Science: Berthelot's Centenary

One reason for choosing last week to dedicate the international chemistry cornerstone was that the week marked the hundredth anniversary of Marcellin Pierre Eugène Berthelot's birth.**

Berthelot proved the science of organic chemistry. Before him chemists thought that they could make compounds only of inorganic elements, that organic growths depended upon a "vital principle." Berthelot reasoned that all chemical phenomena followed physical laws. In his laboratory he treated glycerin with certain acids and got fats, oils and butters. He combined hydrogen and carbon by means of the voltaic arc and got acetylene. "Berthelot condenses...

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