Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 68.djvu/291

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PSM V68 D291 Adolf von Baeyer.png

Professor Adolf von Baeyer.

a large group of men active in research, especially from Kekulé. and began the investigations in organic chemistry which have made him eminent. It seems desirable to rail attention to the meat advantages that Baeyer had, which arc paralleled in the lives of many other eminent men. because we need at the present time to learn how far scientific achievement is due to inborn genius and how far to favorable circumstances. It is quite possible that the dearth of distinguished men in the United States is less due to lack of natural ability than to the fact that fifty years ago the environment here was but rarely so favorable as in Germany, France or Great Britain.

Baeyer's fortunate career has continued to the present time. He followed Kekulé to Geneva but soon qualified as a docent in Berlin with a research on uric acid. His promotion at Berlin was slow, but he developed an important laboratory in connection with the Gewerheakademie, where he had as students and assistants Liebermann, Graebe and Victor Meyer, and continued his work on the synthesis of