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The Experimental Self: Humphry Davy and the Making of a Man of Science

Jan Golinski

Abstract

This book is a biographical study of the English chemist Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829). It considers Davy’s career as a process of experimental self-fashioning, in which his adaptation to the prevailing social circumstances was accompanied by literary and scientific inquiry into his own subjectivity. Davy’s early life led from experiments on breathing gases (including nitrous oxide) to fame as a public scientific lecturer at the Royal Institution in London. He gained renown as the discoverer of several chemical elements, applied his knowledge to such practical problems as the design of a safety ... More

Keywords: Humphry Davy, chemistry, biography, personae, scientific careers, self-fashioning, Royal Institution, London, Regency

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780226351360
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2017 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226368849.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jan Golinski, author
University of New Hampshire