Science History


Today in Science History – February 18 – Stainless Steel

February 18 is Harry Brearley’s birthday. Brearley was an English metallurgist who discovered “rustless steel” or stainless steel. Brearley was searching for a new steel to use to minimize the corrosion of gun barrels but could still resist high temperatures and pressures associated with firing a gun. He discovered that […]

Harry Brearley

Friedrich Konrad Beilstein

Today in Science History – February 17 – Friedrich Beilstein and the Beilstein Database

February 17 is Friedrich Beilstein’s birthday. Beilstein was the Russian chemist who originally wrote Handbuch der Organischen Chemie or Handbook of Organic Chemistry. This organic chemical reaction handbook was published in 1881 and originally contained information on 1,500 different organic compounds. It would grow larger with each edition even to the […]


Galileo Galilei

Today in Science History – February 15 – Galileo Galilei

February 15 is Galileo Galilei’s birthday. Galileo was an Italian natural philosopher who was the key figure at the beginning of the scientific revolution and made several major contributions to its progress. Before Galileo, science was not considered a profession. Typically, people who did ‘science’ were considered natural philosophers and […]


Today in Science History – February 14 – Julius Nieuwland   Recently updated !

February 14 is the birthday of Julius Nieuwland. Nieuwland was a Belgian priest and chemist who discovered the first commercially successful artificial rubber, polychloroprene. This is better known by DuPont’s trademark name, neoprene. Nieuwland discovered he could polymerize acetylene into a rubber-like jelly of divinylacetylene. The story might have ended […]

Julius Nieuwland

Étienne François Geoffroy

Today in Science History – February 13 – Étienne Geoffroy

February 13 is Étienne François Geoffroy’s birthday. Geoffroy was the French physician best known for compiling the first chemical affinity tables. Chemists have long known if you mix two substances together, sometimes you get something new. The substances that do form new products are said to share an affinity towards […]