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Joseph Priestley, British chemist

Joseph Priestley, British chemist

H416/0322

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Credit

GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Joseph Priestley (1733-1804), British chemist. Portrait of the theologian, philosopher, political economist and chemist Joseph Priestley. Best known as the discoverer of oxygen, Priestley carried out research into the composition and nature of air. He was the first person to recognise that respiration in animals produces carbon dioxide whereas in plants it produces oxygen. In his work on carbon dioxide, Priestley invented soda water; the precursor to all carbonated drinks. He was a unitarian Calvinist minister and a supporter of the French Revolution. Eventually his political views led to his house being burnt down and him fleeing the country. Published in 1849.

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