Ernest Solvay nsIn hmolscience, Ernest Solvay (1838-1922) was Belgian industrial chemist noted, in sociological thermodynamics, his 1894 to 1910s philanthropist efforts to promote and establish a positivism sociology based on energetics.

In 1861, Solvay came into wealth, for the invention of the sodium carbonate synthesis (Solvay process); money that he later use for the promotion the science social energetics, i.e. the use of the science of energetics in sociology.

In 1894, Solvay founded the Institute of Social Sciences (Institut des Sciences Sociales), which assembled many like-minded researchers, publishing tracts on aspects of energetics, e.g. social energetics, the use of the science of energetics in sociology, well into the 1930s. [2]

In 1904, Solvay, in his Energetics Considered as the Guiding Principle for Rational Sociology (L’Energetique Consideree Comme Principe d’orientation Rationelle pour la Sociologie), gave his outlined view on he topic of social energetics; this was followed by his 1910 Social Energetics Issues (Questions d’Energetiques Sociales). Solvay’s 1904 and 1910 books, according to John Scott, supposedly, are similar to Spiru Haret (1910), both arguing something akin to the logic that equilibrium processes, following thermodynamic principles, reflect the flow of energy though a social system. [6]

Solvay was also a man of progressive social ideals, which he implemented within his factories. He voluntarily establisheda social security system, pensions for the workers in 1878, an 8-hour workday in 1897, and paid vacations in 1913, long before it was introduced by the most socially advances nations. [3]

Solvay Conferences
In 1911, Solvay started the Solvay Conferences on Physics, in part as a way to interest the most respected physicists of his day in his energetic ideas. [2] The first conference was attended by several thermodynamics founders: Walther Nernst, Wilhelm Wien, Henri Poincare, Max Planck, Heike Kamerlingh-Onnes, and Albert Einstein, among other notable scientists. [4] The 1927 conference resulted in one of the most notable group photographs (see: epicenter genius) in science history; which included the likes of thermodynamicists: Theophile de Donder, Ralph Fowler, Leon Brillouin, Max Planck, Albert Einstein, among others. [5]

1. (a) Warnotte, Daniel. (1946). Ernest Solvay et L’Institut de Sociologie. Brussels: Bruyzant.
(b) Mehra, Jagdish. (1975). The Slovay Conferences in Physics. Boston: Reidel.
2. (a) Mirowski, Philip. (1989). More Heat than Light – Economics as Social Physics, Physics as Nature’s Economics (pgs. 267-28). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
(b) Solvay Institute of Sociology – Wikipedia.
3. Ernst Solvay (History) –
4. Photo of 1911 Solvay Conference – Wikipedia.
5. Photo of 1927 Solvay Conference – Wikipedia.
6. Scott, John. (2006). Social Theory: Central Issues in Sociology (Solvay, 4+ pgs). Sage.

Further reading
● Barnich, Georges. (1919). Essay on Positive Politics: based on the Social Philosophy of Ernest Solvay (Principes de politique positive d'après Solvay). Publisher.

External links
Ernest Solvay – Wikipedia.

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