In human chemistry, HC pioneers or "human chemistry pioneers" are those (57+) scientists and writers, as listed below, who over the last two-hundred years have contributed theory and logic to the understanding of the chemistry of human existence. Photo-size is indicative of a combination of originality, contribution density, impact, and deepness of theory penetration:

Subject icons
The following subject icons listed next to each person give a quick indication as to what topic he or she theorized, discussed, or worked on in their application of thermodynamics to the various subject-divided facets of human existence.


Those with red tabs are "detractors" or vocal objectors to chemical theory (see: not applicable view) applied to explain human existence.

Earlier HC pioneers
The following is a chronological listing of core biographies in human chemistry of theories, ideas, and opinions professed up until the year 1900.


Empedocles 75Empedocles (495-435 BC)
Greek philosopher
450BCTheorized that love and hate are forces; and developed chemistry aphorisms, such as that friends mix like water and wine, whereas enemies separate like oil and water.
2.Epicurus 75Epicurus (341-270BC)
Greek philosopher
307BC An atomic materialist (see: atomic theory), who, following in the steps of Democritus, was an advocate of materialism, led him to a general attack on superstition and divine intervention (was the first to pen the problem of evil), and, following Aristippus—about whom very little is known—advocated a philosophy called Epicureanism in which pleasure is the greatest good, but the way to attain pleasure was to live modestly and to gain knowledge of the workings of the world and the limits of one's desires. This led one to attain a state of tranquility (ataraxia) and freedom from fear, as well as absence of bodily pain (aponia). The combination of these two states is supposed to constitute happiness in its highest form; contrary to the views of Democritus, argued that humans have free will owing to the "swerve" of the atoms (see: ontic openings).
3.SpinozaBenedict Spinoza (1632-1677)
Dutch philosopher
c.1660 Supposedly, according to Herman Grimm (1875), his manner of treating human relations, had opened the way to the latter views of Goethe (and Schiller) who compared humans to elements that attract or repel one another without any exercise of "will" in the matter.
4.Boerhaave 75Herman Boerhaave (1668-1738)
Dutch chemist and physician
1732Stated that force of affinity is “love, if love be the desire for marriage”.
5.Wilhelm Buchholz 75 newWilhelm Buchholz (1734-1798)
German chemist and physician
1791Chemistry advisor to Goethe; possible role model for the 'Captain'.
6.Goethe 75 newJohann Goethe (1749-1832)
German polymath
1796Elective Affinities (H.M. Waidson translation)First outlined his human chemistry theory in his Third Lecture on Anatomy; later made a human affinity table and with it wrote the great novella Elective Affinities, a 36-chapter book, in which each chapter is a different type of human chemical reaction, each person considered as chemical entity, whose reactions to each other are one of the various 100+ affinity reactions found in Swedish chemist Torbern Bergman's 1775 chemistry textbook A Dissertation on Elective Attractions, wherein chemistry is explained using a 59-column 50-row affinity table and 64-diagram reaction schematic on the logic of affinity chemistry. The central reaction in the novella is a double elective affinity reaction, AB + CD → BD + AC, between the four main characters: Charlotte A, Eduard B, Captain C, and Ottilie D, governed by the reaction laws of affinity, where the force of affinity A, in a modern sense, is quantified by the chemical thermodynamics equation: A = TΔS – ΔH (as was proved by German physicist Hermann Helmholtz in 1882).
7.Schiller 75Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805)
German writer
1799Goethe Schiller statue (Weimar) (s)In his letters of correspondence with Goethe, the two discussed the watershed ideas to Goethe's formulating theory of human chemistry; the first mention is in an October 23, 1799 letter to him, wherein Goethe criticizes the work of French author Prosper Crebillon (1674-1762) to the effect that Crebillion's writing is not realistic (realism) in the sense that it is not based on the reality that people react according to the principles and outcomes of chemistry; Goethean scholar Herman Grimm (1875) argues that Schiller's last drama "Demetrius", which was left lying on his table uncompleted at his end (1805), was a type of carry-forth seed, in spirit, so to speak, or impetus to the eventual writing of Goethe's famed 1809 Elective Affinities, which launched the science of "human chemistry" (although Goethe seems to never actually give a name to the subject he founded).
8.Friedrich Riemer 75Friedrich Riemer (1774-1845)
German writer
1808Goethe explained to him that morality is quantified by Bergman's chemical affinity reactions.
9.Christoph Wieland 75Christoph Wieland (1733-1813)
German poet and writer
1810Described Goethe's Elective Affinities as 'childish fooling around'.
10.Schopenhauer 75Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
German natural philosopher
1818His two-volume, 1,100+ page The World as Will and Representation (1814, 1844) built on Goethe's 1809 human elective affinities theory to explain "will" in a universal manner, e.g. he cites German chemist Justus Liebig's description of the reaction of damp copper Cu in air containing carbonic acid H2CO3, to argue rather cogently that:

"The will of the copper, claimed and preoccupied by the electrical opposition to the iron, leaves unused the opportunity that presents itself for its chemical affinity for oxygen and carbonic acid, behaves exactly as the will does in a person who abstains from an action to which he would otherwise feel moved, in order to perform another to which he is urged by a stronger motive."
11.Johann Eckermann 75Johann Eckermann (1792-1854)
German author
1827Goethe confided with him on his human chemistry theory.
12. Frederick Bakewell (1800-1869)
English physicist
1835 His Natural Evidence of A Future Life, Derived From The Properties And Actions Of Animate And Inanimate Matter attempts to address questions on the origin of life, death, afterlife, and morality, etc., in the context of nature reduced down to the atomic level and the general difference between animate matter and inanimate matter.
13.Jean-Baptiste Dumas 75Jean Dumas (1800-1884)
French chemist
1837Argued that “there is some truth in Boerhaave's poetic comparison.”
14.Ludwig Buchner 75Ludwig Buchner (1824-1899)
German physician and physicist
c.1855Explained how oxygen attracts hydrogen just as man attracts woman.
15.Henry Carey 75Henry Carey (1793-1879)
American sociologist and economist
1858 Gave the definition that: “man, the molecule of society, is the subject of social science”; explained how chemical affinity must govern human social movement and outlined a theory of social heat associated with the rubbing together of human molecules in daily activity; outlined a theory of social gravitation to explain how people attract into the aggregation of large cities, each mutual city acting as an attractive 'sun' with a certain brightness to it.
16.Thomas Huxley 75Thomas Huxley (1825-1895)
English biologist
1871 Argued that society is a ‘social molecule’; that people are the ‘atoms’ (human atoms) of the social molecule; and that ‘social chemistry’ is the study of the politics of the gratifications and suppressions of human desires, so as to avoid societal decomposition.
17.Person icon (29x43)Joseph Cook (dates)1879In his collected lectures book Scepticism and Rationalism: Elective Affinities and Hereditary, gave a 15-point set of rules as to how Goethe’s elective affinities regulate relationships. [1]
18.Henry Adams 75Henry Adams (1838-1918)
American historian
1885Defined 'social chemistry' as the study of the attraction [and repulsion] of equivalent 'human molecules'; applied the chemical thermodynamics phase rule work of Willard Gibbs to society (1909); outlined a second law version of history studies of human molecules (1910).
19.Person icon (29x43)Henry Finck (1854-1926)
American philosopher
1887Argued that Goethe's chemical affinity cannot be applied to love.
20. icon 75 (test)Edmund Noble (1853-1937)
Scottish-born American philosopher
1896 His “Imitation Among Atoms and Organisms”, outlines a semi-modern Empedocles style unified imitation and organization theory governing atom to humans, based in loose outline on speculations about chemical affinity and gravity, so to explain evolution.

20th century HC pioneers
The following is a chronological listing of core biographies in human chemistry of theories, ideas, and opinions professed in the years 1900 to 1999:


21.Max Weber 75Max Weber (1864-1920)
German sociologist
1905Applied Goethe's elective affinity theory to sociology.
22.Henry Bray 75Henry Bray (1846-1922)
European-born American physician, science philosopher, and priest
1910Wrote a chapter on "Atomic and Human Affinities".
23.Thomas Dreier 75Thomas Dreier (1884-1976)
American editor, writer, and business theorist
1910We Human Chemicals (1948)Wrote the article "Human Chemicals"; later, with the circa 1940s consulting help of chemist Gustavus Esselen (below), was expanded into the 1948 book We Human Chemicals, the second out and the open book, following William Fairburn (below), on human chemistry.
24.William Fairburn 75 2William Fairburn (1876-1947)
English-born American naval architect, marine engineer, chemical engineer, and industrial executive
1914Wrote the first booklet on Human Chemistry.Human Chemistry (Fairburn) 300px
25.icon 75 (test)Julius Davidson (c.1875-c.1935)
American economist
1919molecule man 35|Chemical reaction icon|Statistical mechanics icon|Economics iconHis “One of the Physical Foundations of Economics” cites Willard Gibbs’ 1901 Elementary Principles of Statistical Mechanics as a basis to argue that the law of diminishing returns is based on chemistry and physics (the second law in particular); along the way comparing human chemical reactions to basic equilibrium adjusting chemical reactions (specifically the male-female reaction to the reaction of ethanol (ethyl alcohol) and acetic acid to produce ethyl acetate and water), explaining how the final equilibrium concentration will differ base on changes to the initial reactant concentrations, in each case, human and chemical, respectively.
26.George Carey 75George Carey (1845-1924)
American physician
1919Stated that man's body is a chemical formula in operation.
27.Pitirim Sorokin 75Pitirim Sorokin (1889-1968)
Russian-born American sociologist
1928Devotes his opening 60-page chapter "The Mechanistic School", of his Contemporary Sociological Theories, to an all out attack on any type of chemistry, physics, thermodynamics, or mechanics, applied in sociology; on human chemistry he comments:

“The laws of physics, mechanics, and chemistry are applied to all social objects of a physical character, and there is no reason to make a noise about creating a 'human physics', a 'human gravitation' [see: social gravitation], or a 'human chemistry'. Such attempts are nothing but efforts to create a 'physics, chemistry, and mechanics of dogs with long tails and short necks'. In this respect the theories discussed are inadequate, and therefore defective.”

His entire attack is well-referenced and very involved, in regards to rebuttal and reason for objection.
28.Person icon (29x43)Gustavus Esselen (1888-1952)
American chemist
c.1947Consulting chemist to Drier's 1948 book We Human Chemicals.
29.Person icon (29x43)Werner Stark (1909-1985)
Austrian social economist
1962Asked why Huxley's 'social chemistry' as never been developed?
30.Claus Bock 75Claus Bock (1926-2008)
Germanic studies scholar
c.1965Advisor to Adler in his Elective Affinities PhD dissertation.
31.Jeremy Adler 75Jeremy Adler (1947-)
German science historian
1969Did his PhD on the chemistry of Goethe's Elective Affinities.
32.Mark Granovetter 75Mark Granovetter (1943-)
American sociologist
1969Developed a hydrogen bonding based weak ties and strong ties sociology model.
33.Robert Nisbet 75Robert Nisbet (1913-1996)
American sociologist
1970Theorized 'social bonds' actuating the 'social molecule'.
34.Primo Levi 1919-1987)
Italian chemist and writer
1975His Periodic Table (add) ...
35.Diane Vaughan 75Diane Vaughan (1953-)
American sociologist
1976Completed a detailed investigative study of the mechanism and dynamics of the debonding processes involved in relationships, published in the 1986 book Uncoupling: Turning Points in Intimate Relationships.
36.Thims 75 newLibb Thims (c.1975-)
American chemical engineer, electrical engineer, and thermodynamicist
1995Human Chemistry (2007)As a chemical engineering student (see: history), began to puzzle on how to reverse engineer the chemical thermodynamics rule/law of reaction spontaneity (ΔG < 0) as applied to human chemical reactions and human spontaneity, in particular the male-female reaction; eventually, in 2007, ended up writing the world's first textbook on the subject of basic chemistry principles applied to human interactions, namely the two-volume Human Chemistry.
37.Jean-Marie Lehn 75Jean-Marie Lehn (1939-)
French chemist
1995Outlined a grand Goethe-style supramolecular chemistry aphorism about how supramolecular chemistry is a sort of elective affinity style molecular sociology.
38.Kevin Yee 75Kevin Yee (1970-)
American Germanic studies professor
1997Wrote the article “The Captain as Catalyst in Goethe’s Wahlverwandtschaften”.
39.Joseph Dewey 75Joseph Dewey (1945-)
American newage spiritual philosopher
1999 The Molecular Relationship (1999)His coil-bound booklet The Molecular Relationship outlines a barely-readable newagey theory that can best be described as a mix of the Bible, relationship self-help, early 20th century energy vibration theories, energy chakra theory, all stitched together with a very crude chemical analogy model, with chapters on things such as romantic energy, sex energy, desire energy, etc.

21th century pioneers
The following is a chronological listing of core biographies in human chemistry of theories, ideas, and opinions professed in 2000 or later:


40.Christopher Hirata (small)Christopher Hirata (1983-)
American physicist
c.2000Outlined a five-part "physics of relationships" (relationship physics) theory, the first being an 'equilibrium reaction' model of a class body of college students using thermochemistry; he used the Gibbs equation, ΔG = ΔH – TΔS, to analyze the male-female reaction as, X + Y ↔ XY, to calculate an equilibrium constant for the basic school year reaction.
41.David Hwang 75David Hwang (c.1980-)
American computational chemist
2001Wrote "The Thermodynamics of Love" in which he discussed the chemical thermodynamics, reaction coordinate aspects, and chemical bonding aspects of the male-female reaction.
42.Karl Fink 75 newKarl Fink (c.1960-)
American Germanic studies professor
2001 Theorized on the human chemical reactions used in Goethe's Elective Affinities.
43.Paul Peachey 75Paul Peachey (1918-2012)
American writer
2001Outlined an odd sort of 'family molecule' chemistry mixed with underlying religions notions.
44.Astrida Tantillo 75Astrida Tantillo (c.1963-)
American Germanic studies professor and science historian
2001Wrote a book on the scores of critiques of Goethe's Elective Affinities.
44.James Morgia 75 James Morgia (1922-)
American philosopher
2001 His Life Long Human Value uses a human molecule description of people and chemical analogy model of human micro interactions to theorize about what he calls “micro abuses”, e.g. verbal child abuse, intonational emotional abuse, etc., to outline a chemical reaction based type of moral fabric model, based on the negative impulses can be stopped similar to an antioxidant neutralizing an oxidant; two detriments are (a) very poor writing style and (b) ubiquitous use of Bible quotes.
45.Martha Nochimson 75Martha Nochimson (c.1960-)
American film and literature professor
2002Wrote Screen Couple Chemistry: the Power of Two, a detailed look at the components of what it takes to make good "screen chemistry".
46.Tominaga Keii 75Tominaga Keii (1920-2009)
Japanese chemical engineer
2004Stated in his chemical thermodynamics chapter, that Goethe's Elective Affinities 'added no scientific value'.
47.Chanel Wood 75Chanel Wood (c.1982-)
Canadian writer
2007combination lock theoryOutlined a combination lock theory of human bonding, modeled on NaCl formation, according to which the "we just clicked" catch phrase of successful relationships is conceptualized as two people, as "reactants", clicking together in a manner to the way atoms combine to satisfy valence electron shell configurations.
48.Meg Bond 75Meg Bond (c.1952-)
American psychologist
2007Wrote a book on 'workplace chemistry'.
49.Lydia Goehr 75Lydia Goehr (c.1965-)
English-born American philosopher
2008Discussed Goethe's Elective Affinities in the context of aesthetic theory.
50.Surya Pati 75Surya Pati (1983-)
Indian chemist and business management theorist
2009Explain how chemical thermodynamics can explain bonding between humans.
51.Yuri Tarnopolsky 75 Yuri Tarnopolsky (1936-)
Russian-born American organic chemist
2009His ebook Introduction to Pattern Chemistry, on the subject of what he calls “econochemistry”, builds on a number of previously written 55 or so essays (2001-2008), he outlines a “chemistry on the human scale” model of society and economy, arguing, using Greek philosopher Lucretius’s atomic theory as a basis, that an “economy is an assembly, separation, and rearrangement of atoms and molecules,” and that transitions such as the transformation of Russia from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy (1905) to republic (1917) to totalitarian (1936) to chaotic democracy (1991) to opaque authoritarian (2000) is the story of a system consisting of “essentially the same atomic human entities (his term for human molecule)” undergoing a type of chemical isomerization, similar to when propyl alcohol molecule isomers to methyl ethyl ether molecule. Tarnopolsky speculates on the thermodynamics of these types of processes, on things such as social temperature (which he equates to social freedom), activation energy in relation to money, among other topics.
52.Rohann Solare 75Rohann Solare (c.1960-)
American newage thinker
2009His article “The Atomic-Molecular Foundations of a Social Physics: Self-organizing Systems from Atoms to Humans” presents a decent overview of some of the basic principles of human chemistry, namely that a human is a large reactive “mega-molecule” whose attraction and repulsion interactions are governed by the same electro-chemical laws and principles that govern the atoms and molecules that make up the body of a human.
53.Person icon (29x43)Gary Freedman (c.1950-)
American writer
c.2009His ebook Significant Moments contains a noted section in which he thematically groups a selection of historical writings on the thematic topic of human chemistry.
54.Nicholas Christakis 75Nicholas Christakis (1962-)
Medical sociologist
2010Explains social networks, using carbon atom bonding models, on the motto that: “like atoms in a molecule, we’re all linked together. Studying the complex matrix that results can illuminate everything from bucket brigades to Bernie Madoff.”
55.Mala Radhakrishnan 75Mala Radhakrishnan (1978-)
American physical chemist
2011 Her collected works poetry chemistry book Atomic Romances, Molecular Dances uses a mix of poetry and easy-to-understand analogies (e.g. “Sex and the City” → “Sex and Acidity”) to formulate what seems to be Empedocles-style mix of poetic chemistry aphorisms in an effort to help students, particularly high school students, learn thermodynamics, kinetics, and molecular reactions in a more realistic manner, namely in the framework of subjects on the mind of the typically coming of age student, such as relationships, dating, and sex, etc.
56.Jose Aguilera 75Jose Aguilera (1947-)
Chilean chemical engineer
2012Gives a six-page molecular sociology chapter subsection, citing Goethe and Thims, he outlines a number of Empedocles-style human-to-chemicals comparisons, aphorism, or analogies, depending, ranging from: speculations on how a marriage is like a weaker type of covalent bond and or Van der Waals interaction force, how uncharged molecules clustering together in a charged environment are like people discriminated against joining together, how enzymes can can break up and or catalyze the formation of bond between big molecules, like matchmakers, or about how there may be some type of "activity coefficient", similar to the water activity aw, which quantifies the layers of water moisture around dry foods, that may quantify the way in which people are attracted to "high energy surfaces" (see: surface chemistry), among other comparisons.

Some of these previous two groups, to note, are human chemical thermodynamics (HTC) pioneers, namely those individuals who have applied either affinity chemistry, thermochemistry, or chemical thermodynamics to the modeling of human chemical reactions. This group comprises the deeper thinkers of human chemistry, as indicated by the fact that both Goethe and Hirata (two of the thinkers in the IQ=225+ group), independently, developed nearly equivalent theories, as shown in the adjacent table, as the application of either affinity or free energy to predict a reaction is one of the most involved subjects in all of science.

Some of the HC pioneers are cross-over thinkers, listed on this page as well as on the HT pioneers page, whose work is characterized by the use of both chemistry (e.g. chemical reaction models) and thermodynamics (e.g. affinity or free energy theory), such as Johann Goethe (1809), Libb Thims (1995), Christopher Hirata (2000), or Surya Pati (2009), are listed on both this page and the HT pioneers page.

1. Cook, Joseph. (1881). Scepticism and Rationalism: Elective Affinities and Hereditary (15 elective affinity rules, pgs. 107-09) Descent. Ward, Lock & Co.

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