’s ideas
into textbooks and syllabi, as well and studies of the impact of
personal contacts. Young chemists were indeed sent abroad and became
vectors of the novelty they were eager to put into practise in their own
teaching and research.
We welcome papers presenting case-studies of the various local response
to Pauling’s “Nature of the Chemical Bond” in all European countries,
both those considered as central and peripherical.
If you would like to contribute please send your abstract (250, max. 300
words) to: *[email protected] no later than 31 December*.
Brigitte Van Tiggelen (Mémosciences and Université catholique de
Danielle Fauque (GHDSO University Paris Sud, and Club d’histoire de la chimie, SCF, Paris)
Gisela Boeck (Institut für Chemie, Universität Rostock, Rostock)
Annette Lykknes (Programme for Teacher Education (PLU), Norwegian
University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim)