"It took them only an instant to cut off his head, but France may not produce another such head in a century."
He should have stuck to chemistry and would have likely survived if he'd fled to England or just stopped being a tax collector.
Few come to epitomize the thoroughgoing elucidation of an entire branch of knowledge the way Lavoisier did chemistry. Part of what I like about your posts is how descriptive and picturesque they are. I think that instead of just learning concepts, kids should also be exposed to the writings and observations of early scientists who trailblazed their way through a certain field, to see how they came up with what they did with their own eyes, reading what they wrote down in their own voices. At some point in college I knew that I wouldn't be able to stand learning any more science until I started doing some research. Some publications that arose from that experience definitely benefited from my naivite - otherwise I would have continued going about certain projects in the same way that the prof had me doing them for a good year. It underscored, for me, just how important creativity and the removal of blinders/ingrained intellectual habits are to scientific discovery. A lot of people talk a good game about the importance of imagination in scientific discovery. It was something entirely different altogether to have actually had that experience and internalized it. Kary Mullis was the personal hero of a fellow undergraduate who worked with me. For various reasons. If you'd known what he was like then you'd understand why. ;-).
Kary Mullis was the personal hero of a fellow undergraduate who worked with me. For various reasons. If you'd known what he was like then you'd understand why. ;-).I've heard things! ;) Eventually, I'll get around to featuring something Mullis-inspired here.I too am fascinated by Lavoisier. I have one or two more Lavoisier-inspired posts.