Vol. 8 No. 1 (2024)
Historical Articles

Lavoisier’s Traité élémentaire de chimie: At the Intersection of Chemistry and French

Thomas Brown
SUNY Oswego, New York, USA

Published 2024-03-04


  • Chemical Education,
  • Eighteenth Century Studies,
  • Pedagogical Tools,
  • Interdisciplinary Chemistry-French Studies

How to Cite

Brown, T. (2024). Lavoisier’s Traité élémentaire de chimie: At the Intersection of Chemistry and French. Substantia, 8(1), 51–55. https://doi.org/10.36253/Substantia-2240


Communication through language is crucial to properly disseminate knowledge and new discoveries in all disciplines.  Traité élémentaire de chimie by Antoine Lavoisier is regarded as the first modern Chemistry textbook and can be utilized as a teaching tool for interdisciplinary studies within the fields of Chemistry and French.  A contemporary rereading of Lavoisier’s text offers insight into the Chemistry being performed in the Eighteenth century which was recorded and shared using Eighteenth century French language.  A reexamination of this historical text provides a variety of pedagogical exercises that can be used across the two disciplines.  From chemical principles to unit conversions to shifts in French orthography, Traité élémentaire de chimie possesses a wealth of knowledge that can be enjoyed by a wide audience within the humanities and natural sciences.  Lavoisier’s Traité élémentaire de chimie can be employed in several different courses providing chemical principles for science courses while serving as a historical French writing sample for advanced French composition courses. 


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