On this day (8 May) in 1794, the father of modern chemistry Antoine Lavoisier, along with 27 co-defendants, are tried, convicted, and put to death by a revolutionary tribunal in Paris. According to a popular legend, the appeal to spare the French chemist’s life so that he could continue his experiments was cut short by the judge in his case, Jean-Baptiste Coffinhal: “The Republic needs neither scholars nor chemists; the course of justice cannot be delayed.” (The judge himself would be executed less than three months later.)
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