Sunday, August 1, 2010

Richard Kirwan...last English defender of the "phlogiston theory"

Richard Kirwan
August 1st, 1733 to June 1st, 1812

Richard Kirwan was an "Irish chemist whose Elements of Mineralogy (1784), was the first English systematic treatment of the subject. He did valuable work on chemical affinity and the combining proportions of acids and bases forming salts. Previously a staunch defenderof phlogiston theory, in 1791, Kirwan conceded that the experimental evidence was to the contrary. He was president of the Royal Irish Academy and the Royal Dublin Society. He challenged Antoine Lavoisier's discoveries and the revolutionary views of the Scottish geologist James Hutton. He was also a great eccentric; one of his pet hates was flies. He always dined alone, because of dysphagia; he was unable to swallow food without convulsive movements, distressing for others to view."

Richard Kirwan

Richard Kirwan [Wikipedia]

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