Sarah Hijmans is a historian and philosopher of chemistry working on the concept of chemical element and the connections between experimental and theoretical practice in 19th-century chemistry. Sarah holds a double bachelor’s in chemistry and philosophy from the Sorbonne University (Paris, France) and a research master’s in history and philosophy of science from the Université Paris Cité (Paris, France). She is currently a PhD student at the Université Paris Cité, writing her dissertation entitled “From Lavoisier to Mendeleev: The Concept of Element in Chemical Practice Between 1770 and 1870.” She was previously a visiting PhD student at the history and philosophy of science department of the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom).
During her fellowship Sarah will work on her project, “Between the Scientific and the Domestic: Anna Sundström’s Work in Berzelius’s House, 1819–1835.” Anna Sundström (1758–1836) lived and worked with the Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius (1779–1848) as both a housekeeper and a laboratory assistant. Through the study of his correspondences and (auto)biographies from the collection of the Science History Institute, this research project will aim to clarify Sundström’s multiple roles in Berzelius’s life.