Priestley's memoir on respiration, read in January 1776, in which he regards respiration as ‘a true phlogistic process,’ was not original in idea, but was acknowledged by Lavoisier as the starting-point of his own work on the subject, published in the next year. In the spring of 1778 Priestley returned to the important researches on vegetable physiology of 1772, and discovered oxygen in the bladders of seaweed. In June and the following months he found that this gas is given off in the light from the green conferva in water, but was doubtful as to the nature of the conferva until the following winter, when, with the help of William Bewley and others, he found it to be vegetable, and then extended his researches to other plants, but did not publish them till 1781. Meanwhile John Ingenhousz had published the main facts in 1779. Priestley accused him of plagiarism in 1800, after exonerating him from all suspicion in 1787. Priestley showed that the oxygen given off is due to the presence of gas in the water, and, also with the help of Bewley, and in opposition to Ingenhousz, that the ‘seeds’ (spores) of the conferva come from the air, or pre-exist in the water, and are not spontaneously generated. He made numerous minor experiments of varying value on the effect of gases on plants.
Reich's bions were similar if not identical to Béchamp's microzymas. In his defense, Reich said that he saw bions when others could not because good microscopists had to learn to "resonate" with the specimen. Reich's work on sexuality and electricity led him to his bion research, which in turn led him to investigating something that he called "orgone" energy. He performed numerous experiments with the energy and built orgone accumulators that defied present notions of physics, as the temperature inside the accumulator was greater than outside it. Reich even had Albert Einstein's interest for a while before Einstein came up with untested explanations for the temperature increase and lost interest (World War II was raging at the time, so Einstein can be perhaps somewhat forgiven for that unscientific attitude). When Reich had advanced cancer patients sit in his accumulators, they lived much longer than those who did not. Numerous people and animals that sat in orgone accumulators experienced remarkable healing episodes.
Ancient Egyptian Science and Technology - Crystalinks
Considering the extent of Priestley's influence, relatively little scholarship has been devoted to him. In the early 20th century, Priestley was most often described as a conservative and dogmatic scientist who was nevertheless a political and religious reformer. In a historiographic review essay, historian of science describes the two dominant portraits of Priestley: the first depicts him as "a playful innocent" who stumbled across his discoveries; the second portrays him as innocent as well as "warped" for not understanding their implications better. Assessing Priestley's works as a totality has been difficult for scholars because of his wide-ranging interests. His scientific discoveries have usually been divorced from his theological and metaphysical publications to make an analysis of his life and writings easier, but this approach has been challenged recently by scholars such as John McEvoy and Robert Schofield. Although early Priestley scholarship claimed that his theological and metaphysical works were "distractions" and "obstacles" to his scientific work, scholarship published in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s maintained that Priestley's works constituted a unified theory. However, as Schaffer explains, no convincing synthesis of his work has yet been expounded. More recently, in 2001, historian of science Dan Eshet has argued that efforts to create a "synoptic view" have resulted only in a rationalization of the contradictions in Priestley's thought, because they have been "organized around philosophical categories" and have "separate[d] the producers of scientific ideas from any social conflict".
A & C Black Ltd., 1929, 2nd Edition
Priestley published the first volume of his projected history of experimental philosophy, The History and Present State of Discoveries Relating to Vision, Light and Colours (referred to as his Optics), in 1772. He paid careful attention to the history of optics and presented excellent explanations of early optics experiments, but his mathematical deficiencies caused him to dismiss several important contemporary theories. Furthermore, he did not include any of the practical sections that had made his History of Electricity so useful to practicing natural philosophers. Unlike his History of Electricity, it was not popular and had only one edition, although it was the only English book on the topic for 150 years. The hastily written text sold poorly; the cost of researching, writing, and publishing the Optics convinced Priestley to abandon his history of experimental philosophy.
List of unusual words beginning with E - Phrontistery
Although Priestley claimed that was only a hobby, he took it seriously. In his History of Electricity, he described the scientist as promoting the "security and happiness of mankind". Priestley's science was eminently practical and he rarely concerned himself with theoretical questions; his model was . When he moved to Leeds, Priestley continued his electrical and chemical experiments (the latter aided by a steady supply of carbon dioxide from a neighboring ). Between 1767 and 1770, he presented five papers to the from these initial experiments; the first four papers explored and other phenomena related to , while the fifth reported on the conductivity of charcoals from different sources. His subsequent experimental work focused on chemistry and .