Great scientists: biochembelle on the Haber-Bosch process

With apologies for the radio silence here, I'm off to perform some professional service for our nation's medical research agency over the next two-and-a-half days. In the meantime, let me direct your viewing eyes to a terrific post from this weekend by my chemist/biochemist colleague, biochembelle, at her blog, There and (hopefully) back again. Her post about Fritz Haber follows from a discussion on Twitter and at Nature Chemistry's Skeptical Chymist blog on an unscientific survey of the "greatest" chemists of all time. biochembelle has a beautifully illustrated history of Haber and the process that fueled a massive increase in food production while also creating a method for chemical warfare. She considers very seriously how we are to view Haber's role in the latter respect. In this regard, an excellent comment came in from British expat, Tideliar, on putting ourselves in the mindset of a generation that knew that war was inevitable at some point in their lifetime. 'belle's post also taught me what BASF stands for as well. Once again, you can read biochembelle's post on Fritz Haber here. Our old friend, Leigh K Boerner, also has a bit more lighthearted look at Haber-Bosch as well.

Author: David Kroll

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  1. I recently had a bit of a look into Haber’s life and his work, and I had no idea of the impact he had during the war. It is a tough situation to consider – he saved millions of people’s lives from starvation through the Haber-Bosch process and went on to dedicate his time to the Nazi war effort. I will read biochembelle’s post with interest.

  2. David, many thanks for promoting my post! It has sparked some great, thoughtful comments, which is one of my favorite aspects of blogging 🙂