Several famous chemists were blown up, poisoned, blinded, mutilated or got lethally sick by radiation. Are these isolated anecdotes or was researching chemistry a truly dangerous job during the period of, say, 1750 to 1950? Since the casualty ratio among the most famous chemists was pretty high, one could imagine that it was even worse among the many who tried but never got that far. I wonder if there's any substance to this assumption (to quote what might've been for example Gustaf Dalén's last words).

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    $\begingroup$ The problem is anyone deemed famous almost by definition survived their early mistakes and blunders. An unknown number of enthusiasts may have perished or been badly injured who might, given more favourable conditions, have gone on to make significant discoveries. I think it's impossible to have any meaningful survey. $\endgroup$ Jul 24, 2017 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ @RobSedgwick Curiosity killed the cat. (But Schrödinger's cat somehow escaped the box, saving the better half of one of its nine lives). Yes, probably my question was a bit stupid because it is impossible to answer due to biases and definitions. $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Jul 24, 2017 at 22:32


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