TCE ForumWhats NewSearchOrders


The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 17 (2012) pp 128-132
DOI 10.1007/s00897122430

Giacomo Ciamician and His Chemistry Courses in Bologna Over the Years 1889 to 1921

Marco Taddia

“G. Ciamician” Department of Chemistry, University of Bologna, Via F. Selmi 2, I-40126 Bologna (Italy),
Received January 9, 2012. Accepted May 16, 2012.

Published: 15 June 2012

Abstract. Giacomo Ciamician, an Italian chemist of distant Armenian ancestry, was born in Trieste in 1857 and died in Bologna in 1922. Often referred to as the “father of organic photochemistry”, he also made important contributions to the chemistry of pyrrole and of selected vegetal compounds. In appreciation of his achievements he was nominated nine times for the Nobel prize, not only by his Italian colleagues but also by foreign scientists, such as Emil Fisher (1852–1919). He became professor of General Chemistry at the University of Padua in 1887 and two years later was appointed to the chair of that title at the University of Bologna, where he remained for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, no matter how profound his dedication to teaching, he never wrote any textbook. The only remaining evidence of his lectures are the students’ notes and a book edited by one of his pupils. To mark the centenary of “The Photochemistry of the Future”, a famous address delivered by him on the occasion of the Eighth International Congress of Applied Chemistry (New York City, 1912), the above-mentioned documents were investigated in the historical perspective for chemical teaching across the nineteenth to twentieth century passage.

Key Words: Chemistry and History; photochemistry

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (258 KB) HTML format

© The Chemical Educator 1996-2015