Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/620

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PSM V74 D620 Justus von Liebig.png

Justus von Liebig.

not likely to lead a student to the study of chemistry. He was capable of writing: "The animal is in organic nature the iron; the plant is the water, for nature begins with the relative separation of the sexes, and then ends in this separation. The animal decomposes the iron, the plant decomposes the water. The female and the male sex of the plant is the carbon and nitrogen of the water." Even Kastner, the professor of chemistry whom Liebig went to Bonn to hear and followed to Erlangen, told his students that "the influence of the moon on the weather is obvious, because storms stop as soon as the moon appears."

But fortunately for science Liebig found his way to Paris and came under the influence of Gay-Lussac. In 1824 he was appointed associate professor of chemistry at Giessen and the following year opened the laboratory of chemistry which is generally regarded as the first regular scientific laboratory for research and instruction. The alchemists had their laboratories and the founders of modern chemistry had rooms in which they carried out their experiments. Anatomical laboratories