|Spreker:||Dr Geert Somsen (Maastricht University)|
Colloid Chemistry did not simply emerge in the early twentieth century. It was launched, by people who wanted to establish it as an autonomous discipline. The field’s most important campaigner was Wolfgang Ostwald, whose USA lecture tour and subsequent book The World of Neglected Dimensions sparked the imaginations of many young researchers and funding agencies. What Ostwald convinced them of was that colloid research would bring revolutionary breakthroughs in medicine, biology, industry, and even meteorology. Cell division, narcotics, star formation, and the reality of atoms—all could be better understood as colloid phenomena. In my talk, I will discuss some of this propaganda, and ask the question cui bono?