1998, Vol. 20, No. 5 (September)
Polish chemistry in the century of the discovery of polonium and radium
by Maria Sklodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie
This is another in a continuing series of articles on chemistry in
IUPAC National Adhering Organizations.
The beginnings of modern chemistry in Poland are connected with a great
educational reform that was introduced by the Royal Commission of Education.
That institution, which was founded in 1773, was in fact the first ministry
of education in Europe. Under its auspices, the chairs of chemistry
and natural history were established in 1782 at what was then known
as Cracow University (now called Jagiellonian University). Jan Jaskiewicz
(1749-1809), who was the first Professor of this chair, and his successor
Franciszek Scheidt (1759-1807), introduced into their lectures the theories
of Antoine Lavoisier. Jedrzej Sniadecki (1768-1838) became Professor
of Chemistry at the University of Vilnius after completing his studies
in Cracow, Pavia and Edinburgh, and in 1800 published the first Polish
textbook of modern chemistry. This eminent scientist exerted a strong
influence on the early stages of development of chemistry in Poland.
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