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Lavoisier Died For Lucre

Anthony Michaelis' article "Our Unknown Martyrs" (The Scientist, February 9, 1987, p. 13) listed several famous scientists who "gave their lives" for science. I wish to point out that Lavoisier's demise was a consequence of his unpopular occupation as fermier general. He was one of many financiers who had purchased the right to collect taxes, most likely at a profit, and who were executed en masse by Ia Republique in 1794. —Willem H. Koppenol Dept. of Chemistry University of Maryland Balt

Willem Koppenol
Anthony Michaelis' article "Our Unknown Martyrs" (The Scientist, February 9, 1987, p. 13) listed several famous scientists who "gave their lives" for science. I wish to point out that Lavoisier's demise was a consequence of his unpopular occupation as fermier general. He was one of many financiers who had purchased the right to collect taxes, most likely at a profit, and who were executed en masse by Ia Republique in 1794.
—Willem H. Koppenol
Dept. of Chemistry University of Maryland
Baltimore County Campus
Catonsville, MD 21228

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