How to See a Diagram: A Visual Anthropology of Chemical Affinity

  title={How to See a Diagram: A Visual Anthropology of Chemical Affinity},
  author={Matthew Daniel Eddy},
  pages={178 - 196}
  • M. Eddy
  • Published 1 January 2014
  • History
  • Osiris
In 1766, Thomas Cochrane entered the Edinburgh classroom of Joseph Black (1728–99) to learn chemistry for the first time. Cochrane was studying medicine, and, like so many of Black’s students, he dutifully recorded several diagrams in his notebooks. These visualizations were not complex. They were, in fact, simple. One of them, reproduced in this essay, was a single “X,” a chiasm. Black used it to illustrate ratios of chemical attraction. This diagram is particularly important for the history… 
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Bibliographie complémentaire
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  • 2021


Black's chiasm occurs in most sets of student notes and in his notes
For a 1770s version, see Joseph Black
  • Chemical Heritage Foundation
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