I will be giving a presentation at the upcoming conference of the Association of Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) on the ways the discipline of chemistry professionalizes over the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Abstract of the paper below.
This paper uses topic modeling and statistical analysis of keywords within early American scientific journals in order to better understand the professionalization of American science in the late nineteenth century. The Journal of the American Chemical Society was one of the first professional scientific journals developed in the United States in 1879, and analyzing its content may help to understand the professional concerns of nineteenth century American scientists. How did these early scientists view their profession? What did chemists see as the most important scientific issues of their time? By using computational and statistical analysis of the first 40 years (1879-1922) of the journal, it becomes clear that the professionalization of chemistry took roughly twenty years and had much to do with external factors affecting science in the U.S.