In Florence, the union between art and science is a reason for broad reflection. Florence anticipated the present age: the 'city of art' has always had a 'scientific mind'. In the Middle Ages, chemistry and applied sciences were the driving forces behind the city's economic growth. Starting from the discovery and use of urine as a mordant, Florence’s Arte della Lana (the Guild of Wool Manufacturers and Merchants), then at its apex, employed a third of the population of the city. In more recent times, the scientific interest has been kept alive by the Medici family, and later by the University of Florence. Three figures dominate in Florence’s history of chemistry: the 'emigrant' Hugo Schiff (1834-1915); Angelo Angeli (1864-1931), perhaps Italy’s greatest organic chemist; and last, in chronological order, Ivano Bertini (1940-2012), protagonist of an actual scientific renaissance in Florence, and founder of the European Centre for Magnetic Resonance.
The College of New Rochelle, United States
University of Florence, Italy