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Public Lecture by Prof. Lawrence Principe

'Alchemy at the Cutting-Edge: The Surprising Longevity of Gold-Making'

Wednesday 9th May 2018, 4-6pm, S0.21 (Social Sciences Building), University of Warwick.

The lecture will be followed by a small drinks reception in the Social Sciences foyer. All welcome.

Alchemy did not part ways with chemistry in the seventeenth century, as most popular histories suggest and as many historians still believe. Transmutational alchemy—the attempt to turn base metals into gold—was practised by many leading members of the Paris Academy of Science in the first half of the eighteenth century. More surprisingly still, the practice persisted into the nineteenth century, when there was a remarkable but today scarcely noticed rapprochement between alchemy and chemistry, including among members of the Paris Academy. This lecture will appeal to a broad audience, including chemists, historians and classicists, as well as students in these disciplines.

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