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Oxygen : a play in two acts by Carl Djerassi
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Oxygen : a play in two acts (edition 2001)

by Carl Djerassi, Roald Hoffmann

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312559,275 (3.5)None
What motivates a scientist? One key factor is the pressure from thecompetition to be the first to discover something new. The moralconsequences of this are the subject of the play "Oxygen", dealingwith the discovery of this all-important element. The focus of theplay is on chemical and political revolutions, as well as the NobelPrize, which will be awarded for the 100th time in 2001. The actiontakes place in 1777 and 2001; and the play is written for 3 actorsand 3 actresses who play a total of 11 characters. The worldpremiere will take place in early 2001 in San Diego, and the Germanpremiere in September. The world-famous authors Carl Djerassi and Roald Hoffmann are aguarantee of excellence and suspense, both in their role asscientists -- Carl Djerassi is known as the "Father of the Pill"while Roald Hoffmann received the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1982- as well as in their role as authors -- Djerassi has writtenseveral successful novels, while Hoffmann is renowned for hispoetry.… (more)
Member:hcubic
Title:Oxygen : a play in two acts
Authors:Carl Djerassi
Other authors:Roald Hoffmann
Info:Weinheim ; New York : Wiley-VCH, c2001.
Collections:history of science, Autographed or Inscribed, Your library
Rating:****
Tags:chemical education

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Oxygen by Carl Djerassi

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One Nobelist and one who should have been, collaborated on this interesting play centered on the discovery of oxygen. It is pretty good stage work, for a couple of witty guys, both of whom I have known. The play debuted April 2-7 at the San Diego Repertory Theatre, during the ACS National Meeting there. I asked them both to sign my copy when I saw them at the meeting. ( )
  hcubic | Mar 26, 2020 |
A play about the discovery of oxygen - or more accurately, about the battle for priority in the discovery of oxygen. Alternating between 1777 and 2001 Sweden, the characters attempt to determine which of three great men discovered the crucial gas first. Also, does it matter which one understood what they had discovered first? Scheele and Priestly continued to put their discoveries into the framerwork of phlogistan, while Lavoisier correctly dispensed with phlogistan and preferred the name Oxygen - which is the name we now use. The question, then - should the other two step aside in priority because Lavoisier knew what he'd found, and the other two didn't? And what role did Mme. Lavoisier play in it all? The play is written two actual chemists, so the science is accurately presented, but the play primarily focuses on the personalities and the discovery without getting bogged down in chemistry minutiae. An entertaining work, and it has the guts to take on the all too popular modern idea that if a scientist is ambitious, or less than godlike in his personal qualities, it somehow renders his science suspect. I just think it might have been a bit better if they'd dispensed with the 2001 plot line, and focused solely on the 1777 meeting. ( )
1 vote Devil_llama | Oct 5, 2013 |
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