Vol. 22, No. 4
Books and Publications
from The Royal Society of Chemistry Chemistry
Society, and Environment: A New History of the British Chemical
Editor: Colin Russell (History of Chemistry Research Group, Open University,
Milton Keynes MK6 7AA, England, UK).
Public attitudes toward science have turned from awe to mistrust, and
nowhere is this transformation more apparent than in the public image
of the chemical industry. The industry is seen as the great polluter,
with much of the blame for the current environmental crisis laid firmly
at its door. At the other extreme, many attempts by supporters to explain
the benefits of the chemical industry have focused exclusively on the
positive and have lacked any analysis of its effects on either society
or the environment.
This book, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, presents a
critical history of the British chemical industry, with a focus on its
social and environmental impact, both historically and in the present.
Above all, it aims to be objective, and strong criticism is voiced on
some issues. However, unexpected findings also emerge. For example,
the book shows that industrial chemists have always been aware of the
environmental consequences of their activities, and they have often
found satisfactory ways of dealing with them. Overall, the chemical
industry emerges in a more positive light than its popular image suggests.
No assessment of the environmental dilemmas we now face can be complete
without an understanding of how they developed. From academics to industrialists
to politicians, all those concerned with the social and environmental
impact of the chemical industry will find their understanding broadened
by this book. The editor, Colin Russell, and the three contributing
authors are honorary members of the History of Chemistry Research Group
of the Open University.
For further details or to order this book, contact Sales and Customer
Care, The Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomas Graham House, Science Park,
Milton Road, Cambridge, England CB4 0WF, UK; E-mail: [email protected];
Tel.: +44 1223 432360; Fax: +44 1223 423429; Web site: http://www.rsc.org/