Oxygen, by Carl Djerassi and Roald Hoffmann

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Dramatised reading

Hospital, 64, 08001 Barcelona

Sun 26 Feb · 11:00 - 13:00
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Who discovered oxygen: Lavoisier, Priestley, Scheele? Starting from this question, Carl Djerassi and Roald Hoffmann present us with two situations at very different times: 1777, with the hypothetical meeting of the three scientists who discovered oxygen, and 2001, when the Nobel Foundation decides to award a retrospective prize and must decide which of the three deserves it.

Alternating between the two periods, we see how the scientific community of the 18th century and the Nobel Committee of the 21st century try to prove who was the first person to discover oxygen and, therefore, opened the way to the chemical revolution. Not forgetting the fundamental role that the scientists' wives will play in this work of intrigue. This story allows us to reflect on questions that are very present in science today; why is it important to be the first in science, what is in fact a scientific discovery?

An amusing play about ambition, ethics and scientific curiosity, which shows that perhaps today's scientific community is not so different from that of 1777.

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