Men and Molecules
100 years of the Belgian chemical and pharmaceutical industries
The world of chemistry is a world of knowledge. The curiosity, hard work and talent of a long list of men and women, most of whom remain shrouded in obscurity, have helped us to gain a better understanding of the world we live in. The knowledge they have uncovered has paved the way for the growth of the chemical industry and the development of a host of new, widely accessible products, from the simplest material to the latest cutting-edge technology. This richly illustrated book traces this vibrant history, in which a series of triumphs are punctuated by disappointments and the road to progress is never smooth. In 2019, essenscia, the Belgian Federation for Chemistry and Life Sciences industries, celebrates its centenary. To mark this occasion, this book gives readers the opportunity to look back at the defining episodes in the history of the Belgian chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, while also emphasising the importance of innovation for the future in a constantly changing society.
About the authors
Kenneth Bertrams is a professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Modern and Contemporary Worlds Research Unit), where he teaches economic history and the history of science and technology. Geerdt Magiels is a biologist and philosopher; he writes and lectures on science, art, health, medicine, biology and society.