Ellen Gleditsch (1879-1968) became Norway's first authority on radioactivity and the country's second female full professor. From her many years abroad--in Marie Curie's laboratory in Paris and at Yale University in New Haven with Bertram Boltram--she became internationally acknowledged and developed an extensive personal and scientific network. In the Norwegian scientific community she was, however, less appreciated, and her appointment as a professor in 1929 caused controversy. Despite the recommendation of the expert committee, her predecessor and his allies spread the view that Gleditsch was a diligent but outdated researcher with little scientific promise-a view that apparently persists in the Norwegian chemical community today. In addition to her scientific work, Gleditsch acquired political influence by joining the International Federation of University Women in 1920; she later became the president of both the Norwegian section and the worldwide organization. She worked in particular to establish scholarships enabling women to go abroad.
The results of 20-year investigations of perfluorocarbon gas-transporting emulsions for biological and medical applications performed by russian biophysicists together with chemists and clinicists are reviewed. As a result of these investigations, the blood substitute perftoran was created. Now this commercial blood substitute has different applications in clinics of Russia and other countries.
Historians of medicine--and even Louis Pasteur's biographers--have paid little attention to his close relationship with the Finnish artist Albert Edelfelt. A new look at Edelfelt's letters to his mother, written in Swedish and never quoted at length in English, reveals important aspects of Pasteur's working habits and personality. By understanding the active collaboration through which this very famous portrait was made, we also discover unnoticed things in the painting itself, gain a new appreciation of its original impact on the French public's image of science, and better understand its enduring influence on the portrayal of medicine in the art and the popular culture of many countries even to the present day.
This essay examines how the modern concept of the chemical element emerged during the eighteenth century. It traces this concept to a group of assayers, mineralogists, and chemists active at the Swedish Bureau of Mines (Bergskollegium). Driven by a deep ontological pragmatism, these "mining chemists" came to regard all inquiries into the component parts of metals as useless speculation. Instead, metals were treated as immutable species that made mineralogical taxonomy possible. Their work was a form of Enlightenment boundary work, which associated chrysopoeia and the pursuit of the components of metals with superstition and disreputable activities such as astrology.
We present the first annually resolved record of biologically available Pb and Fe in the Greater North Sea and Iceland during 1040-2004 AD based on shells of the long-lived marine bivalve Arctica islandica. The iron content in pre-industrial shells from the North Sea largely remained below the detection limit. Only since 1830, shell Fe levels rose gradually reflecting the combined effect of increased terrestrial runoff of iron-bearing sediments and eutrophication. Although the lead gasoline peak of the 20th century was well recorded by the shells, bivalves that lived during the medieval heyday of metallurgy showed four-fold higher shell Pb levels than modern specimens. Presumably, pre-industrial bivalves were offered larger proportions of resuspended (Pb-enriched) organics, whereas modern specimens receive fresh increased amounts of (Pb-depleted) phytoplankton. As expected, metal loads in the shells from Iceland were much lower. Our study confirms that bivalve shells provide a powerful tool for retrospective environmental biomonitoring.