Organisation des laboratoires de chimie à Paris sous le ministère Duruy : Cas des laboratoires de Fremy et de Wurtz1

Annals of Science 62 (4):501-531 (2005)

Summary As soon as he was appointed Minister of Public Instruction in 1863, Victor Duruy embarked on a major reform of French education. One of his most important initiatives was the creation of a new secondary curriculum designed to prepare for careers in industry, trade, and agriculture. Edme Fremy, professor at the Muséum d'histoire naturelle, took the opportunity of proposing a course of instruction in practical chemistry that would be offered at the Muséum for young men intending to work in industry. Duruy approved the proposal, and funds were immediately made available. In contrast, Charles-Adolphe Wurtz, who led an internationally recognized research laboratory in organic chemistry in the Paris Faculty of Medicine, had difficulty in securing either administrative recognition or financial support. This article draws on the correspondence that Fremy and Wurtz exchanged with Duruy and senior officials in the Ministry between 1863 and 1869 to bring out the significance of the divergent ministerial responses to the two laboratories.
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DOI 10.1080/00033790500286387
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