UNWISE RELATIONSHIPS AND AN UNSOUND VALENCE THEORY: THE CHEMICAL CAREER OF ROBERT FERGUS HUNTER (1904-1963)
BY WILLIAM H BROCK AND MICHAEL JEWESS
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work was published in the journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and
Chemistry, Ambix, November 2021, 68(4),
407-430. The doi is
https://doi.org/10.1080/00026980.2021.1984623. The author still has outstanding electronic “offprints” (contact details below).
The life of the Imperial College-trained Robert Fergus Hunter (1904-1963) was a Bildungsroman of a gifted chemist who appeared destined for a prominent academic career in organic chemistry. Two circumstances spoiled his chances. In the first place, he became associated with the declining fortunes of the weekly Chemical News. More seriously, as a professor at the Aligarh Muslim University in British India (1930-1936), he published papers on valence theory with the German-Jewish physicist Rudolf Samuel that fatally destroyed his chance of further academic preferment. Instead he became a research chemist in the food and plastic industries. The paper critically assesses Hunter’s work on valence in the context of a careful scientific review of the pre-1939 work of the topic up to of Linus Pauling. It also provides new light on science in India during the 1930s.
Use this link symmetry to contact Dr Michael Jewess.