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Published: Kem. Ind. 70 (3-4) (2021) 163–170
Paper reference number: KUI-39/2020
Paper type: Review / History of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
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The Clash of Old and New Chemistry in Croatia

N. Raos


New chemistry, the chemistry of the 20th century, developed through four revolutions (instrumental, theoretical, biological, and informational). This development was also evident in Croatia, especially after WWII, when many young Croatian chemists had been educated at British, American, but also Russian universities. This led to the clash of old, traditional (K. Balenović), and young, modern chemists (M. Randić, N. Trinajstić), who introduced theoretical (computational), quantum, and mathematical chemistry in Croatia. There were two aspects of the clash. The first was fundamental; traditional chemists were unable to comprehend chemical research without a chemical laboratory. The second, pragmatic aspect of the clash, materialized in scientometrics, i.e. discussions about the value of chemical research in terms of the number of published papers. Theoretical chemists, namely, published much more than their colleagues engaged in laboratory practice, mostly because of scarce resources and bad organization of scientific research in communist Yugoslavia (1945–1991).

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history of chemistry, chemistry in Croatia, quantum chemistry, mathematical chemistry, computational chemistry, Krešimir Balenović, scientometrics